One of greatest challenges of parenting is teaching your children good habits. Most of the time, kids resist learning them because they’re “necessary,” meaning they “aren’t fun.” And well, who can blame them? Sometimes being remedial just seems like a chore, and who likes chores?

However, even if we don’t like chores, we as adults know that they must be done. On top of that, caring for your family’s oral health is a necessity because it could cost you a lot more money later in life if good hygiene isn’t practiced today. So, while you know you need to have good teeth and gums, but how do you convince your children?

As a busy parent, you’ve got enough problems to worry about. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth doesn’t have to be cumbersome, so here are some fun and creative tips to get the job done.

Brush Your Own Teeth With Them

Children often learn by watching other people around them, so try making tooth brushing time become family time. Not only will you be there to assist your child brushing their teeth, but you also get your cleaning time as well. Don’t be afraid to let them see you flossing and using mouthwash – showing your kids that you care for your own teeth this way will encourage them later on to do the same.

Play Music Or Audiobooks

Search online and you can find many apps, videos, or audio clips that are about 2 to 2.5 minutes long, dedicated to entertaining your children while they brush their teeth. Give the kids something to look forward to when you tell them that this specific music or video is only allowed during teeth cleaning time. There are popular apps for many families like Brush DJ – where you can choose from a collection of 2 minute songs, or Star Teeth – which contains 2 minute animated clips. Alternatively, you can search YouTube for 2 minute videos.

Use Flavored Toothpaste

Make tooth brushing a special treat by giving your children a variety of toothpaste with different flavors. Add some creativity by assigning flavors to certain days, like Monday Minty, Wednesday Watermelon, or Strawberry Saturdays.

Make It A Positive Experience

Many parents struggle with the idea of rewarding mediocrity, that you shouldn’t have to incentivize children for doing what they are supposed to do. However, even if you choose to reward good behavior as children are just starting to learn how to brush their teeth, you can always pull back on the rewards later. Also, motivation doesn’t have to come from the promise of a reward. It can also just be a fun activity that children get to experience with their family. Bonding time is a great reward that goes both ways.

When Should My Child Start Seeing the Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should see the dentist right after their first tooth comes in. This is beneficial for both the child and their parent to get them accustomed to seeing a dentist, and gives the dentist a chance to examine the child’s oral condition for any early signs of issues.

Ready to schedule a dental appointment for your family? Book your next appointment online, or call our Long Beach office at 562-434-6414.