At Rio Dental & Orthodontics, we talk to many parents who say that toothbrush time is a difficult part of the day for their family. With so many other things to do, taking two minutes in the morning and at night to get their child to brush their teeth can seem like a challenge, especially if their child is unwilling to participate.
There are lots of different reasons why children are resistant to brushing their teeth: toddlers and preschoolers are learning to say ‘no’ for the first time, sensitive children may feel overwhelmed by the process, and after a long day of learning, some kids are just plain tired.
Forming daily hygiene habits is very important for a child’s lifelong wellbeing, and it’s important to take the steps necessary to foster positive associations with brushing and flossing. Here are some ideas from our dentist near Fort Worth (that takes Medicare) which may help make toothbrush time more fun for kids.
1. Offer Options
Sometimes, all a kid wants is to be in charge! If your child becomes fussy near toothbrush time, giving them the illusion of choice can make the task more appealing. We suggest purchasing multiple different toothbrushes and toothpaste and offering them a choice every time they need to brush.
By providing different options, you’re changing the thought in their head from ‘Do I want to brush my teeth?’ to ‘What will I use to brush my teeth?’—a question with much better outcomes! Over time, your child is likely to begin favoring a certain combination that they can then stick with day after day.
2. Find Ways to Incorporate Play
Gamifying dental care can be a fun way to engage your child and help them form the habits that will protect their teeth for life. Think about what playtime looks like for your child and start from there.
- If your child loves a specific song, you can play this during toothcare time to encourage them to brush for the full 2 minutes recommended.
- If your child is highly imaginative, telling stories about teeth or having make-believe visits to the dentist’s office can help spark their interest.
- If your child has a favorite doll or toy, let them brush their doll’s teeth first! This can encourage your child to brush their own teeth—and give an old toothbrush a new purpose.
3. Reward Good Dental Habits
Though some parents have voiced valid concerns about offering rewards for good behavior, this practice can work for targeting certain skills that need improvement. Especially when it comes to their dental hygiene habits, it’s not a good idea to reward your child with snacks, special drinks, or sweets. A simple sticker or a few extra minutes of playtime before bed may be enough to convince your child tooth brushing is worthwhile.
Are You Looking for a Dentist Near Fort Worth That Takes Medicare?
At Rio Dental & Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to helping our patients get the high-quality dental care they need for a lifetime of bright smiles. If you’re seeking a dentist near Fort Worth that takes Medicare, we can help. Contact us today to book an appointment for your child at our Fort Worth location.