4 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
For many parents, teaching your kids good dental hygiene habits is a twice-daily battle. But, as many experts point out, it’s a battle worth having. While largely preventable, tooth decay still remains one of the leading chronic diseases in children aged 6-19. Beyond that, poor oral hygiene has been linked to everything from speech delays, dental pain and infections, as well as diabetes.
It’s never too early (or too late) to make brushing and flossing a part of your child’s morning and nightly routines. Here are our top tips to help make brushing fun for your kids:
Turn Toothbrushing into a Game
The recommended time for everyone to brush their teeth is for two minutes, twice a day, every day. Try one of these creative games to help your kids meet the two-minute mark:
– Play their favorite song: Play your child’s favorite song to help the two-minute mark arrive faster. Bonus points if you embarrass them with your grown-up dance!
– Brush during commercial break: Have your child brush their teeth during commercial break as a way to finish watching their show. Just remember to turn off the TV at least a half hour before bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep.
– Offer incentives: Consider offering a simple reward to encourage your little one to brush their teeth. Offer them praise afterward for their amazing techniques and super clean teeth.
Tell a Story
Telling a story is a great way to get reluctant brushers to brush their teeth. Try letting your child choose what ‘animal’ is going to dart around their teeth and let them finish the chase. You can also read your child books about brushing their teeth or encourage them to practice brushing their stuffed animal’s teeth.
Use the Right Tools
Opt for age-appropriate tools such as child-sized toothbrushes, floss without sharp edges, and power toothbrushes for accurate brushing. Try letting them choose the color of their toothbrush and favorite flavor of toothpaste to help keep brushing fun and pain-free.
Set a Good Example
When it comes to teaching good oral hygiene habits, it’s important to practice what you preach. Children evaluate what their parents are doing so if they see you regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, they’re much more likely to follow in your footsteps. Consider pretending to be a mirror the next time you and your child brush together and encourage them to copy your every move.
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