Does your son love brushing his teeth? Does your daughter remember to brush her teeth twice a day? What a joke, right? Children are not known for their meticulous dental hygiene! Getting your children to brush their teeth regularly and thoroughly doesn’t have to be a nightmare, though.
With some creativity, you can help your children have fun while consistently accomplishing an important task. Here are some suggestions to help you motivate those kiddos to start this lifelong health habit.
As soon as your baby gets his first teeth, it’s important for you to start brushing those teeth daily. Once your kids get old enough to start participating in brushing their own teeth, here are some ways you can make it fun.
- Musical toothbrush: you sing and they brush. When you pause, they stop brushing until you resume singing. Choose a song from a movie or show that they enjoy watching!
- Brush your teeth at the same time. Kids love to imitate the adults around them, and they also learn by watching. Make toothbrush time a bonding activity.
Early Elementary Kids
- Online games: several websites offer age-appropriate toothbrushing games to teach kids how to brush thoroughly or to help them think of it as a game.
- Make a sticker chart or some other type of reward system where they get a prize after a certain number of weeks of remembering to brush their teeth.
- When it’s time for a new toothbrush or toothpaste, let them help choose their own. This will give them ownership in the process. (At least until the novelty of the new toothbrush wears off!)
Late Elementary Kids
- Try the toothbrush game app: a device that attaches to the end of a child’s toothbrush and pairs with a smartphone app, allowing the brusher to play a video game while brushing! This is a perfect idea for your high-energy, low attention span 11-year old who needs that extra incentive to complete this “boring” part of his bedtime routine.
- Let your child listen to music while they brush.
- Give them a stopwatch to time themselves and/or their siblings as they brush their teeth for that magic two-minute mark!
We hope these ideas help your children have fun while brushing their teeth. Don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments for your kids. We’d love to see you in the office!