Getting your children to brush their teeth can be a struggle. When there are games to play and books to read, why would they want to practice good dental care? Besides good oral hygiene, there aren’t many incentives for children to practice good dental habits. That’s why it’s important to make the whole process fun and exciting, from start to finish, so they look forward to morning and bedtime brushings!
Here are some tips from our orthodontist office on how you can make dental care fun for kids.
Let Kids Choose
A big way to get your children excited about brushing their teeth is to let them feel like they’re a big part of the experience. Let them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste. Having a relatable character, theme, or color they can associate with brushing their teeth can make it more exciting for them. The same goes for their toothpaste. If they’re able to choose a flavor they like, then they’ll be more likely to happily brush their teeth. Avoid super sugary toothpaste when possible, and know that you don’t have to purchase an expensive toothbrush for brushing to be effective. When you let kids choose their toothbrush and toothpaste, it builds enthusiasm around brushing.
Set Good Examples
One of the best examples you can set for your kids is using good oral hygiene yourself. Setting an example of how to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth out is important. Children learn by example, so give them all the tools they need to build good oral hygiene habits. The American Dental Association advocates brushing for two minutes, twice a day. Putting a timer on the mirror or next to the sink can be a good way to make sure your child is brushing for the full two minutes. You can play your child’s favorite songs or even brush along with them to encourage them. Once you start and stick to a routine, it will only get easier for your kids. Starting good habits like this early on ensures they hold onto them their whole life.
Make It Fun
Cavity-free, clean teeth don’t mean much to kids (that is, unless they’ve experienced getting a cavity filled!). One great way to make brushing fun is to provide them with real incentives. These don’t always have to be something material or tangible, either. Although a simple toy or treat does often work, there are other ways to incentivize your kids. You can post sticky notes on their mirror with memorable quotes, funny jokes, or some words of encouragement to help keep them on track. For extra fun, you can have a tooth brushing dance party, make up a tooth brushing song, or even play games while you brush.
Find Out What Your Dentist or Orthodontist Does
It’s no secret that kids are usually afraid of the dentist or orthodontist. Unless they have family or friends in the field, they’re normally unfamiliar with the office, staff, and process. It can be understandably scary for young kids especially. At our orthodontist office in St. Augustine, we like to make dental hygiene super fun with a special rewards program, just for kids! When kids take care of their braces and practice good oral hygiene, we give them beach bucks each time they come in with a good report. Once they save up enough beach bucks, they can turn them in for a gift card of their choice. Many dentists and orthodontists have similar programs in place to encourage kids to take great care of their teeth.
Practicing Good Dental Hygiene in St. Augustine
There are so many ways to get your kids in the habit of practicing good oral hygiene. It all starts when you take the lead! Find out what works best for you and your child, and then adjust it as needed over time. At Henry Orthodontics, we believe in practicing good dental hygiene at all ages, from the youngest to the oldest. That’s why we see kids as young as seven years old! If you have questions or would like to learn more, contact us today.