How to get your kids to brush their teeth
Expert tips to help get the job done
Content Editor / April 09 2019
We all know we should be brushing our teeth twice a day, however a new report from Life Education has revealed that only half of Aussie kids are doing it.
Researchers also found that a whopping 71 per cent of parents admitted that they struggled to get their children to brush their teeth properly.
Many parents also reported that children employ tricks to make it seem as though they have brushed their teeth when in fact they haven’t – including eating toothpaste, turning on taps and running their toothbrush under water.
“When it comes to setting up good oral health habits for their kids, parents need support,” says Life Education’s Kellie Sloane.
“Although more than 90 per cent of parents say they talk to their children about the importance of oral hygiene, we all know kids don’t always listen.”
Interestingly, three out of five parents reported that they felt their children would be more likely to listen to a dentist or other healthcare provider when it came to oral health.
“Prevention is always better than cure. We only get one set of adult teeth and it’s very important to take care of them. Engaging children with their oral health from a young age means they will be more likely to develop healthy lifelong habits,” Kellie adds.
Lack of attention to oral health means children are at risk of a lifetime of painful tooth decay, according to Dr Rick Iskander, Philips Sonicare Ambassador and Principal Dentist at Tailored Teeth. Here are his top tips to get children more engaged in their brushing routine:
1. Be present and be positive
As a parent, it’s so important to be a positive role model for your kids, especially when it comes to their oral health. Be there and be positive about brushing your own teeth – if your kids can see you enjoying it, they will too! Not only does this set a good example but it will create fun and engaging family time that the kids can look forward to. It will also mean they can’t use cheeky tactics to avoid brushing their teeth!
2. Start young
Prevention is always better than cure. We only get one set of adult teeth and it’s very important to take care of them. Engaging children with their oral health from a young age means they will be more likely to develop healthy lifelong habits.
3. Invest in the best dental technology
Dental technology has come a long way and there are some amazing products which will ensure your children’s oral health is in safe hands. I recommend the Philips Sonicare For Kids electric toothbrush to my patients because it combines best-in-class cleaning technology with a fun and highly interactive app to teach kids about oral healthcare through play.
4. Visit your dentist
Make the most of your regular check-ups and ask your dental team to chat to your kids about the importance of looking after their oral health. Although more than 90 per cent of parents say they talk to their kids about the importance of oral hygiene, we all know kids don’t always listen. In fact, three out of five parents surveyed (63 per cent) said their kids are more likely to listen to the advice of dentists or health educators.
5. Let them choose the tools
Whether it’s the flavour of the toothpaste or the colour of the toothbrush, let your kids make the decisions when it comes to their oral health. Picking out their own tools will keep them engaged and make it a more enjoyable experience.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.