Let’s face it kids still don’t like brushing their teeth. They are always “too busy” or “too tired” or they claim they did when you know they did not. This seems to be an ongoing battle in most homes that can leave you exhausted and you may find yourself just giving up. Well, we don’t want to see any of you giving up, especially since we have taught you all how to amass a large stockpile of free toothpaste! It’s time to start getting your kiddos teeth clean and shiny. Here are some of my favorite tips that will hopefully get your kids to put down the cell phones and pick up their toothbrushes.
Make Them Believe They Will Pay The Bill For Any Cavity
I let my kids know early on that we have a two cavity maximum allowance in our house. I pay for the first two and anything after that for their entire life will be coming out of their pockets ( I stress the “entire life” part for extra dramatics). Once they have one cavity, I show them the bill so they have an idea what the cost of laziness is. I remind them they have one cavity credit left and to use it wisely. So far this has worked and none of my kids (currently aged 8-24) have reached or exceeded my limits. I am not sure if I really would make them pay, but so far it’s working. So let’s keep that our little secret!
Brush With Them
I find brushing my teeth at the sink with my kids gets them to do a better job at brushing theirs. My youngest son often does a 3 second brush and exclaims “done”. Seeing me brush and following my lead and getting the back teeth and brushing for a few minutes keeps him brushing longer and better. Teenagers don’t like the idea of making brushing a family event so if they want to avoid me at the sink they will get it done before me.
Replace Toothbrushes Regularly
Something about a new toothbrush gets kids of all ages to want to brush and brush longer. Younger kids get eager to brush if their favorite cartoon character is on their toothbrush, especially if it’s a powered toothbrush. Anytime I get a new toothbrush I find myself doing a better job of brushing and my teeth always feel cleaner which makes me want to brush more.
Purchase Mouth Rinse and Floss Sticks
I picked up a pack of kids colored floss sticks in shapes of animals at Dollar Tree for my youngest and was shocked to see my two teenagers using them. They even brushed their teeth after they flossed…in the middle of the day!! It was like a Tooth Fairy Miracle! I also find leaving a new bottle or a new flavor of an anti cavity rinse out on the counter always intrigues my kids to try it and leads to an impromptu brushing!
Watch Them Do It
My kids hate when I stand over their shoulder and make sure they actually are brushing, but sometimes it’s necessary to ensure they are. Usually annoying them every once and awhile will get them to stay on track.
Take Away Their Lifelines
When all else fails, give consequences when needed. A dry toothbrush can result to no electronics for the day. Now a days kids can’t live without their electronics so if you take away their iPad, cell phone or tablet for not brushing their teeth in the morning before school, I can almost guarantee you that they will remember to brush the following day. But be warned, once you give them their phones back they will most certainly be texting about how awful you are but at least they will be doing it with clean teeth!
I have to admit I nag my kids all the time to brush their teeth, but recently my daughter was going out to grab a bite to eat with a boy and I asked her if she brushed her teeth. She replied “no”, I started to tell her to go brush and then caught myself. The only time it’s ok to not brush is when it ensures there is no kissing going on!
Do you have any tips or tricks? Leave a comment and let us know