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Tips for building good Teeth Brushing Habits

Theresa Hissong - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Brushing teeth isn't always the most fun thing for a kid to do. In the mornings it's a chore that stands in the way of them getting to start their day and the many fun things on their agendas. In the evenings, it usually signifies that magical time where we parents are having our little ones go through all the steps in preparation of bedtime. No matter the time, getting out kids to brush their teeth thoroughly can often be a struggle. 

If this sounds like your house, here are a few tips that might be able to turn those teeth brushing gripers into grinners

1 - Buy them a toothbrush they will enjoy using.  My kids' toothbrushes are Star Wars, Hello Kitty, and Princess Belle. For now, anyway. When it's time to pick up new toothbrushes, let your kids pick out their own toothbrush. This will help them add a little fun to their brushing routine, but also give them a little control and ownership over the responsibility of brushing.

2 - Use a timer or stopwatch. It's important that kids brush their teeth for 2 full minutes, but it's equally important that all teeth get brushed! Time kids on brushing different sections of their mouth, and give them a playful 'BUZZZ!' when it's time to move to the next section. As they get older, this will be a great habit that will stay with them. 

3 - Make their progress visual. Kids love stickers, and it's an easy way to visually track their progress. Start by marking their success for brushing all the sections of their teeth, and brushing for 2 minutes. Once this is perfected, start giving them stickers for brushing without being asked. 

4 - Enlist the help of an app. Whether you're an Apple or Android user, you'll find fun, teeth brushing apps that encourage thorough brushing and hygiene. 

Regular 6-month checkups with your dentist will also help keep your kids, and you, updated on their brushing habits. If your dentist feels they need a little more help and encouragement, they'll talk to you and your child about what you can do to make improvements.