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Ways to Encourage Good Brushing Habits in Children

When you were a child, did your parents have to constantly remind you to brush your teeth? If you were anything like 99.9% of kids, then the answer is likely to be a resounding yes. As a child, you didn’t have any understanding of why brushing was important. However, as a parent, now you are constantly reminding your children to brush their teeth and trying to ensure they do it properly. If you find this task difficult, then check out these helpful tips to encourage good brushing habits in your children!

Use a Timer

In order to tell your kids how to brush their teeth properly, you may not have an accurate frame of reference as to what “properly” means. Kids may be tempted to scrape across their teeth for 20 seconds and say that they’re done. However, if you use a timer, then you’re setting a very clear expectation as to what is considered proper brushing. A countdown timer propped on a bathroom shelf is all it takes; set it for two minutes and watch over your kids to ensure they brush for the duration. Over time, brushing thoroughly will become habit for them and you can phase out the use of the timer if you choose.

Brush After Every Meal

One of the best ways to encourage good brushing habits in your kids is to practice good brushing habits for yourself. After your evening meal, make a point of brushing your teeth and encouraging your kids to do the same. When they see that you’re abiding by these habits, they’re more likely to see the habit as necessary and adapt it into their own behavior. You should leave at least an hour after eating before brushing, as certain foods can loosen the enamel on the surface of your teeth. Set yourself a reminder on your cellphone so that you don’t forget to brush when the time is right.

Reward Positive Behavior

Children respond well to positive reinforcement, such as receiving an award for doing something well. The best way to do this for brushing teeth is with a weekly rewards system. Use a sheet of paper and draw a grid on it, with one section for each day of the week. When your child successfully brushes their teeth as they should on each day, they get a gold star. Seven gold stars in a week equals a small reward, which can be of your choosing. Eventually, they will come to associate regular, correct brushing with positive things, setting themselves up for a life of excellent oral hygiene.

The ideas above will help you to encourage your children to brush their teeth in the correct manner every single day, thus making your job as a parent a little bit easier. Good luck!

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