Trips to the dentist? Brushing teeth? More often than not little ones are far too busy with important playtime to want to take time out to look after their teeth! So during Smile Month earlier this year we asked for parents to provide their top tips for encouraging oral hygiene from an early age and here they are:
Top tips for encouraging children to brush their teeth:
- We all brush at the same time and my daughter loves it and wants to copy us.
- A trip to the dentist did wonders. She spoke to them about teeth cleaning and our 5 year old is following her advice religiously!
- Buy them fun personalised toothbrushes with their names on. I saw this on SuperNanny.
- Buy a Brush-Baby chewable toothbrush. Our little one just happily chews it and it brushes his teeth. Amazing for teething too!
- Start young, make it fun and establish a routine.
- Don’t have toothbrushing battles – do teeth during their favourite cartoon or while lying on bed reading a cool book!! (tip from Burlington Dental)
- To brush for the right amount of time we sing a song (we made it up) called Brushington – to the theme tune of Chuggington. It’s a bit embarrassing if we’re not at home or have visitors, but it works!
- Brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums. To encourage your child, praise often as it get results.
- We pretended there were animals in the mouth that needed brushing away – worked wonders!
- We tell our 2 year old that he has to brush his teeth so that he doesn’t get holes in them. So far he has complied!
- Sticker and reward charts.
Recommended books and apps that may help:
- Peppa Pig, ‘Dentist Trip‘ and ‘Maisy, Charley and the Wobbly Tooth‘ by Lucy Cousins have proved succesful with both my children
- My boys love Rosie’s Playtime app ‘Brush With Jackson‘
- For a bit of fun and a sweet story ‘Caraboose, the Tooth Fairy Moose‘ by Lucy Swanson
Do tell us if you have any recommendations or tips that we’ve left out.