fitting family dental visits into a crazy schedule

3 Tips For Getting Children To Brush Their Teeth

by Andre Daniels

Are you having problems getting your child to brush his or her teeth? Has he or she had to have a cavity filled and still refuses to brush his or her teeth? Dental care can be a contentious topic between parents and children. A parent wants what's best for a child while the child isn't yet mature enough to fully appreciate the consequences of his or her actions or inactions. Because of this, it can be difficult to get your child to brush his or her teeth, especially as your child gets older. Fortunately, there are still steps you can take as a parent to correct this behavior. Some things you can try include:

Implement a reward system: Children who are old enough to get cavities but who are still young enough to be in elementary school can have a hard time understanding consequences that can take months or even years to appear. They're much better when they get near-immediate feedback. One thing that can help is to implement a reward chart for their behavior. This chart should include all of their chores, such as making their bed or keeping their room tidy, and each completed chore gets a sticker. If he or she doesn't get enough stickers for the week, then he or she either forfeits his or her allowance, getting to stay up late, or some other meaningful immediate reward. If he or she is able to maintain a full chart of stickers in between visits to your family dentistry office, consider giving him or her a slightly bigger reward after the visit, such as a trip to a favorite fast food restaurant.

Family brushing: Once your child hits elementary age, he or she might come up with the ingenious plan of making you think that he or she brushed his or her teeth by putting a little toothpaste on his or her toothbrush and then washing it off. In order to prevent this, make the time for the brushing of teeth into a family activity. In order to not seem like you're spying on your child, you may want to claim that it's so that you don't forget to brush your own teeth or something similar. During your next visit to your family dentistry practice, you may even want to enlist the help of your child's dentist, having him or her tell your child to keep an eye on your toothbrushing habits on behalf of the dentist.

Eliminate candy: If your child continues to refuse to brush his or her teeth, despite warnings at the family dentistry office and any punishment/reward system that you've also set up, the best thing you may do is to stop buying candy and other sweets. No lollipops, no gummy candy, no cupcakes. This can be a difficult policy to implement but can be essential to halting the progression of cavities in your child's mouth. Once he or she starts brushing his or her teeth regularly once again, you may allow candy to be bought once more.

For more information, contact companies like Orange Door Dental Group.