So, you’ve tried everything to get your kids to brush their teeth, but they just won’t do it? Bedtime is becoming a battle and you’re ready to do or say anything to get your little cherub to brush without a fuss.
The answer is simple … scare them into it.
We’ve found some gruesome facts about dental hygiene that will have them reaching for their toothbrushes and cleaning with earnest twice a day, every day.
6 Terrifying facts to scare your kids into brushing their teeth
1. YOUR MOUTH IS FILLED WITH 100’s OF GERMS
Did you know your mouth is home to 300 different types of bacteria? Granted, some of this is good bacteria, but no need to worry about the finer-print when you’re on your twelfth time of shouting ‘brush your bloody teeth’. And as Leonard J. Brenner from Brenner Dental tells us, if your little one chooses not to brush, there will be even more germs lurking inside their mouths.
“Bacteria dwell in the mouth and teeth when you do not brush. The sugar and food particles stuck between your teeth allow them to thrive.”
2. YOU MIGHT GET DEMENTIA
It’s true! You don’t need go to into the how’s and why’s as that’s all a bit complicated for their little minds. And we’re only after a short, sharp scare. But the fact of the matter when trying to get your kids to brush their teeth, as Business Insider explains, is that:
“Those who reported not brushing their teeth daily had a 22% to 65% greater risk of dementia than those who brushed three times daily.”
HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS TO CLEAN THEIR TEETH (CONT.)
3. ALL YOUR TEETH WILL FALL OUT
This is the classic go-to for parents trying to scare their kids to brush their teeth. I remember telling my daughters they will look like toothless hags if they were not careful. It fell on deaf ears, of course. But back it up with a few facts and they might even believe you.
To get your kids brushing their teeth, the helpful peeps at Humana lay it on the line (just remove the word ‘adult’ for a more dramatic effect):
“There are several reasons that adults lose their teeth. The most common reasons involve a combination of poor oral hygiene and dietary habits. Tooth decay and gum disease can both weaken the tissues supporting your teeth, which can make your teeth loosen and fall out.”
4. YOU WILL HAVE BAD BREATH AND NO ONE WILL WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU
Or kiss you (depending on their age). Bad breath is a real thing and no-one wants to see their kids suffer with it. In fact, fear of bad breath could be the main arsenal you have to encourage your kids to brush their teeth.
When you explain to them that bad breath is directly related to how thoroughly you brush, the penny might just drop and a new habit of brushing start. Let them know that according to Kids Health:
“Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath because when food particles are left in your mouth, they can rot and start to smell. The food bits may begin to collect bacteria, which can be smelly, too. Not brushing your teeth regularly will let plaque (a sticky, colourless film) build up on your teeth. Plaque is a great place for bacteria to live and yet another reason why breath can turn foul.”
Wicked ways to scare your kids into brushing their teeth (cont.)
5. GETTING DENTAL WORK DONE CAN HURT
Ok so you need to be careful with this one … in case they actually do need to have dental work done and you have put the fear of god into them. Plus, generally, going to the dentist nowadays is a pretty painless procedure.
However, we can definitely push the point in our mission to scare our kids to brush their teeth.
You might like to share this information from CT Kids Dentist:
“Filling a tooth typically takes about an hour. The dentist may elect to do them on different days to reduce the amount of stress on your child. Many children experience sensitivity and swelling after getting a tooth filled. Younger children sometimes create more swelling by biting their lips or tongues before the anaesthesia has worn off.”
6. NOT BRUSHING CAN CAUSE PNEUMONIA
Yes, there really is a link between not brushing your teeth and lung disease, leading to pneumonia. Albeit, it’s a small link, and not something a child would encounter, but no need to get caught up in the detail. It’s certainly something to pull out of the bag when times are desperate.
The Telegraph doesn’t lie and tells us:
“The Dental Health Foundation has warned that poor oral hygiene could cause the respiratory infection after research found a link between bacteria in the mouth and the lung disease.
Dr Samit Joshi of Yale University School of Medicine found changes in bacteria in the mouth preceded the development of pneumonia.”
So they’ve cleaned their pearly whites and now you need a good bedtime story: 12 Bedtime books your kids will love.