I think most parents can agree, trying to get your kids ready in the morning and before bed can be a struggle. This struggle arises in part because many children simply dislike having to brush and floss their teeth. I remember thinking up every excuse as a child to avoid brushing my teeth. It took a few cavities for me to begin to admit that perhaps brushing was as important as my parents and my dentist had said. As an adult, I now realize just how imperative proper oral hygiene is and only wish it hadn’t taken me quite so long. So, I decided to seek out some family dentists in Ottawa, to ask for a few key things to keep in mind when trying to get children to brush regularly.
Explain the importance
Depending on the child’s age and cognitive development, they may not have mastered the ‘cause and effect’ concept fully yet. As such, they will not naturally understand that improper oral hygiene can lead to cavities and other health risks. It’s important to try to educate children about oral hygiene in a way that they will understand. Perhaps you could try to explain that not brushing could lead to little germ bugs making holes in your teeth, which will mean uncomfortable trips to the dentist. It’s also important to help them understand that brushing your teeth will create a white, bright and healthy smile and that going to the dentist is just as important as check-ups at the doctors.
Make brushing fun
Making brushing fun might not be easy, but many family dentists in Ottawa assure it is feasible. For starters, opt for a fun and colourful toothbrush – maybe one with the child’s favourite cartoon on it. Also try incorporating other fun activities into the mix, such as singing along to music or telling stories. Although this seems far-fetched – it really works! A few weeks ago I was babysitting a seven-year-old boy and I was dreading bedtime for this very reason. I winced as I asked him to brush his teeth, but to my surprise he gave me no trouble at all. The reason? His toothbrush was electric and featured a popular band on it; when he brushed his teeth music played and he said it made brushing his teeth fun.
While getting your kids or siblings to brush their teeth can be a difficult task, lots of family dentists in Ottawa assure it is possible. Try out the two techniques mentioned above and/or try talking to your own family dentist. With a little perseverance, you’ll find the technique that works best for your family and you’ll have a brushing and flossing master in no time!