As a parent, your child’s dental health should be a top priority. However, it can be challenging to teach children proper dental hygiene, especially small children. Poor oral health causes kids to miss 51 million hours of class time each year and can have a negative impact on their future success. Though its largely preventable, tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children aged 6-19, and this is why it is so important to get oral hygiene routines established from the moment their first tooth appears.
Strategies for How to Make Brushing Teeth Fun
Want to make teeth brushing teeth fun for your family? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Find Fun Dental Health Education Resources.
Try reading age-appropriate books and watching videos about dental hygiene with your child as you begin exploring how to make brushing teeth fun. Your child will enjoy the time you spend together learning about oral health, and you will enjoy the opportunity to introduce healthy habits like brushing and flossing.
- Make Brushing and Flossing a Family Affair.
Setting an example for your kids is one of your most powerful tools to make brushing teeth fun. To model good dental hygiene, brush, and floss at least twice daily with your children, including once before bedtime. For younger children, you might even have them practice brushing your teeth! The routine of family brushing will establish consistency, so children will be able to learn healthy habits more easily.
- Create a Two-minute “Contest” For Brushing.
Adults and children alike should brush teeth for two minutes twice daily, including before bedtime. To make brushing teeth fun, make a game of it and set the timer for two minutes; the “winner” must brush for the entire two minutes without stopping. This type of game will create a sense of friendly competition and motivate your kids to brush properly – a win-win!
- Get Your Child a Special Toothbrush
As adults, we forget the novelty of incorporating toys into everyday life. Relive the magic of childhood and indulge your child in a special toothbrush of his or her choosing. You will find that, by adapting the toothbrushing process into a game with “toys” of sorts, you have found one special way to make brushing teeth fun.
- Reward Consistent Tooth Brushing.
To really make twice-daily brushing and flossing something that really catches kids’ attention, reward their behaviour. Start small by choosing a simple reward (like gold stars), and award it only when kids brush, and floss as instructed (i.e., two minutes per day twice a day for brushing and once a day for flossing). Once kids have the mechanics and schedule of brushing in place, reward consistency by creating a weekly brushing calendar, each week of perfect daily brushing results in a bigger reward.
- Recruit the Tooth Fairy.
Not everyone realizes that the tooth fairy pays more for teeth that are clean and cavity free. Make sure your child knows this fact; it will go a long way in motivating your child to engage in daily brushing and flossing!
- Make Going to the Dentist a Special Occasion.
Make it clear to your kids that going to the dentist is the crowning achievement of your child’s hard work for learning proper dental habits, and avoid framing it as a negative outcome for neglecting their brushing and flossing habits. Parents can also pass a fear of the dentist to their children. If you’re anxious about a dental visit, do your best to talk about visiting the dentist in a neutral tone. Let us know when you make your appointment if you or your child is especially anxious so we can let our team know in advance.
Creating a fun and engaging routine at home will ensure your child develops a lifelong habit of caring for their teeth. If you need more information or would like to discuss how you can best care for your children’s dental health call College Dental Surgeries on 01622 752340 and book a consultation.