Perhaps the single most common dental issue for young children is a simple one: An unwillingness to brush regularly. Brushing the teeth can feel like a chore for children of all ages, particularly the youngest ones who struggle with attention span and focus.
At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help. Our pediatric dental services include helping parents find strategies for reluctant brushers and flossers, plus other basic tooth care areas. Let’s go over three strategies we often recommend that can help unwilling brushers get into the habit more regularly.
In some cases, a big part of your child’s anxiety toward brushing their teeth might relate to their inability to fully brush properly. Very young children often struggle with traditional toothbrushes, finding they don’t quite have the dexterity to reach all their teeth – the electric toothbrush requires less motion to operate properly, helping solve this issue.
That’s not the only benefit of an electric toothbrush, either. They also come with timed brushing segments that make absolutely sure your child brushes for two minutes at a time every single time, a huge asset for parents who struggle to keep kids focused for the entire 120 seconds.
As we’ve noted, focus and distractions can be a big issue for many children when it comes to brushing. Many children simply don’t have the attention span to do a single task for two minutes straight, much less a task they don’t enjoy.
If this is the case for your child, consider ways to help hold their focus. One great outlet here might be educational videos on tooth brushing – these are designed to engage children and hold their interest while also teaching them about why brushing the teeth is important and how to do it. These videos are available for a variety of ages and in several different styles. Ask our dentist about which might be right for your child here.
Parents are the example that young children always strive toward. If you wear your hat a certain way, you can bet they’re going to emulate you and try to copy that style. This same theme extends to numerous other areas, and can also be used to your benefit with stubborn brushers.
Simply turning brushing into a group activity is a great way to incentivize your kids. If they see you brushing regularly, they’re going to want to do the same thing. This also allows you time to give them tips on their brushing and help them if needed, plus ensures you can keep them accountable for brushing the entire two minutes every time.
For more on encouraging stubborn children to brush their teeth, or to learn about any of our pediatric dentist services, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.