It’s important for good oral hygiene habits to be established during childhood. This reduces the risk of developing cavities or gum disease throughout one’s life. However, this can be difficult to do, since brushing teeth is not usually a child’s favorite thing to do. Here are a few ideas on how to make taking care of your teeth fun for kids.
Find fun videos about dental hygiene for kids or check out a book from the library about healthy oral care habits. These stories and videos that are specifically designed for kids are good for teaching them how to take care of their teeth and make the topic relatable.
In general, kids learn behaviors from their parents – good or bad. Make sure that they pick up a good habit from you by modeling good brushing and flossing. Demonstrate the techniques first, then brush or floss alongside them. When you’re confident that they have the skills, they can be allowed to take care of their oral care routine on their own.
Make brushing and flossing fun by providing your kids with special equipment, like a colorful toothbrush or one themed with their favorite character. There are also special toothpastes made especially for kids that have more appealing flavors, such as bubble gum, strawberry, or watermelon. Just make sure that the toothpaste is fluoridated and that they are not using too much.
A reward system can help with all kinds of tasks, such as brushing and flossing. Use a poster (that you can decorate and personalize to your child’s interests) to keep track of brushing and flossing every day. You can give a reward for certain milestones reached or simply use the chart as an achievement tracker.
Most kids feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Create a positive feeling around it by following up regular dental appointments (every six months) with a special treat, like a day at the playground or a picnic in the park.
By making good oral care habits a positive thing and establishing them early, you can ensure that your child will enjoy a healthy mouth for a long time.