Christmas is on the way bringing with it all those sweet treats. We all over indulge and with all that extra sugar it is more important than ever to focus on the health of our children’s teeth.
However, getting children to clean their teeth is easier said than done. As any parent knows, we are bombarded with advice as to what we should do when it comes to our children’s dental hygiene, but the tooth fairy is nowhere to be seen when you need her to tell you exactly how to achieve it!
Trying to reason with a young child that they must clean their teeth to prevent plaque and acid erosion clearly isn’t going to get you anywhere so if you hope to stand a chance of winning the teeth-cleaning battle, you need to find a kid-friendly method. Thankfully, father of four and MD of eco-friendly toothbrushes, Monte Bianco, offers his top 10 expert tips and tricks.
- Always clean your teeth at the same time as your child. Children love to imitate grownups so if you’re cleaning your teeth the likelihood is they will want to copy.
- Use a toothpaste especially designed for kids as they taste naturally sweet and will make teeth cleaning a more pleasant experience. Young children will often swallow toothpaste so choose a fluoride-free option.
- Use a brightly coloured toothbrush. Kids are attracted more to vibrant colours and will relish the prospect of cleaning their teeth if their toothbrush is bold and bright.
- Negotiation can be a powerful tool when bringing up children. Say that if they clean their teeth well for three minutes morning and night, they will be rewarded with something they enjoy such as a trip to the park or their favourite story.
- Introduce teeth cleaning into the morning and bedtime routine. E.g. if you always do bath, pyjamas, teeth and story in that order, then your child will soon come to realise that teeth cleaning is all part of their normal routine.
- If your child wants to brush your teeth, let them. This will give you an ideal opportunity to brush their teeth – brushing each other’s teeth can be great fun which associates laughter and fun with teeth cleaning.
- Let them know they’re being kind to the planet. Monte Bianco toothbrushes come with detachable heads which means that less plastic ends up in landfill. Children will love to learn how their actions are helping to save the earth.
- Use two brushes: while very young children may be keen to hold their own toothbrush, the brushing which results can be ineffectual. Give them a toothbrush to hold to distract them from you cleaning their teeth with the other brush.
- If all else fails, give your child’s teeth a gentle brush when they are asleep. Young children sleep so deeply that this shouldn’t wake them but will allow you to get rid of any unsightly build up on the teeth.
- If you’re still not having any luck, don’t push it for a day or two as this will only serve to associate frustration and upset with teeth cleaning. Instead, get everyone else in the family to clean their teeth while your child looks on, ensuring that you laugh and smile at the same time. Children hate to think they’re missing out so will soon want to be in on all the fun!
Posted by Lucy Cook