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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

If your kids are like most children their age, they probably don’t really care for brushing their teeth. In fact, they might downright refuse to pick up their toothbrushes. Reminding doesn’t work, and nagging doesn’t work, so you’ll have to get creative. If you’re at your wit’s end, try these five sneaky tricks to get your kids to brush their teeth.

1. Give them options.

Get a couple of different toothbrushes and flavors of toothpaste so that when it’s time for everyone to brush their teeth, you can ask, “Which toothbrush and what kind of toothpaste do you want to use?” instead of just yelling, “Go brush your teeth!” It’ll be a lot harder for your kids to say no if you ask them to choose between different options rather than just telling them to do something.

2. Make it a reward.

Instead of making oral health care into a battle, make it into a reward. Tell your kids that they can pick out a musical toothbrush if they brush their teeth every day for one or two weeks.

3. Make it into a contest.

If you have more than one child, tell your kids that you’re having a contest to see who can take the best care of their teeth for a whole month. The prize can be pretty much anything – the real motivator is bragging rights.

4. Make it a game.

As long as you have time before bed or before school, try hiding your kids’ toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and any other oral health care items they use. Whoever finds all of their items and brushes their teeth first gets to hide everyone else’s items for next time – just remember to put the toothbrushes in toothbrush holders so that they can stay sanitary.

5. Get them cool rinse.

Buy your kids a tinting rinse – the kind that stains the areas they forgot to brush. By using the rinse, your kids will have fun while learning how to brush their teeth better. It’s a win-win situation!

No matter how often your kids brush their teeth or how far away you live from your regular dental care facility, remember to take them to see their dentist on a regular basis. Whether you need to go to a Colorado Springs gum disease specialist or a generalist in your hometown, your kids’ teeth need to be taken care of.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want kids with good oral hygiene.