Brushing and flossing are crucial for good oral health, but they are not that exciting. Some children are very resistant to stopping their play or television time to brush and floss. Are you tired of the tantrums, tears and defiance about tooth care? Here are some ways to put an end to the fight.
My Child Refuses To Brush And Floss!
If seeing you take care of your teeth and hearing warnings from the dentist is not enough to convince your child to brush and floss, find someone whom your child thinks is really cool to share the message. Search the library for storybooks on dental care that feature your child's favorite characters, such as Berenstain Bears, Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer. Encouragement from an older sibling, cousin, babysitter or teacher whom they admire might also make an impact.
Sometimes it is necessary to call in the big boss — the Tooth Fairy herself. There are two ways to get the message across using this tactic:
1. The next time your child has a tooth fall out, skip the payment. Instead, leave a note from the Tooth Fairy stating, "I regret to inform you that your teeth were not in the condition that I require; therefore, no payment can be made at this time. I suggest that you brush and floss daily for better results at my next visit." If this seems too harsh, you can leave half of the customary amount of money along with a warning note this time.
2. Stick a note on the bathroom mirror from the Tooth Fairy informing your child that she has been doing routine inspections of teeth in the night while children are sleeping in order to monitor the teeth that she will collect. Explain that your child's teeth did not pass inspection and that, if the child wants her to collect them when they fall out, the child needs to start taking better care of them immediately.
The key is to figure out what motivates your child and then to use it to make brushing and flossing less of an ordeal for everyone and more fun. You'll all feel better — and your child's teeth will be healthier, too!