Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be challenging. Most parents know that their children should be brushing twice a day, though this is much easier said than done. Help your kids maintain their healthy smiling by making oral hygiene fun rather than have it feel like a chore. Good dental habits can last your child a lifetime and prevent future dental expenses.
Here are 6 awesome ways you can get your kids excited about oral health and make them actually want to brush their teeth:
Implement a Rewards System
Get your child more excited to brush by giving them “gold stars” every time they do. Create a simple chart that tracks your child’s daily brushing and flossing. Each time they brush for two-minutes, or floss, allow your child to add a check-mark or sticker to their chart. Reward your child for never missing a brushing every day, week and/or month.
Involve Your Child in Shopping For Tooth-Friendly Food
Bring your child along to the grocery store and have them help pick out tooth-friendly foods. Children are more inclined to want cookies, candy and chips than foods that will benefit their health. But suddenly introducing unfamiliar healthy foods to your child may make them feel uncomfortable and will deter them from wanting to eat these foods. Next time you purchase groceries, take your child with you and allow them to select food that will be beneficial to their oral hygiene. Foods like fruits, vegetables, cheese, lean meats and nuts will help keep your child’s smile happy and healthy.
When it comes to snack time, make sure you have tooth-friendly food on hand. Chop up carrots, cut up cheese into cubes, or prepare a trail mix so that healthy snacks are readily available when your child becomes hungry between meals or before bedtime.
If you’re looking to get creative, involve your child in growing your very own healthy food. There’s no doubt that your child will want to taste their own homegrown products.
Introduce a Brushing Buddy
Have your child invite their favourite stuffed animal or doll along with them to brush their teeth. Young children will often feel happier brushing their teeth if they’ve brushed their “friend’s” teeth first. Nevertheless, oral hygiene is important for everyone!
To educate younger children on healthy oral care habits, tell stories or show videos. Kids don’t care about “tooth decay” and “gingivitis” — these words can be too complicated for young children and often don’t translate well. If you want them to listen, you’re going to have to make it fun.
Make up stories about “cavity monsters” that love to munch on teeth, or remind them that the tooth fairy only selects the best and brightest teeth to build her castle. No matter what tale you choose to tell, remember to always make the toothbrush the hero!
Two-Minute Tooth-Brushing Tunes
Ideally, teeth should be brushed after every meal because the bacterial attack on teeth begins minutes after eating. The Canadian Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two to three minutes each time. … That’s a lot of brushing! Even two minutes can feel like an eternity to a child.
The best way to ensure your child is brushing long enough is to make it fun with songs. Make up your own brushing song, or create a playlist of two-minute songs that your child can listen to in order to help them time their brushing. A simple YouTube search can pull up a number of fun two-minute tooth brushing tunes that your child will love.
Let Your Child Choose Their Own Oral Hygiene Goodies
There are so many thematic and colourful toothbrushes on the market today and such a variety of flavours of floss and toothpaste to choose from. Bring your child to the store and let them pick out a new toothbrush and some other oral hygiene goodies to go along with it. With a new toothbrush your child will be more excited to give their teeth a cleaning.
Remember, toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. That means every three months your child can look forward to picking out a new toothbrush!
Teaching your child the importance of a proper oral hygiene routine will ensure their smiles stays happy and healthy for years to come. Call us at (905)-545-4833 today to book your child an appointment with one of our dentists!
No matter your age, dental condition, and if you have a million questions, Dr. Sims can assist you or your young children in a professional manner and loves answering any of your questions or concerns.
Dr. Sims grew up in Grimsby playing basketball, so he’s always up for talking about the Raptors! He’s also a football fan - go Buffalo Bills! In his free time, if he’s not watching a basketball game or football game, you’ll likely find him working out, cooking (got any new recipe ideas?), and of course, spending time with his amazing family.
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