Health

Do you floss though? 7 ways to make tooth brushing less of a battle

Up and down the land in primary schools all over the UK all the cool kids are flossing. It’s a craze that’s sweeping the nation. It’s absolutely NOTHING to do with looking after their teeth though. We’re talking about the floss dance craze, of course. We can’t promise to make tooth brushing just as appealing but we have put together some tips to make it less of a battle.

1. Get into the groove while you brush

Children are supposed to brush their teeth for two minutes to clean them thoroughly. A good way to make sure they brush for longer is to pick a song that lasts about two minutes to play each morning and evening at brush time. Pick a song with a good rhythm. We love songs such as This Gotta be Clean song by Guster or this version of The Muppets Mnah Mnah.

2. There’s an app for that

You can download some great apps that encourage brushing for longer. Brusheez is a fun one. It not only has a timer but shows your child which teeth to brush and your child gets to play and change the Brusheez character’s clothes after brushing. One parent said in a review of this app:

‘My child hated to brush – it was like a wrestling match – until we started using this app. Now he asks to brush’

3. Brush in the tub

If daily tooth brushing becomes a bit of a battle then sometimes a small change can make a big difference. This can be as simple as switching where they brush. In the evening get your child to brush while they are relaxing in the bath. You can buy bath mirrors so they can see their pearly whites as they clean them. In the morning get your child to brush in the lounge (or kitchen or garden on a sunny day). Moving away from the battle site can work wonders.

4. Different strokes for different folks

There are so many different toothbrushes that you can buy, many of which will appeal to children and help make tooth brushing more fun. Take your child with you on a shopping trip to pick out a brush and paste they like. Maybe they will pick a vibrating Paw Patrol brush or a bright yellow brush that flashes for two minutes. If you make picking a brush a treat then hopefully the excitement will last until brush time too.

5. Pick a different paste

Some kids hate really strong minty toothpastes. But there are so many different pastes that you can buy. Again take your child with you to pick one out. You might find that a mild minty paste with their favourite character on the packaging is enough to get them to brush with more enthusiasm or pick out a paste with a more appealing flavour – such as strawberry or cupcake. Just make sure you check the fluoride content first.

6. Stick it to ‘em

All young children love stickers. We have to thank primary school teachers across the land for making gaining a sticker such a reward. Use this to your advantage and start a tooth brushing reward chart where your child gets a special sticker for every great tooth brushing time. There are loads of printable tooth brushing reward charts that you can download. We love this one from Somewhat Simple.

7. Get the tooth fairy on your side

It’s wearing for everyone if you have to continually nag about tooth brushing. An easy way to pass the ‘nagging’ buck is to get the tooth fairy on your side. A letter praising your child for their good brushing and adding in little tips to make future teeth sparklier can work wonders.