Ask a child what they consider to be the most fun and you can be sure brushing teeth is the last thing they might say. Kids just don’t place oral health very high on their list of priorities. After all, they’re kids, they’ve got other things on their minds to take up their time.
In fact, brushing their teeth is largely considered a chore. Something Mom nags them to do every evening before they go to bed. Flossing is even less common or popular amongst the grade school set and while both of these are extremely important to fight off tooth decay and gum disease, they’re two of the most challenging things that parents are faced with forcing their kids to do on a regular basis.
For the most part, brushing teeth is a form of maintenance that offers very little in the way of fun, excitement, or elevated stakes of any kind. That can make it hard to get your children to focus their attention towards with any level of efficacy.
Parents are always seeking out new ways to convince their kids that brushing isn’t just necessary but a whole lot of fun too. Fortunately, there are some ideas you may want to try in order to get your kids to think differently about brushing teeth. It always helps to find a dentist who is willing to be a part of the solution and Midlothian Family Dentistry serving Richmond VA understands the need to make kids become more invested in their oral health.
Keeping that in mind, here are some tips you should consider to make brushing teeth fun for kids:
Family Brushing and Flossing
It’s more fun to do things as a family and when your kids see you taking care of your teeth and gums, they are more likely to emulate your habits and behaviors. So it’s important to set the right example from the start.
That means showing your children the right methods for brushing and flossing. Demonstrate the proper techniques and show them the importance of brushing the teeth, the tongue, and of course, the gum-line. Flossing is also a vital component that kids need to learn and you can teach them how to do it correctly.
When you do it all as a family, that can make it much more fun and exciting.
Younger children in particular will enjoy brushing their teeth a whole lot more when they have their own personal toothbrush they get to pick out from the store. Give them the chance to choose whichever one they like, as long as it has soft bristles.
Many dental hygiene companies will make toothbrushes for kids that have bright colors and characters from their favorite TV shows and movies. Having one of these types of brushes can make it a lot more fun to brush on a routine basis.
Timing is Everything
Dentists recommend that, in order to have the most efficacy in brushing your teeth, you perform the task for two minutes. Counting off those two minutes can be turned into a game by setting a timer and letting the child brush until the bell goes off.
Timing the kids as they brush can also be turned into a game to see who can hold out the longest and make it to the finishing bell.
Much like with their toothbrush, a child can have more fun brushing when they get to pick out their own flavor of toothpaste. Mint isn’t all that exciting for young kids and so if they are able to choose a flavor that’s unique and pleasing to taste, such as bubble gum or cherry, then they are going to be a lot more interested in brushing their teeth.
Kids love getting rewarded for their good behavior. This is important to consider for making brushing more fun. Come up with some kind of reward system that inspires and encourages kids to brush routinely and sufficiently.
When the child demonstrates the correct behaviors for brushing and flossing you can give them something to commemorate their proper routines. It doesn’t have to be a material object, but perhaps a sticker or some kind of small token that allows them to remember their accomplishment and seek out the same recognition the next time they’re ready to brush again.
Rewards are a strong motivator for instilling positive habits that a child can build upon as they get older and continue to repeat through adolescence and their teenage years ahead.