Teaching Kids Healthy Dental Habits
For some reason, it’s a challenge for most parents to get their children to brush their teeth. To make that daily routine a little easier, and hopefully improve your child’s oral health, here are a few tips on how to teach your kids healthy oral hygiene habits.
Make it Fun
Is it even possible to make tooth brushing fun? It all depends on your attitude! Take the whole family on a trip to the store so that each member can pick out their own special toothbrush and toothpaste. (Be sure to look for products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you can be sure that you’re getting quality care.)
For younger children, it could help if you play a song about brushing teeth while they are brushing. You can search for a fun one on YouTube. Additionally, take younger kids to the bookstore or library to pick out a book about the importance of brushing teeth.
Finally, make brushing a game! How? By using sticker charts, your kids can earn incentives for brushing their teeth a certain number of times. That not only gets the job done but turns what may have been a chore into something positive.
Create a Routine
This will vary depending on the family and the child, but creating a routine for bedtime (which is helpful in general for reducing the hustle and bustle of getting your child to bed) gives your child an idea of what to expect. So once dinnertime and playtime is over, they’ll know that they have to brush their teeth before they get that story before bedtime, and they won’t try to get away from it.
Getting your children used to brushing at a young age makes it easier for them to keep up with it as they get older. A great time to enforce the habit of brushing twice a day is as soon as they are able to brush, but even better would be when they’re even younger, and you’re “brushing” for them by wiping their gums.
This works well when you have more than one child. Using the incentive/sticker charts, put a little competitive spirit into the routine of brushing teeth to see who can keep up with the habit the best and reach the goal first. Eventually, it should turn from being a game to being a part of their daily routine that they don’t even have to think about.