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Convincing your children to brush their teeth can often feel like a never-ending game of tug of war. If it doesn’t seem fun or interesting, your kids will probably fight you on it! Building healthy, consistent oral hygiene habits early on is crucial to your children’s lifelong oral health. Even though it is mostly preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children aged 6-19. Helping children establish consistent oral hygiene habits will prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other dental diseases, and our staff at Advanced Dental Care of Indiana is here to help! We’ve compiled this helpful guide of five creative ways you can help your child develop and maintain a dazzling smile for the rest of their lives.
Add Some Music
Help your child transform brushing their teeth from a chore into a fun activity by adding some music! Incorporating music into your child’s oral hygiene habits is an easy way to get them excited about brushing their teeth.
When teeth brushing time arrives, tell your child that it’s time to sing your brushing song. Dance your way to the bathroom, help them prepare their toothbrush, and then launch into song! This is especially helpful for little ones who think 10 seconds of brushing is sufficient; pick a song that’s about two minutes long so they know when the song is over, they can stop brushing! The American Dental Association has compiled a playlist of songs for your child’s tooth-brushing time.
With technology’s rapid development over the last few decades, your children now have a wide variety of options for toothbrushes. Children’s electric toothbrushes often come equipped with light-up timers to let them know exactly how long they need to brush for.
While the timer helps to teach them healthy oral hygiene habits, the lights keep the activity fun and exciting. There are also toothbrushes that play timed songs for extra pizzazz! Your child can play themselves, begin brushing when the music starts, and wrap up when the song ends. When picking out a fun toothbrush for your child, keep in mind that brushing can be difficult for tiny hands, so be sure to pick something that will be comfortable for your child and easy to use appropriately.
If your child’s frequent excuse for not brushing is because they forgot, a reminder chart may help you keep them on track. Standard oral hygiene regimens for children include brushing twice a day; a reminder chart is an easy way to reinforce these habits.
You can also incentivize brushing by letting your child put a sticker on the chart every time they brush. After a full week of stickers, reward them with some kind of treat. Displaying the chart in your child’s bathroom is an easy way to remind them to brush their teeth and by rewarding consistent brushing, you can transform oral hygiene from a chore to an exciting activity!
Kids are like sponges, soaking up everything they see, learning from it. Most often, they learn from the example of their parents, so an easy way to make consistent brushing a part of their routine is to lead by example!
Brush your teeth in front of your children every day to encourage them to incorporate the same habits into their daily routines. You can also encourage brushing by making it a group activity; kids always look forward to spending time with their parents, even if it’s just to brush their teeth. The more your kids see you modeling the behavior you request of them, the more they will be excited to do it.
Make It a Game
A huge reason children resist brushing their teeth is because it doesn’t feel fun and exciting; it feels like a boring chore with no reward. An easy way to get children more interested in brushing their teeth is to turn it into a game.
Kids often learn through play, so incorporating brushing into playtime will help teach them healthy oral hygiene habits. Try making bubbles with toothpaste or encourage your children to brush their stuffed animal and baby doll’s teeth. You can also further incentivize brushing by turning it into a race with the winner being allowed to stay up a few minutes later. Any method that makes brushing feel more like a game than a chore is sure to interest and motivate your kids!
Advanced Dental Care of Indiana
Our staff at Advanced Dental Care of Indiana is passionate about helping children develop healthy, beautiful smiles that will last them a lifetime. As crucial as healthy, consistent oral hygiene habits are, children will also need their twice-annual checkups and cleanings. To learn more about our services and how we can help support your child’s oral health, visit our website today!