Getting kids to brush their teeth can be one of the most difficult challenges of childhood. The good news is kids’ toothpaste ideas can make them brush without it turning into a fight.
Why is it so difficult to get kids to brush?
In part, it’s a challenge to get kids brushing because they don’t understand the importance of brushing. And like most things, parents can explain everything about brushing and oral hygiene to kids, but without any immediate consequences, it’s impossible for them to understand the importance of making it a habit. It’s just how kids are – it’s tough to reason with them unless they’re able to see the immediate effects of their behavior.
So, what can you do to make kids want to brush? One of the best ways to make brushing more appealing for children is to make toothpaste fun. There are a few ways to do this.
One of the simplest ways to make kids toothpaste fun for kids is to buy one of the commercial products designed to make brushing fun. There are plenty of toothpastes out there that use licensed characters that kids love to market their product.
Sometimes a familiar face from a beloved cartoon or book is enough to convince your child to brush.
Another great way to encourage kids to brush is to make toothpaste at home. There are many different recipes out there that you can follow, and some people think homemade toothpaste is healthier than what you buy in the store.
If you’re concerned about the health of your toothpaste or you’re looking for ways to get kids interested in brushing, homemade toothpaste is a great option. Many parents use this strategy with cooking. They know picky eaters tend to want to eat food they participated in making themselves. This can be the case with brushing, too. Homemade toothpaste is fun to make and makes brushing more exciting because kids have taken ownership of the process from the very first step.
You can find a basic recipe for homemade toothpaste here.
Use Sparkling or Colorful Toothpaste
If making your own toothpaste isn’t quite doing the trick, or if it worked the first time but the thrill has worn off, consider adding something fun to your toothpaste. Sparkles or colors can make brushing fun again.
Let your child choose what color food coloring to add to the toothpaste so he or she can really take ownership of the product.Just make sure anything you add to your toothpaste is edible and won’t damage your child’s oral health.
To learn more about using safe, edible glitter in your toothpaste, check out this article from The Washington Post.
Make Chocolate Toothpaste
Most people think of chocolate as a fun treat or dessert, but it’s actually possible to bring that sweet, satisfying taste into your child’s brushing routine.
Perhaps the best thing about chocolate toothpaste, other than it encourages your child to brush, is how easy it is to make. All you need is:
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 6 drops clove essential oil (where to find)
- 2 teaspoons organic raw cacao (preferred) or cocoa powder
Combine the ingredients and mix until it is toothpaste consistency. You can use it right away and store the remainder in a glass container with a lid. Some people have put their chocolate toothpaste into a squeeze tube, but you’ll need to make sure it’s the right consistency to do this.
Make “Elephant Toothpaste”
This is a fun idea to get kids excited about brushing because they’ll think it’s funny to imagine an elephant brushing his teeth.
Elephant toothpaste is a fun science project that doesn’t have to be linked to brushing and oral hygiene, but if you’re having a tough time getting kids excited about brushing, it can be. To make elephant toothpaste you need:
- 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, which can be found at a beauty supply store or hair salon)
- 1 Tablespoon of dry yeast
- 3 Tablespoons of warm water
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Food coloring
Mix three tablespoons of water with yeast and set it aside. Add dish soap, food coloring, and half a cup of hydrogen peroxide in a bottle. Don’t let your child handle the hydrogen peroxide, but they can mix the other ingredients. Stir the mixture and make sure the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t spill.
Finally, pour the yeast mix through a funnel into the bottle and move away from the bottle. It will foam up and overflow from the bottle quickly, so make sure you’ve created a “splash zone” to catch the foam.
Once you’re finished, talk with your child about how elephants can use this foam to brush their teeth and why it might be fun for them to brush their teeth, also.
For more tips about making Elephant Toothpaste, check out this information from Science Bob.
Encouraging Kids to Brush
In addition to the fun toothpaste ideas that are out there, you can find other ways to make brushing fun for kids. These can be done in addition to whatever fun toothpaste ideas you come up with to help you kid get excited about dental health.
Consider making brushing a game. Sometimes getting kids to do something that’s usually not that fun is to make it fun by creating a game around brushing. You can do a brushing challenge or see who can brush longer – you or your child. If your kid is competitive, this is a great option.
Also, consider the other accessories you can add flare to encourage your child to brush. There are plenty of fun toothbrushes available that some kids are excited to use. You can also make the environment more fun by adding fun towels in the bathroom or just decorating your bathroom in a theme your child loves. Encouraging your child to spend time in the bathroom often goes a long way in encouraging him or her to brush.
Finally, put together a reward system for brushing. If your child meets his or her brushing goals for a certainperiod of time, offer a prize. It can be as simple as a sticker each day your child brushes his or her teeth, or it can be a long-term larger prize if he or she brushes for a certain number of consecutive days,