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What Are Reasons to Praise Your Child for Brushing Their Teeth?

March 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — demartino_team @ 8:05 pm
mother and daughter brushing teeth together

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This well-known phrase could actually describe your child’s oral health once you teach them to brush their teeth. Sure, you could take care of brushing for them day by day, but in showing them how you are helping them develop a valuable, lifelong habit. Not only that but supporting their effort to brush is even more effective than your instruction.  Keep reading to learn from a pediatric dentist in Phillipsburg why you should encourage your child to handle brushing teeth on their own and how to go about it to promote children’s dental health.

Backed by Research

According to a study published in the journal Child Development, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and the Santa Fe Institute evaluated how three-year-olds brushed their teeth and the connection between their efforts and how often they received praise from their parents.

Although the study only consisted of 81 children, they discovered over 16 days that most participants brushed longer when they received more praise and less instruction. The data was collected through surveys and video submissions from the parents.

How to Foster Your Child’s Toothbrushing Habit

The first step you must take is to hand over the toothbrush to your child. It is the only way they’ll learn to effectively brush their own teeth. This may seem like more work initially but allowing them to steer the process is great for fostering improvement in their brushing skills, leading them to adopt better oral hygiene habits with age.

Naturally, you’ll need to assist to ensure they clean those hard-to-reach areas but while they’re holding the brush, be sure to offer appropriate praise. You can do this by:

  • Consider the words you choose, using “Good job,” “You’re doing great,” or “very good.”
  • Make eye contact with your child so they can see the expression on your face. Words mean a lot but so does facial movement.
  • Focus more on their effort than the actual result. Yes, you want to make sure their teeth are clean but praising their attempt will encourage them to keep going.

Notice that your kids become more engaged with their oral hygiene as you offer more praise. By keeping these tips from a pediatric dentist in Phillipsburg in mind, you can do a great job of promoting children’s dental health.

About the Practice

At DeMartino Dental Group, our goal is to provide optimal care to each patient by utilizing state-of-the-art technology. For more than 50 years, we’ve strived to address your oral health needs with an array of services and answer all your questions along the way. You’ll receive the attention and courtesy you deserve. Encouraging your little one to take care of brushing teeth on their own can encourage great habits, plus our dentists will be sure to praise them for it during a dental checkup and cleaning which you can schedule on our website or by calling (908) 859-5260.

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