If your child is not brushing their teeth because of sensitivity issues, call Drs. Jim & Sam Owens at 918-455-7700. Our friendly dental staff will schedule an appointment for your child. We can troubleshoot the cause and get your child back on the road to good oral hygiene! If there are other reasons why your child is not brushing, read on for helpful tips.
Do you have a hard time getting your child to brush their teeth?
This is a very common struggle that parents have, so you are not alone. Let’s get them brushing and flossing twice a day!
Our Hygienists can help during their regular dental visit. Many children (including teens) that we see on a routine basis, have fair to poor oral hygiene. We like to remind older kids that the adult teeth they have now are the last set they will ever get. When they leave plaque and bacteria on teeth it makes the tooth weak and when a cavity starts it’s a hole in the tooth, which is decay. This is a pretty convincing image to emblaze on their mind – yuck a hole in their tooth! We always show your child how to brush and floss properly and encourage them to do so regularly. We reinforce all of the encouragement that you give at home.
The secret to motivating a child to better oral care is at the end of a long and winding road. It might take some time to push the right button, but once you do, you can finally relax!
Depending upon the age of your child, the first place to start is explaining to them why it’s important to brush their teeth. Encourage your child to brush teeth regularly because, for example, regular brushing helps keep teeth clean, and prevents bad breath and tooth decay (remind them of the hole in the tooth scenario).
Gone are the days where you brush their teeth for them. In most cases, resistance to good oral hygiene can be simply due to a lack of knowledge and a need for time to adjust to taking care of themselves. That said, find out if there is a reason why they do not want to brush their teeth.
1. Is it a sensitivity issue? If so, try a softer toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
2. Is it a perceived lack of time? Suggest that they incorporate it with an activity they do make time for like watching TV or YouTube.
3. Do they just forget? Try leaving reminders everywhere. Place flossers next to their iPad, in their car, next to their bed or even in their shower.
4. Is this a power struggle? The more you try to control your child and push him to do what you are asking, the more he is going to push back and refuse. Incentive systems are a great place to start, especially with younger kids. For older kids, natural consequences will likely come into play. A peer will probably let them know they have bad breath and that will encourage them to brush on their own.
Try motivating your child instead of nagging. Maybe employ some cool dental technology like Hydro Floss, Waterpik, shower flossers, and sonic toothbrushes. For younger children, let them shop for their own toothbrush and toothpaste with you. Remember that their motivation can change in an instant, so get creative.
Above all, be gentle and considerate when handling delicate issues like hygiene. If your child is like most, he may be sensitive to discuss hygiene with you, so you need to come at it with empathy.
Monkey see monkey do. Kids might not be good at listening to advice from adults, but they have never failed to imitate them. You can lead by example by brushing and flossing your teeth in front of them.
Kids will always make their own choices no matter what. As long as you are problem-solving with your kids, using rewards and consequences (to motivate them and hold them accountable), and supplying them with the necessary ‘tools’ to take care of themselves, that’s the best you can do as a parent.