With what seems like an unlimited amount of games and toys at their fingertips, it’s no wonder that mundane tasks like brushing their teeth aren’t exactly on your child’s list of fun things to do. For parents, this can make the battle of oral hygiene a frustrating process.
At Thomas Orthodontics, we have a few fun and easy ways to help get your kids more involved in their oral health. Make brushing their teeth less of a battle between you and your kids with these fun activities to get them more involved in taking care of their teeth.
Brush and Floss as a Family
One of the best ways your children can learn to do something well is to learn from a great example – you! Supervised family-style brushing is one of our favorite ways to get kids more engaged in taking great care of their teeth. Try letting your little ones take charge of the family brushing routine by letting them place the pea-sized amount of toothpaste on everyone’s toothbrushes and giving them the responsibility of the two-minute timer. Take it one step further by letting them hand out the floss too.
As a bonus, brushing your teeth early at your children’s bedtime will keep you from late-night snacking temptations because your teeth are already clean and ready for bed!
Use a Brushing and Flossing App To Make Time Fly
Make brushing and flossing an activity with videos or brushing apps (yes, they exist!) to help the two minutes, twice a day fly by. Play your child’s favorite silly song and brush to the rhythm of the music, or try out a podcast that you only listen to while brushing, so everyone is ready to hear what happens next with their toothbrush in hand. Whatever you do, get creative and switch things up, so brushing feels like less of a chore and something you do together as a family.
Reward Good Brushing Behavior
Determining what currently motivates your child and rewarding them is a classic parenting hack – and for a good reason! A sticker reward chart works wonders in motivating children of all ages, and it’s a great way to teach them how small tasks add up to big rewards in life. Once the sticker reward chart fills up and they’ve reached their goal, reward them with things like a new bedtime book or letting them pick what’s for dinner one night of the week.
Let Kids Pick Their Own Hygiene Products
Let your kids pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste that features their favorite characters. Sometimes, little things like a new toothbrush or a particular flavor of ADA-approved toothpaste can improve mundane daily routines like brushing and flossing.
Start a Routine and Stick to It
You may be tempted to let your child skip brushing after a long and busy day or let them take matters into their own hands for a few nights after brushing together. However, it’s a proven fact that kids don’t share the same passion for oral hygiene as adults do, so it’s always best to have brushing be a supervised activity. As your child grows and brushing becomes second nature to them, it will be easier for you to loosen the reins and let them take charge of their oral hygiene. But until you’re confident in their brushing skills, we recommend brushing as a family so you can ensure their teeth are being thoroughly cleaned.
Try The Egg Scrubbing Science Experiment
Are you struggling to teach your kids why it’s so crucial for them to brush their teeth properly? Encourage excellent dental health in children of all ages with the egg scrubbing science experiment found here. Not only will you be visually showing them why it’s crucial to take care of their teeth by brushing and eating a nutrition-filled diet, but it’s a great way also to teach them how to develop strong thinking skills that can be used in science, social studies, reading and math.
This experiment is a fun and easy way to show the power of toothpaste on our teeth and why it’s essential to use toothpaste when brushing instead of just water.
Brushing and Flossing is a Vital Life Skill
One of those necessary life skills every child needs to learn is brushing and flossing their teeth. Helping your child get in the habit of brushing twice a day for two full minutes is no small feat, but a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to their long-term dental health. For other tips and tricks on how to get your kids excited about brushing and how you can keep their teeth cavity-free while undergoing braces or other orthodontic treatments, ask Thomas Orthodontics for a few more tips at your child’s next checkup.