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Why You Should Praise Your Child for Brushing Their Teeth

July 2, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — demartino_team @ 8:41 pm
Young child brushing her teeth.

If you’re a parent, your own teeth aren’t the only ones you’re responsible for—you also must ensure that your little one is taking care of their pearly whites! Children are just as susceptible to oral health issues as adults are, meaning that it’s important to encourage and establish good hygiene practices early on. Keep reading to learn more from your children’s dentist in Phillipsburg about why and how you should praise your child for brushing their teeth.

The Impact of Praise

A recent study published in Child Development analyzed the daily toothbrushing behaviors in three-year-old’s and examined the relationship between their persistence on the task at hand and the amount of parental praise that was received. The research was conducted through video evidence submitted by parents—nevertheless, the data is still quite useful and telling.

The results indicated that the more parents praised their children while they brushed their teeth, the longer they continued to brush! Additionally, as parents provided fewer instructions, children also tended to brush for a longer period of time. This shows an easily observable and positive correlation between satisfactory brushing habits and parental praise!

How To Properly Praise Your Child for Brushing Their Teeth

Before you can begin praising your child for brushing their teeth, you must provide them with the means to do so! After supplying a toothbrush for your child, explain the importance of oral hygiene and how it’s ultimately going to fall on them to keep their teeth clean. You might feel inclined to assist them with brushing but allowing them to independently begin and build on the process will help them hone and improve on their brushing skills. That said, you can offer praise and support for your child in the following ways:

  • Focus on their efforts – Even though the end goal is for your child to have clean teeth, it’ll take a little bit of effort for them to get there. Encourage them to keep going and praise their attempts so they remain persistent—focus less on whether the teeth are becoming cleaner and more on your child’s attitude and motivation.
  • Choose the right words – Phrases like “good job” and “keep it up, you’re doing great” can motivate your child to continue putting forth effort. There’s no need for critical feedback here; use simple and friendly expressions.
  • Make eye contact and smile – Words can only do so much—but the right look or a warm smile can also provide a great deal of assurance to your child. Plus, showing off your white and healthy smile will give your child a clear image of what they’re working towards.

A little bit of praise and affection can go a long way; especially when it comes to supporting your child’s good oral habits! Encouraging them to take care of their mouth from an early age will lay down the framework for a lifetime of good oral health.

About the Practice

DeMartino Dental Group is honored to serve patients and families in the Phillipsburg, NJ area under the leadership of Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino and Dr. Nelida Garcia-DeMartino. Together they combine several years of experience and a passion for dentistry to provide their patients with a comfortable and elite level of dental care. Their practice is pleased to offer many available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry options. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s oral health or would like to schedule a visit, don’t hesitate to contact the practice online or by phone: (908) 859-5260.

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