Getting your kids on track with their oral care can be a challenge. If your kids are resistant at all about brushing or flossing their teeth, the daily battle can become exhausting. At the end of a long day or in the middle of a busy morning you do not want to be struggling with your kids over brushing their teeth. As kids get older you naturally give them more autonomy when it comes to caring for their personal hygiene. Unfortunately, many parents have learned at a routine dental appointment that their teenager was not caring for their teeth as well as necessary. No matter what has caused your kids to be off track with their oral care, there are steps you can take to get them back on track.
Make the process fun for a resistant kid
It is not uncommon for kids to be resistant when it comes to oral care tasks like brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Daily oral care requires time and lots of kids simply do not want to slow down enough to do what they need to for proper oral care. Some kids may not like the way it feels to brush their teeth or struggle with the process because their motor skills are still developing. No matter what is causing the resistance, try adding some fun to the process of oral care to make things go more smoothly. A common recommendation for keeping up with how long you brush your teeth is to play a song of the correct length. Doing this can add some fun to the process for your child. Let your kid pick his or her favorite song and turn it up when it is time to brush. Simply listening to a beloved song can make a big difference in your child’s willingness to go through the oral care process. Other options include getting a special toothbrush that has a timer included or using a tiny hour glass to time brushing. You can also add an incentive. For example, add and extra three minutes to the amount of time you read before bed as a reward for going through the oral care process without complaint. Adding in some fun to daily oral care may help reduce or eliminate the resistance your child feels to the process.
Normalize the process of going to routine dental appointments
If you have a child or teenager who fights against going to routine dental appointments the worst thing you can do is cancel an appointment. Sometimes it takes repetition for a child to grow accustomed to the process of getting proper oral care. The longer you go between visits the more difficult it will be to help your child warm back up to the idea of going to the dentist. A high-quality dentist will know how to approach a reluctant child. When you go to your child’s next appointment, start an open conversation with your child and the dentist about the hesitation. You may find that the issue is simple to fix. In other situations, the only way to eliminate the resistance a child has to going to the dentist is to normalize the process with consistent visits to the dentist. Over time your child will develop a history of positive interactions at the dentist – as long as you provide the opportunity for those experiences to happen.
It is possible to get your kids back on track with their oral care if you are committed to the process. Sometimes a little fun and a few positive interactions with the dentist are all it takes to get a resistant kid back on track.