We all struggle to get our young children to clean their teeth, it's just not fun right?
But, the constant struggle and fight of getting them to clean their teeth can have an impact of our mental health (surely it's not just me that's been left in tears by the dreaded teeth clean?) as well as making your child fearful of cleaning their teeth and in turn, fearful of their dentist.
Dental phobias are real and they start young so we need to tread very carefully when it comes to getting our children to follow a healthy dental routine.
Here are my top tips on how to get your children to clean their teeth, calmly, without stuggle and without scarring you all in the process!
1. Clean your teeth with your child. This is the main top tip. Show them how you clean your teeth, what you do and that you do it regularly. You'll find that they will watch you intently, really trying to mimic what you're doing. It won't be perfect, but it's start.
2. Make sure they brush their teeth, in some way, at least twice a day.
3. Use a timer, set it at two minutes and make sure they brush for that time. It gives them a goal and kids love goals right?
4. Perhaps play a catchy tune and make it fun while you're doing it too, children are so much more receptive when things are fun! aren't we all really?
5. If they ask to brush their teeth in the middle of the day, just let them, every little helps.
6. Educate them on why they need to clean their teeth. Oral health is so important, with 12% of 3 years affected by tooth decay and requiring hospital admissions it's so so important to allow our little ones to know that tooth decay is avoidable by gentle, routine teeth cleaning.
7. You should be going to the dentist at least once a year for check ups and your little ones should be going every 6 months (it's free in the UK for under 16s). If they are very young and don't have teeth yet, take them with you to your dental appointments. They will then get a feel for the place and see that you are relaxed, if you're relaxed, they'll be relaxed.
8. DO NOT talk about horrible painful dental procedures with your children. This will make them think the dentist is a bad place.
9. Children bite and abuse their toothbrushes quite a bit so don't be alarmed if you need to replace their toothbrushes more often than your adult one. Dentists recommend replacing toothbrushes at least every 3 months dependent on use.
10. Teach your children about good oral health and sustainability by purchasing one of our children't toothbrushes. Not only will our bamboo infused bristles lift plaque, the number one cause of tooth decay, they'll also do so whilst being kind to the earth and lowering your carbon footprint. Now that is something to shout about :)
Above all, keep calm, it's easier said than done and every time won't be perfect but by keeping calm and allowing your child to follow your lead, teeth cleaning time will be so much breezier than chasing them about the house to clean their teeth.
Schools runs will be so much easier too!