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Children are often told that what they inculcate as habits now, will help improve the quality of their life later. However, lack of wisdom often makes them ignore this advice. Many kids have cavities and other dental issues because of inadequate brushing. These problems often magnify when they grow older. Inspiring your child to brush his/her teeth regularly may not be easy, but there are a few things you can do to make sure the child has good teeth.
Set an example
Children learn from their parents. Make it a point to seriously brush your teeth in front of your child twice every day. Not only will this rub into your child, it will also ensure good oral hygiene for you!
Buy him an electric toothbrush
Children love gadgets, especially in today's times. Buy him/her an electronic toothbrush that will make brushing more effective and fun. Most of these toothbrushes even have a timer which tells you when to stop. They maybe a lot more expensive than a normal toothbrush, but compared to dental treatments they are quite cheap. (Read: Time to look beyond your good ol' toothbrush)
Use a toothpaste the child enjoys
Some toothpastes have a sharp taste which children do not enjoy. Thankfully, toothpaste manufacturers realise this and there are many toothpastes available in the market with different flavours. If required buy your child 3-4 flavors, and make him/her brush with one flavour every day. It will keep things interesting and make the routine a non-monotonous affair.
Set a time-limit
Ideally, your child should be brushing his/her teeth for 2 minutes. Buy an hourglass for the same instead of an electric stopwatch. The hourglass' only purpose would be to time their brushing, and thus give it a sense of exclusivity. Also, using a historical device instead of a modern gadget will delight your child.
Make a reward system
If your child is slightly rebellious and fights on the topic of oral hygiene, do not go easy on him/her. Stop access to the things he/she enjoys like watching TV, playing games, etc. and tell him/her that brushing teeth for two minutes is a small price to pay for these luxuries.
Visit a dentist every six months
Even if your child's oral health is good and there are no problems, make sure you make him go to a dentist every six months. This will inculcate certain seriousness about the issue in your child. Being in a clinic with so many equipments and a person whose job is to fix people's teeth will stick as a image in your child's mind. Regular visits will make sure that this image doesn't go. Also, if the dentist says that your child's oral health is good he/she will feel extremely pleased about all the hard work done.
Tell him/her a story
If you are a good storyteller, tell your child a story about how cavities are like monsters that are out to destroy your teeth. And brushing is like a rifle that is used to knock them down. This will make brushing an enjoyable activity like playing. However, beware your child doesn't brush his/her teeth every hour as that can do more harm than good. The monsters need to be killed just twice every day, for two minutes.
Buy him books related to oral hygiene
There are several books like Melvin the magnificient molar and I know why I brush my teeth which are illustrated with interesting characters and stories that inspire your child to brush his/her teeth. What more? It will also inculcate the extremely desirable quality of reading. (Read: Are you brushing your teeth right?)
Hopefully, these tips will ensure your child ends up with a great smile as an adult.
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