Help with kids & teeth

How Do I get my kids to brush their teeth?

How do I get my kids to brush their teeth? They never do a good job!

Have you brushed your teeth tonight? Sure have mum!

Are you sure? Yep!

And so starts the nightly battle, yes I did, no you didn’t, yes I did…

By the end of this article, I can guarantee that your little ones will be brushing their teeth much better

First, a few problems

Kids don’t have the dexterity to brush their teeth properly until they are about 10.

Since plaque (the sticky bacteria and film that forms 24 hours a day) is hard to see, children just don’t realiase when there teeth are clean, or dirty. And, they have great difficulty in actually seeing the difference between brushing their teeth brilliantly, and badly!

My method breaks down into a few parts

  1. Disclosing tablets
  2. Bribery/punishment (emphasis on the bribery though!)

Disclosing tablets

Disclosing tablets are a red food dye, in a tablet form that you can buy from a chemist, or some dentists. Take one tablet, chew it up a bit, then spit and rinse out.

Have a look in the mirror. Most of your teeth have been stained bright PINK and BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the plaque that was on your teeth, but was difficult to see.

So, lets send little johnny to the bathroom, to brush his teeth, after he is finished, get him to use a disclosing tablet. Have a look in the mirror, and he can now SEE what he is missing. Then, he can go over and brush his teeth again, properly!

By using the disclosing tablets, he is able to see when he is doing a good/bad job. And, it is easy to check. No arguments, tantrums, fights. Just get him to chew on a disclosing tablet, and then come and smile at you!

Bribery/punishment

Bribery

The old carrot and stick approach. Its amazing how almost everyone tells their kids to ‘brush their teeth AND go to bed’, when their bedtime is, say 8pm

What do children always want to do? Stay up late!

And never do? Go to bed

And what do we tell them to do at 8? Brush your teeth and go to bed.

So, we are linking a thing we want them to do (brushing) with something they NEVER want to (bedtime!)

So, try this instead.

At 7.30, just ask Johnny.

“Would you like to brush your teeth, and stay up a bit later, or just go straight to bed?”

Think about it..

“Would you like to brush your teeth, and stay up a bit later, or just go straight to bed?”

And again..

“Would you like to brush your teeth, and stay up a bit later, or just go straight to bed?”

If he doesn’t brush his teeth, OK, just put him STRAIGHT TO BED.

Otherwise, he goes and brushes, and get to stay up late!

A few more times between 730 and 8 mention how he got to stay up late as he brushed his teeth so well!

Did anyone realise that his bedtime was the same!

Half an hour before bed, just ask the question..

“Would you like to brush your teeth, and stay up a bit later, or just go straight to bed?”

Punishment

Well, if things aren’t going well, lets try the punishment.

How much pocket money does he get a week? Say $5

If things aren’t working, then tie his brushing and his disclosing tablets to his pocket money.

No brushing, he misses out on his pocket money.

Not to worry, he can get it back when he does it better!. So, if he is cranky and not behaving for two weeks, then after he is better, he gets $15 then next week, then $5 after that. Try it