We know there are a few children who love brushing their teeth. A few children also don’t want anything to do with brushing their teeth. As a parent, what do you do when your toddler hates brushing their teeth? How do you encourage your child to brush their teeth? At Carter & Higgins Orthodontics, we know it can be tough convincing kids to brush their teeth, especially if they have braces! We also know how vital it is to set good oral hygiene habits early because those habits can carry them through their lifetime. We have a few ideas that may help you teach your child great brushing and flossing habits and eliminate the daily teeth brushing battle. Here are some ideas on how to make toothbrushing fun!
Books About Brushing Teeth
Children often learn by example, which is why parents are always so careful about what they say or do around them. When it comes to toothbrushing, giving children some great examples of others brushing their teeth may encourage them to do the same. What better examples to use than some of their favorite characters?
Here are a few books that you can read to your child. These books teach your child how and when to brush their teeth and how best to do it. They also explain why brushing and flossing their teeth daily is important.
- Daniel Goes to the Dentist by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz
- The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
- My First Visit to the Dentist by Eve Marleau
- Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain
- Brush, Brush, Brush! By Alicia Padron
Songs About Brushing Teeth
If reading isn’t your child’s thing, singing might be a better way to go. Believe it or not, there are several songs out there about brushing your teeth. Your child can learn how to brush their teeth from their favorite Sesame Street characters or from Mickey Mouse. Here is just a sample of some of the toothbrushing songs out there:
- CoCoMelon: Yes, Yes Brush Your Teeth!
- Sesame Street: Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me!
- Mickey Mouse: Brush to the Beat
- American Dental Association: Dudley: Brush and Floss
- Finny the Shark: Brush Your Teeth
So crank up the tunes and make toothbrushing time into music time!
Use Cool Tools: Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, and Floss
Children love toys that encourage the stimulation of their senses, particularly sight and sound. Using a toothbrush that lights up, spins, or sings can encourage your child to brush their teeth even more! It’s also important to makes sure your child uses the right amount and type of toothpaste. You also want to set great flossing habits, because flossing is just as important. Up to a third of a tooth’s surface is cleaned by floss instead of a toothbrush.
Find Fun Toothbrushes!
- Get sparkly toothbrush with glitter in the handle.
- Go even brighter with a toothbrush that lights up as they use it.
- Let your child pick their favorite color toothbrush.
- Find their favorite character on a toothbrush. You have lots of options available!
- Jam out while toothbrushing with a toothbrush that plays music or sounds!
Make the Toothpaste Fun!
- Find a fun flavor, from fruit to bubble gum.
- You can also find a favorite color. Don’t worry, they won’t end up with blue teeth!
- Teach your child exactly how much toothpaste to use.
- Make your own toothpaste from 4 tsp. of baking soda, 1tsp. of salt, and 1 tsp. of flavoring (vanilla, peppermint extract, etc.).
Floss Is Important, Too!
- Try different flavors of floss.
- Use floss sticks to make it easier to maneuver the floss.
- Always floss FIRST, then brush!
Healthy Smiles for Life!
The earlier your child learns good oral hygiene habits, the better the chance they carry those habits throughout their lifetime. Brushing and flossing properly are the first steps in that journey, but they’re not the only steps. Regular visits to the dentist are just as important, as is consulting with an orthodontist at an early age.
Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts. After that, your child should visit the dentist every six months for a regular checkup. Your child’s dentist will make sure their teeth are developing and erupting correctly. They should also teach your child about brushing their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day to keep those teeth healthy.
By age 7, your child should consult with an orthodontist. In the Tulsa, OK, area, your child can visit Carter & Higgins Orthodontics to find out whether orthodontic treatment may be needed. The sooner you take care of your child’s orthodontic issues, the fewer problems they may have later in life. Straight teeth and a proper bite make it easier to keep teeth clean with brushing and flossing. It also means less chances of jaw pain later. Your child can get braces or Invisalign early to set up for a perfect smile later!
Great Brushing Habits Now and in the Future!
Brushing and flossing don’t have to be a battle. There are lots of ways to make these habits fun for your child. If you ever need more suggestions, Carter & Higgins Orthodontics is here to help! If your child is ready for their first orthodontic consultation, schedule an appointment in one of our two Tulsa, OK, offices. We’ll let you know whether those brushing and flossing habits are perfect or need a little tweaking!