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If you are a parent, there is a very good chance that at one time or another, you have had to argue, cajole wheedle or otherwise convince your child that they had to brush their teeth. Or maybe you are one of the few parents out there who has kids who are happy to to trot off to the sink every morning and night to clean their pearly whites. But. if you aren’t one of those lucky parents, you may need a little help in getting your child to brush.

One of the things you can do to spark your child’s interest is to get them involved in the process. No, that doesn’t mean having them make their own appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Michael Lemme and driving themselves to the dentist’s office. But what you can do is let them pick out their own cleaning tools. For example, you might let them choose a toothbrush that is in their favorite color, or is shaped like their favorite superhero or cartoon character. Just make sure that it the toothbrush has soft bristles, and that the head of the toothbrush is the right size for your child’s mouth. Most adult toothpastes come in one or two flavors, but kids (or even adults) can choose from toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum or cotton candy. You need to check the toothpaste to make sure that has the right amount of fluoride for your child. If you have any questions about what toothpaste you should buy, talk to the dentist. If your child feels like he or she has had some input into the choice of toothbrush and toothpaste, they might be more interested in brushing, and brushing with their favorite TV character can make the whole process a little more fun! As long as you are buying toothbrushes, why not get just one more, and let your child practice his or her technique by “brushing” the teeth of a stuffed animal doll or action figure?

When it is time for brushing teeth, you might try singing a special toothbrushing song. Since it is important to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, you can find ways to make a game out of seeing if your child can brush all of his or her teeth in time. And of course, you can always make brushing a family event, when everyone brushes their teeth at the same time each night. Obviously, you can’t all stand at the sink at once, but you can brush in pairs, or at least make a certain time each night “family brushing time.”

Perhaps the best thing you can do to help your child become enthusiastic about brushing is to set a good example by taking the proper care of your own teeth. If your child sees you brushing and flossing correctly, and sees that you take going to the dentist seriously, they will follow your example.

If you need to make a dental appointment in Oak Harbor, Washington, for yourself or your child, we would be delighted to see you at Michael Lemme DDS. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 360-675-3334 today to plan your visit.