The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush for two minutes twice a day to keep your oral health in good condition. While two minutes out of your day is certainly brief, it can seem like eternity when you are brushing your teeth. Even adults struggle to extend their brushing time, so imagine the challenge when it comes to kids dental care.
If your child fails to make it the full 120 seconds with his or her toothbrush, try these suggestions:
- Get an App
- There’s an app for everything, including timing your brushing sessions. In fact, you’ll notice that there are countless apps for kids that keep them entertained for the two minutes of recommended time. As long as you are willing to let them have a tablet or smartphone near the sink, you may have found your solution.
- Sing a Song
- This is especially beneficial for toddlers and younger kids. Pick a favorite song that is only sung at teeth cleaning time. Keep your tunes going for a full two minutes and end with a good rinse and spit!
- Set a Timer
- Older kids can resort to a simple timer. You can either use the iPad or turnover the old fashion hourglass of sand. This gives your child a visual of how much longer he or she needs to keep going. Over time, they will begin to manage their time accordingly and settle into a distinct brushing routine that requires the full two minutes.
- Reward For Not Racing
- Kids love motivation. Consider offering your child a reward for brushing for the full two minutes, twice a day for an entire week. Depending on your child’s age, this could range from stickers to a late bedtime.
It is so important to establish proper brushing habits at a young age. While parents are diligent to instruct kids on how much toothpaste to use and how to hold their brush, they often neglect to mention a timeframe. We know it is hard to slow down when getting your child ready for bed. However, brushing their teeth is one area that requires time and patience. At Avalon Dental Group, we love helping parents and kids establish healthy brushing habits. If you need help on getting your child to stay on task a little longer, don’t hesitate to ask!