Kids love to laugh and have fun. So when it comes to doing something they have to do - such as brushing their teeth - it can help to make it more exciting. Work to overcome the challenges of instilling new oral hygiene habits in young children by making it seem less like a chore and more like a time of positivity.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s how to use fun activities to encourage toothbrushing.
Lead By Example
As an adult, you may not find brushing teeth together as a family to be at the top of the list of fun activities. But, for a kid? Having everyone together all doing the same thing is fun! Kids love to do what their parents are doing - even when it comes to oral hygiene.
By making it a family affair, you are not only leading my example, but you are giving your child lifelong memories, spending quality time together, and having fun, too.
Because there may be a lot going on in the bathroom during those times - don’t forget to set the brush timer!
Listen to Music
Music always makes things fun - and music while brushing teeth is no exception. Choose one of your child’s favorite songs and play it while they brush their teeth. You can feel the rhythm of the music or try to sing the lyrics while brushing. No matter what, they are sure to giggle.
Depending on how long the song is, you may even be able to use it as your timer.
Create a Reward System
There are many different ways to create a reward system. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be big or expensive. A simple reward system will work just as well as an elaborate one.
When it comes to receiving the reward, it helps if there is a daily treat. Little kids may get excited to see a sticker on the reward chart at the end of each day whereas older kids may be excited to have 15 extra minutes of screen time before it is lights out.
Associating a positive reward with oral hygiene is a great way to encourage habit formation.
Involve Your Child
Instead of just giving your child a toothbrush and then forcing them to brush their teeth, consider it a time for education. Teach your child about the importance of brushing - but do so in an age-appropriate way in which they will understand. For instance, rather than trying to explain that bacteria and plaque can build up on teeth, give it a made-up name and let them know they are invisible so you have to brush well in all the nooks and crannies.
As part of this discussion, give them a few different options for a soft-bristled toothbrush and let them choose which one they want. This will make them feel like they have a role in the overall experience.
Boost Oral Hygiene with Regular Dental Visits
If you want to give your child the best chance at setting a foundation for a lifetime of oral health, then always make routine dental cleanings and exams a priority. Bisson Dentistry will help encourage your child to brush regularly as well as show tips and tricks to make it both effective and fun.