Tips for motivating healthy brushing habits in children

DentistAs a dentist in Austin, we are constantly speaking with parents about their children's at-home oral hygiene habits, or lack thereof.  It can be particularly challenging for parents to get their children to brush their teeth.  Even children that brush their teeth when reminded to, will often forget to brush properly or not brush for the full two minutes. Thus parents can become frustrated with their children when they need intensive dental care.  In our dental office, we are constantly looking for ways to make this a little easier and are turning to media for a solution.

Children of all ages love using a smartphone or tablet and are usually good at it by the time they reach the first grade.  Whether you have a teenager that is constantly taking selfies or a tween that loves YouTube videos, children of all ages are fascinated by their electronic devices. With that in mind, using this form of communication to educate children is a great idea. Children are less likely to balk or complain than other methods.  As a dentist, we think this is an excellent place to start and recommend that you play a video for your children on how to brush correctly.  Since most children leave a lot of plaque on their teeth, this simple tutorial can help them learn how to prevent cavities.

Once your child is brushing the right way, we suggest that you focus on getting them to brush for the full amount of time.  If they aren't yet a teenager, head to the American Dental Association website.  They have a section devoted to cartoons and other videos.  Each one is two minutes long, the exact amount of time they need to spend brushing their teeth.  All you need to do is grab your smartphone or tablet and play it for them while they brush.  Once the video is over, they can stop.  This is far better than using a timer since that's boring.  Children want to have fun and stay energized.  As a dentist in Austin, we always suggest trying new things that can cause them to create a positive association with oral health rather than viewing it as something to dread.

If your children are teens and too old for the videos, try a reward system instead.  Since teens love their phone and playing video games, tell them that they have to brush their teeth before they can play.  This is a simple reward system that costs you nothing but will help to improve their health.  If they learn to do the important and healthy things before playing, they will also be learning a positive life lesson.  As a dentist in Austin, we know that if your teens can learn to establish good oral hygiene habits before college, they will probably keep them throughout adulthood and decrease their risk for cavities and gum disease with age.

Recent Posts

Visit The Best Kids Dentist For Preventing Sports Injuries

When your child plays sports, you need the best kids dentist in town to protect his or her teeth. Sports injuries are common, no matter the age. Whether your child is eight-years-old and playing at his or her first basketball game or fifteen-years-old and on the soccer field, your child's teeth are at risk for…

A Kids Dentist Can Be Your Partner In Oral Health

Being a kids dentist can be greatly rewarding. It also comes with its own unique set of challenges, mostly springing from the fact that a children's dentist works with young, wiggly patients. Though often more compliant than their adult counterparts, children have an intrinsic fear of the things they do not understand, making it even…

Visit Our Kids Dentist Office And Learn How To Keep Their Teeth Healthy

As a kid's dentist, the largest single challenge that we face does not come in the form of rare disease or children's special developmental needs. The largest problem that most kid's dentists face is the idea, which too many parents have, that children do not need to visit the dentist on a regular basis. The…

Dr. Gordon Is The Best Dentist For Preventing Tooth Decay In Children

Dr. Gordon is the best dentist in the Austin area for treating families.  He, along with our expert staff, makes it possible for everyone in the family to have their teeth and gums cared for from one convenient location and with everyone’s busy schedules, this can be a lifesaver.  It is important for people of…


Recent Posts

FAQs About General Dentistry Checkups

5 FAQs About General Dentistry Checkups

General dentistry focuses on managing oral health. Routine checkups with a general dentist can help patients avoid things like cavities or infections. Oftentimes, people think that they can get away with skipping these appointments when in actuality, they are very important.When considering whether or not to have a general dentistry checkup, the answer is always…

Reshaping Teeth Through Cosmetic Dentistry

Reshaping Teeth Through Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is focused on improving the form and function of teeth. One of the main aspects of this field of dentistry includes reshaping teeth that are uneven. There are a few cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be done to reshape certain teeth so that they appear more even and aligned with their surrounding teeth.…