3 Most Effective Ways to Make Oral Health Fun for Your Kids
Every parent knows how hard it can be to get your kids to brush their teeth. And flossing? Forget about it! But kids need to brush their teeth twice a day and to floss to keep their teeth, mouth, and gums healthy. So what can you do to make that happen, short of strapping them down and doing the job for them?
Here are three simple yet effective strategies that will make oral health more fun for your kids and get them on track:
Let them Choose their Toothbrush
Kids get more involved in any activity when they feel they have some ownership in it. You can get your kids to eat more vegetables when you let them grow their own in a garden or you let them help cooking them. You can get them to take more baths by putting some colored bubble bath in the water. Likewise, you can get them more excited about brushing their teeth by letting them choose their own toothbrush.
There are a lot of characters on toothbrushes now, so there is a high likelihood that you will find a toothbrush your child will love. You may even be able to find a toothbrush that lights up or makes sounds, which will make your child even more excited about using it each night. Take your child with you to the store and let them pick out whatever toothbrush they want. The more power they feel like they have over the choice, the more excited they will be about using the toothbrush.
Kids are highly motivated by rewards. You can often get them to eat more dinner by promising them dessert, and you can often get them to do more chores by offering them a special outing. You can do the same for their oral hygiene, getting them to brush their teeth more frequently and with more enthusiasm by offering them rewards.
You don’t have to give your kids a prize every time they brush their teeth. You would likely go broke very quickly! Instead, you can create a rewards chart. You can give your kids a check mark for each day that they brush their teeth, and they can earn a reward after they have brushed a certain number of consecutive days or have earned a certain number of check marks. Make the prize something they will really want to work for, such as a new toy or a trip to a fun, local place.
Make It a Group Activity
Just about everything can be easier and more fun when you do it with others. Your kids are going to resist brushing their teeth much more if you send them off to the bathroom by themselves and they have nothing to do but stare at themselves in the mirror. You can make them more enthusiastic about brushing their teeth by making it a group activity, such as with siblings or with parents.
Try adding other fun activities while you are brushing your teeth together, such as all humming the same tune while you brush or stomping out a rhythm while you brush. Think about what your kids would enjoy most.
Oral hygiene doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth – though failure to properly tend to oral hygiene can definitely lead to pulling teeth. If you are having a hard time getting your kids motivated to tend to their daily oral hygiene needs, try some of these simple yet effective strategies to get them brushing more often and more enthusiastically.
Regular visits to a Glendale pediatric dentist will also help. Aesthetic Dentistry is a Glendale pediatric dentistry practice devoted to improving and protecting your child’s oral health, not only by offering a full range of pediatric dentistry services, but also by encouraging healthy habits at home and making them seem fun for kids. If your child hasn’t been keeping up good oral hygiene practices, you can schedule a visit at our Glendale pediatric dentistry practice to get a thorough cleaning and any necessary corrective procedures. We’ll also work with you and your child to establish a foundation of good hygiene skills for lifelong oral health. Contact us today to make an appointment.
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm