How to Make Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Kids
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are most susceptible to tooth decay and cavities while their teeth grow. For this reason, parents play a critical role in helping their kids establish and practice good oral hygiene habits to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. However, it can be challenging for most parents to get their little ones excited about brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist in Denver.
If you’re looking to find ways to make tooth care fun for your little one, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get started.
How to Make Oral Hygiene Fun and Interesting for Your Kiddos
Allow Them to Choose Their Toothbrush
You can find a wide range of dental products for young kids at the store. These products include toothbrushes that light up, play music, or feature their favorite superheroes. Moreover, stores stock toothpaste with different fruity flavors.
Give your child a sense of ownership over their oral health by bringing them to the store and letting them pick out their dentist-approved toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Besides promoting independence, having them choose their oral care products encourages them to practice good oral hygiene.
It’s best to plan a dedicated shopping trip solely for this purpose to highlight its importance. Moreover, make your child feel like they’ve reached a significant milestone by taking them out to lunch to celebrate their budding independence.
Use a Brushing Timer App
Timer apps can make oral hygiene more enjoyable for children. You can find a handful of timer apps that use music, videos, and rewards that include badges. Besides encouraging consistent brushing, these apps can help your child focus on cleaning their teeth.
Use Stories to Explain Oral Hygiene Practices
One of the best ways to get younger children to relate to toothbrushing is to tell them fun and exciting stories about what this oral hygiene practice does to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. For instance, you can tell your little one that a toothbrush has tiny soldiers on its bristles that fight against sugar mites. You can also use picture books to help your little one understand the importance of going to the dentist and what to expect during their visit.
Highlight Trouble Spots Using Colorful Plaque-Disclosing Tablets
Small blue or red plaque-disclosing tablets can help your child see the plaque lurking on the surface of their teeth. Asking your child to chew one of these tablets before and after brushing their teeth can help them understand how effective brushing and flossing are for eliminating plaque.
Watch Kids’ Shows That Feature Dental Health
Kids’ shows can have the same impact on kids as children’s books. Popular kids’ shows such as Dora the Explorer, Caillou, and Sesame Street have episodes that feature oral care and going to the dentist without scaring them. Your child will likely be more motivated to visit brush, floss, and visit the dentist when they see their favorite cartoon character do the same.
Brush Your Teeth Together
Your child will likely enjoy brushing and flossing more if you’ll do it along with them. Making brushing and flossing a family activity will give your child a chance to see how it’s done and allow you to spend some scheduled fun time with them every day. Start by setting a time every evening for you and your child to brush and floss together until they learn to do it independently.
Turn on the Tunes
A full two minutes of nothing but brushing can feel like an eternity to younger children. However, with a good distraction, time will be up before your little one gets a chance to complain.
Adding music to your child’s oral care routine will make it more enjoyable for them. One of the best ways to give them something else to focus on is to play a song or a YouTube video that makes brushing and flossing more fun and exciting for your child. Besides keeping them engaged, listening to their favorite music while cleaning their teeth helps them keep track of time. If you’re feeling a bit extra, you can even have a family toothbrushing dance-off to get the chore out of the activity.
Since kids love games, they usually classify activities that don’t involve fun and games as chores. If you’re having difficulty encouraging your tiny tot to take care of their oral health, try using games to get them to brush their teeth. Your child will have so much fun that they won’t even notice how clean and bright their teeth are getting.
For starters, you might want to play a rousing round of Diaper Dentist, a roleplaying game with no diapers involved whereby your little one gets to play the role of a dentist, and you play the role of a patient. Pretend to have no idea how to use a toothbrush or forget to use toothpaste to encourage your child to educate you on how to brush your teeth like a pro. You can help your child get into character by giving them some props to work with.
Moreover, Flossing with Friends is another game you can play with your child. Get the oral care party going by pretending that your child’s favorite stuffed animal or doll told you that they want to brush their teeth. Next, ask your little one to demonstrate good brushing habits to their inanimate friend to get your child excited about getting some pearly whites of their own.
Create a Reward System
You might want to create a reward chart for your child’s oral hygiene routines. Start by giving them a smiley face or a star on the chart every time they brush, floss, or visit the dentist. You can also reward them with extra trips to the playground or a small toy. Besides motivating them to complete their routine, rewards for good behavior give them something to look forward to and be excited about.
Choose the Right Dentist in Denver!
Since visits to the dentist is a crucial part of your child’s oral care, you’ll want to choose a dentist who strives to provide high-quality dental care to patients of all ages in a safe and comfortable environment.