Getting children to brush their teeth without a fun incentive can be a challenge. Adding a fun activity or colorful supplies has two main benefits. It makes tooth care for kids easier for you, and it makes the brushing process more enjoyable for them.
Getting your child to brush their teeth every day is essential for their dental hygiene. Brushing removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can cause cavities if teeth are not receiving the proper care. Your child might not care much about the benefits, so you need to get creative to get them to do it.
If you need to know how to make brushing fun, we’ve come up with some ideas below.
1. Make it Fun
Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be boring! Spice up the next few minutes of your child’s morning or nighttime routine with a fun song or video. Turn on their favorite tune or a clip from their favorite show to give them something to focus on (other than brushing).
Tooth care for kids is an essential part of your growing child’s routine. Let them have fun at home while they get into the groove of dental hygiene procedures. Having a dance party or reading a short story to them, voices included, makes brushing their teeth something to look forward to.
2. Let Them Pick Out Their Toothbrush
Letting your child pick out a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on the handle might make brushing more fun. Kids dentists provide a variety of options and can recommend brushes from the store that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Adult toothbrushes are boring to look at. They lack the flair that tooth care for kids requires with color combinations or animal prints that are appealing to children. Knowing that their favorite character brushes their teeth too can make the experience feel more familiar as they get used to doing it every day.
3. Let Them Pick Out Their Toothpaste
Luckily, tooth care for kids comes with a lot of colorful and tasty options when looking for the right toothpaste. Kids dentists can recommend flavors that are the most popular among young clients to give you an idea of safe but yummy flavors your child will be willing to try.
Toothpaste options range from flavors like strawberry, bubblegum, and watermelon that may be a lot more appealing than the standard mint flavor advertised to grownups. Selecting a flavor that appeals to your child’s tastes is like a small treat for reaching their goal of brushing.
4. Get Their Favorite Toys or Characters Involved
Get their favorite characters involved by picking up some books from their favorite shows, like Sesame Street or Blippi. It sets a good example and encourages them to take care of their teeth. These stories on tooth care for kids are knowledgeable but appeal to the playfulness that children enjoy.
Allowing them to “brush” the teeth of their favorite doll or stuffed animal before their own can make brushing less stressful and give them extra practice with their technique. Taking care of their toy will encourage them to take care of themselves when they see how easy and fun the task can be.
5. Stick to a Routine
You might be tempted to skip the tooth brushing when you’re running late or too tired, but tooth care for kids relies on an established routine to form a lasting habit. The more often your child routinely brushes their teeth, the easier it will be for them to start doing it on their own.
Kids dentists can tell how frequently and how well children brush. It is recommended all children (and adults) brush their teeth twice a day. You can help your child remember how often and how long they should be brushing by using the 2X2 rule. This rule helps kids remember to brush twice a day for two minutes.
6. Reward Good Brushing Behavior
Kids dentists often reward children who do well during their appointment. Children who do a great job brushing or behaving during their appointment get to choose a toy from the treasure box before they go home. You can find a similar way to reward them with something small to encourage healthy behavior.
Bribing may be frowned upon, but small gestures can help enforce positive behavior as they get older. Receiving a sticker or picking a song to listen to while brushing can teach them how they can make boring or unpleasant parts of their routine more fun with a little reward.
7. Make Brushing Part of Family Time
Tooth care for kids involves participation from the parents. If they’re still learning proper tooth brushing techniques, it’s recommended you brush them again to guarantee they are brushed properly. If you brush your teeth together, they can mimic your behavior.
Set a positive example for your kids by brushing with them after breakfast or before bedtime. Engaging with them during this time is not only a great way to have meaningful moments, but they learn from their parents. Kids dentists emphasize the importance of assisting your children as they start to form these habits.
Keeping Up the Habit
Work with your kids’ dentists on strategies to make brushing their teeth more enjoyable as it becomes a habit. They might suggest something you haven’t tried yet.
Habits can take a long time to form for children as their lives constantly evolve. Tooth care for kids is one of those essential habits that gets easier with practice but can be a challenge for you and your child in the beginning. Try a variation of all the methods until you find one that’s easy to implement.
Once you have found a method that works best for your child, stick to it. The method doesn’t matter as long as your child’s proper dental routine is managed. Your kid’s dentist cannot emphasize enough how important tooth care is to their overall health.