Getting your child interested in regularly brushing his or her teeth can be a real challenge. In order to motivate kids and keep them interested, make brushing their teeth fun! By finding ways to make brushing their teeth fun, you can instill good oral health habits in your child.
Here are things to help make brushing fun:
- Get a child toothbrush featuring a favorite character. There are all kinds of toothbrushes available for children offering everything from Disney characters to Ninja Turtles to sports teams.
- Download a brush time app. Making your child brush for two minutes can be a challenge. Many toothpaste companies offer free apps, which play a catchy song that will play a full two minutes while your kid is brushing his or her teeth. Keep an eye on them, as brushing too hard can cause injury to their gums.
- Let your kids practice brushing on you. You need to make them think you are having fun, so your kid will want to join in the fun and brush his or her teeth too.
Many parents get creative, it helps if you yourself are a dentist as well. Dr. Soraya Acevedo, mother of 3 and a widely respect Dentist in Montebello, CA, says
Kids love games, so make brushing your teeth a game. Creativity is of the essence! With two hyper boys and a less wild girl, I would talk to them about “sugar bugs” living inside their mouth. Show them how to defend their mouths from the sugar bugs with a toothbrush and toothpaste. I would tell them the floss was a superhero lasso, that could be used to capture the “sugar bugs” like Wonder Woman did with the villains. Let them be the superhero, and make as many references to their favorite superhero as you can!
- Kids love animals! Have pretend time during brushing where your child can pretend he or she is a hippo, elephant or lion and has to open wide for brushing.
- Losing teeth and getting gaps can be a difficult time for children. Enlist help of the tooth fairy to make it a fun adventure.
- Have a calendar up much like you would see in a school classroom. Offer rewards for reaching specific brushing milestones. Have plenty of stickers so you can indicate achievements.
- Enlist the help of a baby doll. There is a Baby Alive Brushy Brushy Baby Doll that comes with a pretend electric toothbrush and pretend tube of toothpaste so your child can combine practice brushing with play.
- Try an exciting and fun toothpaste. Children love seeing their favorite characters, so try something in a fun flavor such as fruit or berries, and with a character’s picture on the package such as Elmo, superheroes or Disney characters.
With a little imagination and creativity, you can see your kids have fun while brushing. The long-term effects will be good oral healthcare. By getting your children on the right track taking care of their teeth and gums, you can rest assured they will go through adulthood making sure they take care of their teeth and practicing good oral health. There is nothing more traumatizing for a young child to have to get a tooth extracted because of a deep cavity. The procedure will most likely make them wary of the dentist for a long time, often times they will carry that bad memory through adulthood.
By making brushing fun while your child is still an infant, you can make the transition to him or her brushing on their own even smoother. Children younger than three years of age are much more likely to swallow toothpaste, so be sure to purchase toothpaste designed for infants and toddlers.
Making brushing teeth fun for your children can even be fun for you! Use your imagination and creativity to help get your kid on the right track for good oral health.