Being a qualified dental Oral Health professional i wanted to promote and advise the correct Oral hygiene practice in Children. Tooth brushing is something i am very passionate about!
I have collaborated with child behavioural expert Lorraine Thomas and Aquafresh to bring parents some tips with making brush time easier.
1. Great habits are caught not taught – take a close look at your own dental habits and make sure they are good enough to pass on.
2. Make brush time fun and brush your teeth when they brush theirs. Your child loves your attention and here is an ideal opportunity to enjoy time together. Choose a time when you are relaxed – not rushing to get out to the office or school – or tired at the end of a long day. Brush your teeth at the same time as they are brushing theirs. Take it in turns to brush each others teeth (prepare to get a bit wet!). Encourage them to open their mouths wide by roaring like a lion.The bathroom can be a real center for the family and it is important to have fun there.
3. Show and tell them what you want them to do. Explain to your child what to do rather than what not to do. Parents find giving negative instructions stressful. And children find negatives very difficult to process. So rather than say ‘don’t forget to clean your back teeth’, say ‘remember to clean your back teeth’. Rather than say ‘don’t rush’ say ‘take your time and feel each tooth’.
4. Behaviour that gets attention gets repeated so catch your child ‘red-handed’ brushing their teeth well. Sometimes we tend to focus on the times our children aren’t doing what we want them to do and give them attention for the behaviour we want to discourage, e.g. “you aren’t cleaning your teeth properly”. When you see them holding their brush, concentrating on squeezing the toothpaste and making an effort – praise them. Describe what you are seeing them do and be as specific as you can and they will be much more likely to do it again.
5. Use apps, egg timers, gizmos and gadgets. Children have a very different concept of time from us. They may find it helpful to use the Aquafresh Brush time App, a giant egg timer (or your kitchen one) or a musical toothbrush to help them understand how long they are supposed to brush for. Star charts and stickers can be powerful motivators, especially for young children. Location is important, so find a place for the sticker chart in the bathroom.
I hope Parents and Children will benefit from some of these tips.
Do you find information about how to maintain your child’s dental health useful?
Many thanks for stopping by and please feel free to comment below.