Learning to brush teeth doesn’t have to be drudgery for kids

Learning to brush teeth doesn't have to be drudgery for kids

Children don’t understand that trips to the dentist office and steady tooth brushing habits will lead to good dental hygiene later in their lives. What they do understand are rewards. Having tooth brushing sessions checked off twice daily on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly chart will boost the child’s confidence with the added bonus of a small reward at the end.

It can be as simple as an hour more of TV or video games or a small outing. But in the long run, setting a small system to get kids into a regular regimen of dental care will pay off in the biggest reward of all – sound, healthy teeth.

Beside rewards, parents should nudge their children into a daily dental routine into less of a chore and a time when they are doing something that’s necessary, but enjoyable.

Music and colors
Dentists recommend that people brush their teeth for a minimum of two minutes to get the biggest dental benefit. But for children, two minutes can be an eternity, particularly if they are doing something they dread. Finding a way for youngsters to make teeth brushing a habit that will carry into adulthood isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be drudgery for either the child or the parent.

Bring the iPod into the bathroom for the duration of the morning and nightly brushing. Those two minutes will go by in a flash when a youngster is listening to their favorite entertainers. Whether it’s Elmo on a Sesame Street CD for the younger set or Justin Bieber for the family tweens, listening to music will help turn the requirement to brush teeth into one that goes by quickly and painlessly. Change the music selection each day so the child doesn’t get bored.

There are toothbrushes with flashing lights, neon colors and in characters that range from popular action heroes to Hello Kitty. In short, there’s something for everyone. Make sure the bristles are soft as recommended by family dentists to prevent erosion of tooth enamel.

When it comes to toothpaste, there’s as much variety. Children can have grape, bubble gum or berry flavors without compromising on dental effectiveness as long as fluoride is one of the ingredients. Countless studies have shown it eliminates bacteria that can develop around gums as well as plaque build-up on teeth.

A steady routine
Just as children are taught to do their part in household tasks at a young age – feeding the pets, taking out the trash and picking up their toys – they can become accustomed to integrating the tooth brushing routine into their daily home activities.

Very young children will need an adult to monitor their regimen so it doesn’t slide into a cursory swab across the inside of the mouth and little else. Teach them to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush in a circular  movement that offers the best coverage.

Break the routine into steps, according to WebMD. First brush the outside of the teeth, then work the brush along the inside. Follow that with a quick brush on the tongue – where much bacteria resides – then the top surfaces where chewing takes place and between teeth. Count the steps as they go and children will know when they are half-way and nearly done. For older kids, the regimen will become ingrained.

Until children are old enough to go through their bathroom routines on their own, it doesn’t hurt to set up a time when an adult can brush with them in the morning before school or at night before bedtime. By ages seven to nine, children develop the dexterity they need to floss each day. Finishing off with a swish of mouthwash will create a routine that seems like second nature.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Always awesome quality care by great people at Maple Shade in East Peoria
Sarah B.
First class.
Patrick O.
I have been going to Maple Shade for years and have always had a positive experience. From having a broken tooth fixed on an emergency weekend visit, […]
Samantha S.
Pleasant hygienist and dentist. Thorough cleaning. Appointment took the expected amount of time.
Kayla A.
Everyone was very professional, helpful, informative and personable. I will with out a doubt be referring people to you.
Zackery C.
Excellent service. I get very anxious at the dentist and The Foehr Group made me feel so relaxed and comfortable that I actually enjoyed my visit to […]
Michelle W.
Prompt care with very little wait, thorough cleaning and exam with very qualified hygienist and dentist.
Cheryl H.
I love Jenn and Dr. Wright. They make coming to the dentist a fun, positive experience. I changed insurances, and I am no longer in-network, but I […]
Susan F.
My appointment was on time. Staff are always friendly and professional.
Susan C.
My son and I both greatly enjoy the staff at our dentist office. I wish I felt the same way about my doc office : )) I hope eveyone in that office […]
Tracy B.
Very professional and friendly service!
Ann M.
Amazing service! Didn't make me feel embarrassed or guilty about any of my dental history.
Kelsey M.
I am always impressed with the genuine welcome I receive when I arrive. The staff are always smiling and friendly. I never have a long wait and the […]
Tera M.
I was pleased with my last visit,. i have had a recent time when in was biting myself. this seems to have correcterd itself.
Warren L.
Dr Ruffin was compassionate and gentle dealing with my dental work and my TMJ THANKS!
Joyce G.
As always visit was quick and thorough, great work!
Daniel T.
Prompt and on time service in a nice environment.
Jason B.
Dr. Weiss and Amy took the first step in providing me with a new crown. They were both very efficient and pleasant. The temporary crown fits like a […]
Ray S.
Great place.
Anonymous
on time, friendly staffs, nice environment
Tsunghow L.
Great service. Always friendly,professional and timely.
Deandrea B.
I was very pleased with my visit. Everyone was very kind and caring! What a great job they did making me very comfortable The Foehr Group is AWESOME!
Debbie J.
ON time, friendly, skilled!
Tore P.
I feel very confident with all the services at Maple Shade! It is a warm and professional environment!
Elizabe K.
Jen was wonderful as always!
Jene F.
Always very friendly and knowledgable. Been coming here since I was a kid and I'll keep coming. The dentists and hygenists are always smiling!
Peter V.
Excellent service as always!
Sean K.
Great people, great experience.
Scott M.
Excellent care, great staff.
Melody K.
Always a pleasant experience.....a wonderful staff.
Steven F.
Great service from awesome people.
Jeff J.
Everyone was very professional, helpful, informative and personable. I will without a doubt be referring you to anyone I know.
Zackery C.
I love Maple Shade!Love my dentist and my lovely hygentist!
Laura B.
Friendly, prompt & professional service!
Jennifer A.
All the staff is very friendly and helpful. Dr. Duncan did a great job. Thanks again.
Zackery C.
Great service... Keep up the good work!!!
Michael B.
Got right in and was able to get my tooth patched quickly, with no pain. Great work! Thanks!!!
Alex S.
Had to reschedule my appointment at the last minute. They were able to squeeze me in. Always get great service with a smile!
Emma B.
Friendly people and a great environment.
Brian P.
I have always been extremely happy with my visits. Everyone is very friendly and professional and a joy to be with. My hygienist is wonderful. It's […]
Bradley L.
Friendly staff, good feedback, prompt service.
Michael M.
On time, friendly, gentle, and efficient.
Michael P.
They have been my dentist for over 20 years, doesn't matter which staff member you get you always get great service and treated well. I like all of […]
Terri I.
They are the best, Doctor Duncan and his staff.
Sandra T.
It's always a better than great experience when I go to Maple Shades in East Peoria. Jenn is the greatest dental hygienist in this galaxy and solar […]
Kevin T.
Great service. Wonderful.
Andrew L.
I had a great experience, my teeth look and feel great!
Jeremy S.
Always enjoy the friendly people & it didn't hurt.
Michael S.
Always a pleasurable experience. They were very professional and informative of services for myself and my daughter. They make the dentist visits fun […]
Holley G.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
    Get in touch:
    • Phone: (855) 979-3356