When it comes to things that keep them in good health, kids are experts at avoiding them. From eating vegetables to going to bed on time, kids are bound to resist the things their parents put in place to take care of them. Dental hygiene is no different! If you are having trouble getting your kids to brush their teeth properly or get a strong dental hygiene routine in place, keep reading below for ways you can get your kids excited about dental hygiene.
Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste.
Letting your child choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste will get them more involved in the process and help them feel more in control because they get to make the decision about their toothbrush. Kids’ toothbrushes come in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and styles, and even feature characters from their favourite movies or TV shows! If your child has a toothbrush they like, they will be more interested in actually using it and may be excited about brushing their teeth.
The same goes for toothpaste. While as an adult, you may like the minty-fresh feeling of a strong peppermint toothpaste, children may not like that flavour. There are plenty of toothpastes available that have the same cleaning power as your own toothpaste, but come in much more kid-friendly flavours like bubblegum, strawberry, and more. If your child has a toothpaste that they think tastes good, there should be less resistance when it comes time to brush their teeth!
Brush to a Song
Singing can be fun for a lot of kids, especially when they are doing something that is not very fun! There are tons of toothbrushing songs for kids on YouTube and other online resources, so look around and find one that your child likes and that gets them interested in brushing their teeth.
Songs can also help to make sure your child is brushing your teeth for the right amount of time. Choose a song that is two minutes long, and have your child brush until the song ends. Having a song playing rather than just a timer can help your child stay focused and make sure they actually brush for the full two minutes without getting bored and stopping too early.
If you want more than just a song for your kids, you can try downloading an entertaining app or video that encourages good hygiene habits. Many of these apps feature Disney characters, superheroes, monsters, and other characters that teach healthy dental hygiene habits. These apps include games, videos, and some even offer digital “stickers” that track the number of days in a row your child brushes their teeth and other milestones.
Stick to a Routine
Setting and sticking to a routine is the most important part of instilling good dental hygiene habits in your child. When you have routines, things are much more likely to become second nature and turn into lifelong habits. From a young age, making dental hygiene part of your child’s routine in the morning and at night. The younger you start, the more likely these things will get done every day!
Giving your child a small reward after they brush or floss their teeth can be a great way to get them excited about their dental hygiene routine. What you offer as a reward will depend on what motivates your child. Some examples are stickers, certificates of achievement, or even a simple high-five! You can dole these rewards out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, as you see fit.
Brush and Floss Together
Children often mimic what their parents do, so getting them to brush their teeth and start a good dental hygiene routine could be as simple as having them watch you brush your teeth. Brush your teeth with your child to show them how you do it, what some good practices are, and that you enjoy brushing your teeth too. If you brush thoroughly, for two full minutes, your child will likely follow right along!
When it comes to flossing, children may need help, so doing this together is a great idea. Show your children how you floss your teeth, explaining to them why it is important, and then floss their teeth or let them try. For children, pre-strung flossers can be good tools for helping them to floss their teeth properly and more easily.
Brushing their teeth may not be the most exciting part of your child’s day, but with these tips, you can make it a little more exciting and make it something that they are willing to do. Explain to them why it is important that they take care of their teeth and show them how to do it properly. If they understand the importance of a dental hygiene routine, and you get them involved in the process by letting them choose their toothbrush or a song to listen to while they brush, it will be easier to get them excited about the process!