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3 Tips To Encourage Young Children To Brush Their Teeth

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Are you the parent of a young child? Are you having a hard time convincing your child that they should be brushing their teeth? Good dental hygiene habits are something that can be difficult to teach. After all, the act of brushing your teeth isn't exactly the most exciting thing in the world. For young children, it can be difficult for them to even imagine the true consequences of not brushing their teeth. Unfortunately for him or her, a lack of good dental habits when young can cause cavities and other problems later in life. Fortunately, there are still things you can do to help guide your child or children on the way to good dental habits.

Add it to the chore chart: Whatever you might say about brushing your teeth, it's not exactly exciting or fun. You've probably already made a chore chart of other things, such as picking up toys or making the bed, that are not exciting or fun but that your child needs to do before he or she can get his or her allowance.

Add the brushing of teeth to the list. Perhaps you might even consider giving your child a small bonus reward like getting to stay up later once a week for brushing his or her teeth on time, or perhaps something like a new coloring book for not having cavities at his or her family dentist appointment.

Buy different toothpaste: Most children have almost twice as many taste buds as adults do. A toothpaste that you find to be pleasantly minty may taste horrible and overwhelming to your young child. It's no wonder that he or she wants nothing to do with the ritual. Instead of forcing him or her to use your adult toothpaste, purchase a special tube of toothpaste just for him or her. If you have problems locating a toothpaste that doesn't taste strongly of mint, a family dentist should be able to give you suggestions on different kinds of toothpaste to buy.

Brush your teeth earlier: You probably have your child brush his or her teeth right before bed and then you brush your teeth before you go to sleep, which may be hours after your child is already in bed. Doing things this way will mean that your child may get the idea that he or she has to brush his or her teeth and that you never actually brush your teeth. This can make the act of brushing teeth seem more like a punishment than something that everyone should do. Start brushing your teeth earlier, before your child goes to bed. If you wind up having a snack later and having to brush your teeth again, consider it a small price to pay for being able to hear your family dentist say that your child is cavity-free.