Once upon a time, parents used to just tell their kids to brush their teeth because they said so. But nowadays, some parents have a hard time making their kids obey. Making your kids brush their teeth is as important a step in teaching them good hygiene as bathing and wiping. Good oral hygiene will help your kids prevent tooth decay in their adult years, which will lead to better overall health for them. But for those parents trying to figure out ways to get their kids to brush regularly, here are the top 5 ways to get your kids to brush their teeth.
First, tell them that their breath stinks. Have them cup their hand over their nose and mouth and blow. Don’t be mean or hurtful about it. Don’t embarrass them by saying it in front of people. But take the opportunity to help your kids to be aware when they have bad breath. Then tell them, brushing your teeth keeps your breath from stinking. Then make an analogy that relates to their personal lives. For example, you could tell your son that he will never get a girlfriend if he has bad breath. That should motivate him.
Second, show them what a decayed mouth looks like. Freak them out by reading the symptoms and effects of a diseased mouth out loud. Be very descriptive and exaggeration is allowed, although, not much exaggeration is necessary. Have you seen pictures of a severely decayed mouth? Yuck! It just might scare them into regular brushing and great oral hygiene.
Third, let them know that if they don’t brush their teeth every day, their teeth will fall out. Tell them that they won’t be able to eat pizza or potato chips and their favorite foods. They will only be able to eat oatmeal and jello for the rest of their lives if they don’t have any teeth. If you have a friend or relative with dentures, all the better. Have them give them to take them out in front of them and show them what they would look like without teeth. That should give them a good scare. I remember the first time I saw someone without dentures…it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
Fourth, brush your teeth together in the morning and at night. Make it a family ritual that after dinner and before bed, everybody goes and brushes their teeth. The time to make it more fun. For example, you could have a competition to see who can brush their teeth in exactly two minutes! Lead by example.
Lastly, let your kids pick out the color of their toothbrush. As long as the toothbrush is ADA approved, let them have their favorite cartoon character toothbrush. Let them pick out four and show them to replace their toothbrushes every three months.