Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a challenge. Getting them to brush consistently can be even harder. But, when it comes down to it, daily oral habits have a big impact on their oral health. Preventing cavities, gingivitis, and other dental issues starts with brushing and flossing frequently. As pediatric dentists, we have heard of many different tips and techniques to encourage regular brushing and flossing. Here are a few of our favorites.
This technique is great for kids of all ages. Music can make brushing and flossing more fun as well as encourage your kids to brush longer. Too often, kids brush their teeth incorrectly by only brushing for a few seconds. By having them brush with music, they can time their teeth cleaning to one of their favorite songs. Chose a fun upbeat song, and your kids will be able to brush and dance to the rhythm. There are actually even toothbrushes that play music for kids. Whether you use one of those or a simple speaker, your kids will enjoy getting their teeth nice and clean.
For younger kids, making brushing into a fun make-believe game can help encourage them to brush more regularly. Creating a fun story around brushing your teeth to protect them from dangerous plaque or germs can be an effective way to teach kids the importance of oral health. Another game some parents play is seeing if their kids can properly time how long they brush. Set a timer on your phone and see if your son or daughter can brush for the entire timer. This is not only a fun way to encourage better brushing, but it helps kids learn how to time out their morning routines.
A great way to encourage your kids to brush and floss is to reward them. Small frequent rewards can go a long way. For instance, a reward for when your child brushes twice daily for a full week might be some stickers or extra TV time.
A great method for teeth cleaning is to keep a daily calendar. Your kids can use stickers to track their progress, and seeing a full and complete month will make them smile. This works well with rewarding your children by focusing rewards on patience and consistency.
For your kids, getting to choose their toothbrush color and toothpaste flavor can help them get more excited about brushing. A new toothpaste or toothbrush will often reignite good habits because it is something fresh and interesting.
Many dentists have stuffed animals with teeth and toy brushes that they can use to demonstrate good cleaning practices. If your young child enjoys playing with dolls or stuffed toys, having them practice brushing will help them prioritize the behavior for themselves. Many kids like to play parent, and it is an effective way for them to digest and apply lessons they are learning from their own parents.
All Star Dental serves Chicago families with their many dental services. We know that when it comes to children’s teeth it is very important that kids feel comfortable and safe. We believe in providing a fun light atmosphere for kids so they can learn about dental health while they get their teeth cleaned. Contact us to set up an appointment.