A tricky transition for kids is when they go from having you handle their oral care to handling their oral care themselves. What can be more difficult is when you have kids who just don’t want to brush or floss their teeth. This can happen at any age. Some kids might excitedly brush and floss their teeth for a few months or a few years, and then pick up the bad habit of skipping it in their teens. How you work with your kids can be dependent on their age, their personalities, etc. Here are a few tips on encouraging your kids to brush and floss their teeth. 

kid brushing their teeth with their parent

Lead By Example

Let’s get this out of the way first. One of the most common excuses or reasonings kids will give for why they don’t follow healthy habits is going to be to address your behavior. At almost any age, kids will be quick to notice if their parents are asking them to do something that they don’t do themselves. And while it can be very tempting to play the “I’m an adult” or “I’m your parent” card, it is more beneficial for them, and for your own health to set a good example. Brush your teeth daily, floss daily, and make dental appointments for yourself. Doing these things can prevent your kids from ever having the argument that they shouldn’t have to do something you aren’t doing. Plus, it will also save your teeth and gums from risks of decay, root canals, extraction, etc. We highly recommend going to the same family dentist or at the very least marking your own dental appointments on a family calendar, so that your kids can see how you are addressing your own oral health. 

Personalize Brushing & Flossing

One of the best ways to encourage a kid of any age to take care of their teeth and gums is to make that habit something personal to them. Many kids struggle with being told what to do, and doing things that they have no interest in. However, there are ways to add interest. At younger ages, kids can be given options on which toothbrush they want, what toothpaste they want, and even something as small as when to brush their teeth during the day. Giving kids some control over the process can make it feel more special to them. By asking questions like “when do you want to brush your teeth” instead of telling them “go brush your teeth” you shift the conversation away from telling them what to do to encouraging them to take control of the process themselves. 

Family Dental Services In Chicago

Another great way to encourage your kids to take care of their teeth is to schedule routine dental exams as a family. If you live in the Chicago area and need to set up your dental appointments for your children, give us a call to schedule at one of our five offices in the Chicago area.