Have trouble getting your teen to care about their teeth? We understand that getting children to brush their teeth can sometimes create as much nuisance as a toothache! Helping your kids and teens create good oral habits now will be worth it so they reap the benefits for years to come.
We have a few tips that can help you get your child or teen thinking about their oral health and encourage them to better brushing habits.
Talk About Consequences
Teens may not be the best at thinking about the long-term effects of their decisions, but chances are they can relate to some consequences, especially when they relate to their peers. Share with your teen or child how brushing, flossing, and swishing mouthwash can help to fight off those bacteria that like to cause bad breath and yellow stains on their teeth.
Get Them An Electric Toothbrush
Teens love gadgets. Yes, an electric toothbrush is another investment, and it’s another gadget on the bathroom counter. The great thing about an electric toothbrush is that it takes nearly all the guesswork out of brushing. Many electric toothbrushes run for the recommended 2 minutes, and your teen just needs to set it on their tooth and let the brush do all the work.
Electric toothbrushes are proven to remove plaque and bacteria more effectively; the best part is no scrubbing motion needed!
Have Them Download A Brushing App
You probably notice how much your teen stares at their phone. It’s perhaps hours every day. Why not put phone time to good use by downloading a brushing app. Many brushing apps on the market can help time your teens brushing for them, track your teens brushing progress, and even tally rewards. You can even sign them up for daily brushing reminders!
Offer Them An Incentive
We all like a little extra motivation from time to time, and kids are no different. Is there something that your child or teen is really wanting? Maybe it’s more screen time, or perhaps it’s something like tooth whitening. Could you tie that in as an incentive if they show increased responsibility in caring for their teeth and oral health?
Give Your Teen Some Freedom
Children love freedom, especially when it comes to making their own decisions. There are so many options in the health and beauty aisle that they may be excited to try a new oral health care product they recently heard about. Allowing your teen freedom to pick out toothpaste and floss that they like may help them use it.
Routine Dental Visits
Making sure that your children have routine dental cleanings and check-ups helps them know that you value the health of their teeth. Our dental hygienists also talk to their younger patients about oral home care and adequately caring for their teeth. Sometimes hearing tips and encouragement from a professional or someone other than mom or dad can make a difference for teens.
Be A Good Example
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do!” It’s true. Your kids are watching you. Do you care for your teeth? Do you complain when it’s time to go for your dental cleanings or routine check-ups? Staying positive and showing your children that you’re happy to have healthy teeth can go a long way in encouraging them to do the same.
Patience, Patience, Patience
It takes time to form good habits. Have you ever set goals for your own life and found yourself off track on day two? Your kids may need some helpful advice and some gentle reminders along the way.
Hopefully, you have found one or more of these tips to be helpful. If you are hoping to help your child to brush, remember that having a good relationship with them and offering your child encouragement can go a long way! Please let us know in the comments if you have succeeded in encouraging your children to improve oral health habits.