Why Praise Your Child for Brushing Their Teeth?

June 23, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — kidsmilesdental @ 9:31 am
A child brushing teeth

Many parents find it easy to break down and simply brush their child’s teeth for them. After all, who wants to put up with whining, tantrums, and other things kids try to get out of doing it? However, teaching them to brush on their own may yet be possible. Some dentists have suggested compliments for solo toothbrushing can encourage the habit. Read on to learn why praising children for brushing teeth works and tips on how to do it.

Supported by Research

The relevant research comes from a study published in Child Development by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and the Santa Fe Institute. Said study concluded that young children brush their teeth longer and more independently when praised by their parents.

To arrive at these findings, the researchers followed eighty-one three-year-olds learning to clean their mouths. Data collected over 16 days suggested that most of these little ones brushed longer on days when their parents used more praise than instruction. This result was measured through surveys and video submissions from the kids’ parents.

How to Encourage Childhood Toothbrushing

If you want your child to brush effectively, you’ll need to hand the toothbrush over to them. Doing so will foster independence and improve their brushing skills, leading them to adopt better oral hygiene habits as they age. Of course, you can (and should) help them in cleaning hard-to-reach areas. Just make sure they’re still holding the toothbrush!

From there, offer the proper praise as your young one starts cleaning. When doing so, remember the following:

  • Focus on their efforts, not the results – While the end goal is for your child to have clean teeth, they can’t do so without a little effort. Encourage them to keep trying and praise their persistence—don’t worry so much about whether their teeth are becoming cleaner.
  • Choose the right words – Phrases like “good job” and “you’re doing great” can motivate children to continue brushing their teeth. Rather than constructive criticism, just use simple and friendly expressions.
  • Make eye contact – Eye contact will let your child know you’re paying attention and value their actions. Plus, facial expressions provide a great deal of comfort and assurance.
  • Smile – Smiling while they brush can also encourage. You’d also be giving your kid a glimpse of the pretty smile they’re trying to reach!

As you can see, there’s a straightforward way to have kids start brushing their teeth. So, the next time a teeth-cleaning comes up, praise them for it!

About the Practice

KidSmiles Dental and Orthodontics is based in Flower Mound, TX As led by Dr. Neil Dean, the practice supplies high-quality dental care for kids in a fun and safe environment. Their treatments span preventive, sedation, and emergency dentistry, not to mention teeth-straightening services. You can trust that the whole team will give your child the best smile possible. For more information or to book an appointment, reach them at their website or by phone at (972)-884-5450.

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