Nobody likes bedtime. Kids hate it because they want to stay up and play, no matter how heavy their eyelids are. Parents dislike bedtime because of how difficult it can be to make their children brush their teeth. But regardless of how tired you may be, you will not be able to sink into bed until your child’s bedtime routine is complete. You and your kids do not have to dread this activity any longer because unclamping their jaws is easier than you might think.
The key to proper hygiene is starting early. You can establish these habits even before your child begins teething. After meals, wipe your baby’s gums with a warm, wet washcloth. Not only will this keep their mouths clean, it will make them comfortable with you fussing over their faces. This will also introduce them to the kinds of examinations dentists will give them in the future. Continue this wiping method as your baby’s first teeth break their gums in order to remove plaque buildup.
Practice makes perfect. Buy an extra toothbrush and have your child practice brushing on her doll. Also, try letting them brush your teeth. Kids get tired of you always meddling in their mouths, so hand them the reins and let them return the favor. Remember, you are their role model, and it is important for your children to see you abiding by your own rules and brushing your teeth as well.
Sometimes kids need incentive for completing their chores. Even if you do not use an allowance system, there are other ways to reward your children for a job well done. Keep a chart in the bathroom and place a fun sticker next to their names each time they successfully brush their teeth. If they earn every sticker for the week, they can choose a prize. You can find all kinds of goodies at your local dollar store. Perhaps the reward is letting them decide on a weekend activity or restaurant for the family.
The easiest way to encourage your children to brush their teeth is to make it fun. Start by letting them pick out their own toothbrush. There are numerous choices varying in shape and color, and many bear designs of their favorite movie or TV characters. Allowing your child this choice will give him pride of ownership. Try having them sing a song while they brush like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” Though this might be more difficult for the younger ones, it is a great way to distract them from the fact they are doing a chore. You can also try making the task feel more like a game by purchasing an egg timer. Set it for 2 minutes, and have your child brush until the timer dings. The sense of challenge will be more motivating. If you have more than one kid, make it a contest by counting how many brushstrokes each makes in the 2 minute time period. The most strokes wins! Also remember that there are many choices for your child’s dentist. If you are curious about which ones offer the most fun and quality services, you can check out the reviews here.