Teaching children to brush their teeth regularly from an early age is important not just for their oral health during childhood, but also because once established the habit of brushing and flossing should stay with them for the rest of their lives.
This means they are more likely to enjoy a healthy, shining smile in the long term.
However, many parents agree that teaching their children to take good care of their teeth is often easier said than done. Just half of UK parents are making sure their children brush their teeth.
Here are three tips on how to do get your children brushing:
- Never forget to brush. Sometimes in the evening both parent and child are tired and can be tempted to skip brushing their teeth altogether, instead heading straight to bed. Even if this is a rare occurrence, it can still have a negative impact as it teaches the child that brushing is not a must and can be avoided. Moreover, even the occasional failure to brush can start the process of cavity formation.
- Set an example. The best way to encourage children to do something is for the parents to do it too. Turn brushing into a fun family activity and remember that kids learn by example. Be the one who demonstrates the importance of oral care by brushing together.
- Make it fun. There are a number of toothbrushes available which have lights or make sounds whilst brushing, making the process more entertaining for children. Toothpaste that also tastes like bubble gum or fruit is just as good as regular mint pastes (if it is made by a dentist-approved brand) and will also encourage brushing.