Is your child known to start screaming matches when you ask them to brush their teeth? Don’t be embarrassed, as it’s not just your child. Instilling healthy brushing habits is often one of the most challenging aspects for new parents. As a matter of fact, recent reports would indicate that many parents are struggling. With data suggesting that nearly half of all American children will experience some form of tooth decay within their early adolescence. What makes brushing such a difficult task for children, though? This post will detail the issue in addition to strategies necessary to avoid the development of any sort of tooth decay in children.
What parents have to remember is that their child is unique, one of one. Meaning certain strategies may work and others may fail, unfortunately there is no ‘one right way. Being patient when attempting to incorporate new strategies with your children is imperative. Of the most popular strategies, young children tend to love any sort of entertainment element that can be brought into the brushing experience. For many children, this can be as simple as a customized toothbrush. For more complex children, there are mobile apps specifically designed to entertain children as they brush with music, videos, and even intractable games for the truly pesky brushers.
While these applications have been known to be effective, some children just want simple companionship while brushing. Many children will feel uncomfortable brushing alone, so try making brushing a family affair. Create a ritual of the available members of the family brushing together every night. This can be extremely effective in establishing long term brushing habits. Alternatively, if your children are notorious for mimicking your behavior, you can try coaxing them into brushing when you brush! Simply play along with their mimicking and begin brushing to see if this can be an effective method for your children.
Most importantly is to begin this process at a young age. It’s a never-ending process, but the sooner you begin encouraging your children to brush, the more likely they’ll form a lifelong habit. A set routine as a child will ensure the habits transition into their young adult lives. The moment children feel confident in holding the brush, parents should begin instructing them on how to properly brush as this will have the largest impact.
It’s these habits and the information that parents share to educate their children regarding brushing their teeth that will make all the difference. When push comes to shove, children will often come to realize how important brushing is after their first painful visit to the dentist’s office. In connection with their dentist, parents can then explain how serious that brushing regularly is in regards to oral health and provide strategies that will work for their children. If your child is currently struggling with brushing regularly, be sure to take a moment to check out the strategies provided within the paired infographic below for easier brushing sessions at home. Courtesy of Sycamore Hills Dentistry.