Brushing and flossing your teeth may feel like a chore, but you know how important good oral hygiene is for your dental health. It can be difficult to develop kids’ oral hygiene habits. They don’t know how important teeth brushing and flossing are to their oral health. A good way parents can instill strong oral hygiene habits in their kids is teach them early how important it is. The best ways kids learn is through imitation. Modeling good brushing and flossing habits will be absorbed and practiced by your child. Sometimes, kids dread or loathe brushing and flossing their teeth. The next time your child acts out and doesn’t want to brush and floss his or her teeth, try making the experience fun so they want to do it and don’t feel forced to. When kids want to do something, they are more likely to stick to it. How do you, then, make teeth brushing and flossing fun? Here are some suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing:
Brush and floss together. As mentioned previously. Children are like sponges and will want to emulate you. Brushing and flossing together with your child will be a fun learning time for them and a great teaching opportunity for yourself.
Pick a fun toothbrush. When it comes time to replace your child’s toothbrush, let them pick one out. There are many styles of kids’ toothbrushes available and they are also age-specific. Go ahead and let them pick a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it.
Pick a fun toothpaste. Like the toothbrush, allow your child to pick out their own flavored kids toothpaste. Kids will more likely enjoy bubble gum flavor over the mint flavor of your toothpaste.
Reward with stickers. Have a large calendar on the wall and reward your child with a sticker after each time he or she brushes and flosses their teeth. Children and adults need to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. Each day you can reward your child with a sticker after each morning and bedtime brushing and flossing.
Set a timer. Children and adults need to brush their teeth for two minutes. You can set an alarm so your child learns how long to brush. You can also make the time go by quicker by using an hourglass timer that your child can turn over and start or you can play your child’s favorite song for two minutes.
Plan a fun outing or meal after visiting the dentist. Children, like many adults, dread going to the dentist. Similarly, to going to the doctor’s office, you can attach something fun after the visit. This will allow your child to associate going to the dentist with something fun. Taking them to the park, or to their favorite restaurant are some ideas.
At Stone Crest Family Dentistry, we believe that educating children at young age about the importance and correct brushing and flossing techniques. Our friendly staff and experienced pediatric dentists will strive to make your child feel comfortable and at home while in our office. An important part in your child’s oral health is regular, twice yearly, teeth cleaning and exams at our dental office. If it has been six months or longer, call and schedule an appointment for your child today.