About 20% of children between 5 and 11 years have a decayed tooth.
Dental hygiene for kids should start as early as the first teeth appear. You’ll save your kids from the horrific experience of cavities and other gum diseases.
Easier said than done, right? Dental hygiene for kids is a battle.
Most kids dread brushing their teeth, for reasons you can never understand. Probably they dislike the taste of fluoride in their mouths.
Yet you need to be firm in instilling routine dental care for your kids. Teaching kids to brush their teeth can be a daunting task. Learn how to get them excited about oral health with these tips!
1. Brush Together
Kids love to imitate adults. If you’re wondering how to get kids to brush their teeth, lead by example. Make it a habit to brush your teeth together.
Brushing teeth as a family can be fun. Your children will view the activity positively. They’ll look forward to brushing their teeth because of the positive reinforcement.
Resist using forceful words to get your kids to brush their teeth. Give them time to adjust to the activity. Have them watch the adults and teach them gently.
2. A Special Toothbrush
Having a special toothbrush is one of the tools that’ll make teaching kids to brush their teeth easy. A new toothbrush will get your kids excited. You can go shopping for a new one together.
The chances are your child will pick a colorful toothbrush. A cartoon-themed brush will also be preferable. The idea of using a Mickey Mouse toothbrush will have kids looking forward to the activity.
While at it, ensure that the bristles are soft enough. You don’t want to get a toothbrush that’ll hurt your baby’s gums. Make sure to replace the brush every 3 to 4 months.
3. Tell an Interesting Story
Children are scared of the dentist. They probably associate the dentist with pain or discomfort. Nonetheless, improper dental care will have you taking them to the dentist regularly for uncomfortable treatments.
You can make tooth brushing for kids fun so it can be a daily routine. Tell an exciting story that’ll have them cracking up. You’ll need to be creative for your kids to cooperate.
With a toothbrush on your hand, you can pass it over your kid’s teeth as you make a train’s sound. Tell them to take the train through the other side of their teeth. Applaud them for brushing the tongue, which in this case, is a train station.
The story of imaginary sugar bugs also works like magic. Let your kids know they can only defeat these bugs by using a toothbrush and toothpaste. The kids will look forward to the heroic experience of fighting these “bugs.”
4. Have Rewards
Regularly brushing your teeth is rewarding enough. Yet kids will want something they can see and relate to an enjoyable activity. Embrace a reward system that’ll motivate your kids to brush their teeth.
Gold stars can be a great place to start. Have a decorated poster representing good oral health. Your child can put a sticker on the poster to show the days they brush their teeth.
When they fill up all the days on the poster, you can gift them with a toy or even a big congratulatory hug. The reward system can instill discipline over time. In the long run, the kids will know the importance of brushing their teeth, and they won’t need rewards to enjoy the activity.
5. Use Music
Teaching kids to brush their teeth as they listen to their favorite songs can be fun. They can dance along as they brush. You can join your kids in the dance to make it more entertaining.
Your kids should brush their teeth for two minutes. With a catchy song, your children won’t even realize they’ve been brushing their teeth. Get a song that has a dental care theme to make it more relevant.
If you can’t find relevant songs, create one. You can use traditional tunes and come up with words that motivate your children to brush your teeth. The results will be worth the creativity.
6. Get a Child-Friendly Toothpaste
You have an array of options when it comes to children’s toothpaste. The brushing techniques for children should involve refreshing toothpaste. The packaging should be exciting enough for a child.
Get a toothpaste that has a theme that your child prefers. You can also have fun flavors such as strawberry or vanilla. Your child will find the cartoon themes and the flavors intriguing.
If your child is under three years, use training toothpaste. At such a young age, children tend to swallow it. Fluoride-free toothpaste is safer at this stage.
7. Let Your Kid Play Dentist
Around 38% of young adults find life less satisfying because of mouth and teeth problems. Teaching kids to brush their teeth through role-playing can be fun and can reduce oral health problems.
Your kids can use their dolls to play dentist. Orient them on the role of the dentist. As the kid encourages the “patient” to embrace good dental care, they’ll also practice it in reality. Ensure that your kid understands everything that happens at the dental clinic.
To make tooth brushing for kids more interesting, you can also allow them to check your teeth as they play dentist. Brush each other’s teeth in the process. Kids will find the activity fulfilling.
If You’re Teaching Kids to Brush Their Teeth, You’ll Need To Be Creative
Children avoid brushing their teeth for several reasons. But as a parent, you can’t just let them be on matters of dental care. The idea of dealing with cavities is not impressive.
Teaching kids to brush their teeth should be a priority. Make it fun so they can embrace the activity. Nonetheless, your kids should know that brushing their teeth is a daily routine, not an option.
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