Clever Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Brushing

Clever Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Brushing

Learning good dental habits now will give your kids happy, healthy teeth that’ll last a lifetime. Here are our top tips on how to instill in them a love of brushing…

If you feel as if you’re constantly reminding your kids to brush their teeth – much to their dismay – or finding dentist visits a nightmare, you’re not alone. It’s not easy teaching children new habits in a way they can relate to, but it is possible. Here’s how…

Give them the facts

Children like to know the reasons behind the things grown-ups ask them to do. So, don’t be afraid to talk to them about tooth decay and gum disease. Explain that germs and bacteria grow in our mouths on our teeth and gums every day from food and general life, so it’s important to clean this all away. If they do, their teeth will stay happy and healthy, and they won’t develop problems like rotten teeth (tooth decay); black, brown or yellow teeth (discoloration and staining); sore or bleeding gums (gum disease) and stinky breath. It might feel blunt, but sometimes the details are just what kids need to get on board with brushing.

Teach them the right way to brush

Until children are aged six, they aren’t capable of cleaning their own teeth properly, so it’s up to you to do it. However, they’ll be watching everything you do, so show them from an early age how to brush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for two whole minutes – perhaps put on one of their favorite songs and challenge them to brush for the duration of it. Use small circular and back-and-forth motions, and work from top to bottom, ensuring all surfaces are covered. For more advice on helping your children to learn to care for their teeth, check out this article (link to ‘Teeth Care: How to Help Your Child Care for Their Teeth at Every Stage and Age’ [REFNO23]).

Use technology to make learning interactive and fun

A child’s electric toothbrush can feel far more exciting than a manual one, and Oral-B offers everything from Disney’s Frozen to Star Wars models (link to a specific product page) – there’s sure to be one your kids love. You can pull in tech in other ways, too: look up videos or songs on YouTube to explain why it’s important to care for your teeth, or download an app (we love Oral-B’s Disney Magic Timer) to help at brushing time. Some parents even Google pictures of people with missing, blackened or diseased teeth, to show their kids what can happen if they don’t brush regularly – it’s up to you if you think this will work with your family!

Teach by example


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Let your children watch you clean your teeth, and take them to the dentist with you from an early age. That way they’ll get used to the experience before they have a check-up themselves.

Get your dentist on-side

If your kids are scared of dental visits, phone up and talk to the dentist beforehand. They will be used to dealing with nervous children and may have some good ideas and suggestions. You can also help your kids prepare for a trip by playing ‘dentist and patient’ with a favorite doll or teddy, letting your child use an old toothbrush to ‘check and count’ teddy’s teeth, and even giving teddy a sticker afterwards!

Encourage your children to be kind to their teeth

Eating ‘tooth-friendly’ milk, cheese and yogurt, which all contain minerals that help repair tooth enamel and make teeth stronger, is essential. Keep sweets as an occasional treat, and only serve dried fruit (such as raisins) with meals, rather than as a stand-alone snack, as it contains a huge amount of hidden sugar. This will decrease their chance of cavities, making each dental visit much less daunting! To make sure you are bringing home the right groceries– take this quiz (link to the Oral B created quiz ‘Is Your Grocery Shopping Affecting Your Family’s Enamel?’ if you have pushed live in your market)!

Cut down on sugary drinks

Get your kids used to drinking water at the end of each meal to ‘give their teeth a little bath’ and wash away food debris – even a couple of mouthfuls will help. Avoid fizzy drinks and cut down on juice and squash. If they are having juice as a treat, dilute it with water and use free-flowing cups rather than bottles, straws or sippy cups, which kids drink slowly from, allowing any sugar to stay on their teeth for longer.

Do you have any good parenting tips to make learning about oral care more fun? We’d love you to share them with us in the comments below.

For more helpful advice and tips, visit Oral B (link to Oral B BLP). 

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