On Youth’s Tooth: 3 Things to Do When Kids Refuse to Brush Their Teeth

Kid brushing his teeth

Proper oral hygiene should be easy, but hesitant kids often make it difficult. When it’s time to brush before bed, it’s a guarantee that there will be a lot of running around the house and sooner or later, someone would break into tears. That’s either you or your child.

What do you do when kids refuse the very thing that could save them from aching cavities and painful treatments? Here are some suggestions:

Ask your child

Sometimes, kids refuse to brush teeth not because they’re lazy or stubborn, but because they get an “ouchie” when doing it. If this is the case, take them to a pediatric dentist. Herriman health specialists say that sensitive teeth may happen due to cavities, cracked tooth, or development of a new tooth. The dentist should be able to suggest a treatment plan for tooth decays and dental emergencies. In the case of erupting tooth, over-the-counter medications may be recommended by the doctor.

Do it as a family

When kids see that everyone does it, they’re more likely to join in. Make toothbrushing a family habit. Encourage everybody in the house to dedicate “brushing time,” taking a pause at what they’re doing and engaging in the activity. Take this opportunity to educate your kids about proper toothbrushing techniques. Remember the 45-degree angle when positioning the brush, making up-and-down, circular motions. It should at least last for at least two minutes.

Make it fun

Put a little more creativity to your family habit by playing some song (that runs for two minutes) and dancing to its tune. You can also play a game wherein every time they brush their teeth, they gain extra playtime. Let them throw in their version of fun, as well.

For instance, when shopping for a toothbrush, give them the chance to choose among cartoon-character-themed toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste that have different colors. This way, they will have a greater sense of ownership when brushing their teeth.

Is it always a struggle to get kids to brush their teeth? Try these tested strategies to help kids stay on track of good dental hygiene.