It’s hard enough to get your kiddos to bed without the added stress of the tooth brushing battle. Forming good oral care habits from a young age is crucial to your child’s development, but it’s no easy task to complete. If you’re struggling to get kids to take care of their teeth, it may be time to get creative. Finding a tactic that works so your child can enjoy a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. Here’s how you can make brushing fun for kids.
Make Brushing Fun For Kids
Let’s face it – brushing teeth isn’t always fun for kids. You can talk to them all you want about the dental benefits of a good brushing routine, but it can be hard for kids to see the big picture when all they want to do is go and play. Like doing their chores and eating vegetables, you can encourage your kids to maintain a good dental hygiene routine by making it fun. Nothing can make an otherwise boring couple of minutes positively fly by faster than turning them into a game. Once you start turning tooth-brushing time into an event, your children will begin to look forward to brushing their teeth. Here are three ideas to help you get your kids keep their teeth strong and healthy.
Make It Musical
Playing music while brushing teeth adds a calming and enjoyable sensory component to this task. Music can also be used as a timer so your child knows exactly how long they need to brush for. This is especially useful if your little one typically brushes their teeth for 10 seconds, instead of the recommended 2 minutes. You can even try using a musical toothbrush to make this activity more fun. Your child can press play themselves, start brushing when the music starts and finish when the tune ends. Otherwise, sing a song to keep them brushing and make it a little more fun!
Family Fun Time Will Make Brushing Fun For Kids
Brushing your teeth doesn’t necessarily need to be a solitary routine. Many children benefit from having their parents and siblings join in the teeth-brushing fun. Getting the whole family involved not only makes the time go by more quickly, but also offers the perfect opportunity for some bonding time. What’s more, your kids get the benefit of a daily demonstration from the tooth-brushing experts of the house.
Turn Brushing into a Game
Kids love games, so if you’re having a tough time getting kids to brush or brush long enough, turn it into a fun game they’ll enjoy. Come up with a superhero game, complete with cape, where your child fights off the villains attacking his teeth by brushing. If you have multiple children and they aren’t brushing long enough, consider having a contest when they brush to see who can keep brushing the longest, although you want to ensure they don’t brush too vigorously, since this can damage their gums. You can even make up a story or create a fun character to inspire your child to brush.
Try a Different Toothpaste
Your local grocery store is full of toothpastes made especially for children. Kids will be delighted to see their favorite characters on the toothpaste packaging and look forward to using it to brush their teeth every night and morning. Whether it’s Spiderman, My Little Pony, or Elmo, you can find a toothpaste themed to your child’s preferences, and available in fun flavors like berry.
For children under 3 years old, using a “training toothpaste” can help young brushers who are just starting out. Little ones are more likely to swallow toothpaste when they’re learning how to brush, and training toothpaste is safer to swallow because it’s fluoride-free.
Let Your Kids Practice on Others
This might be slightly uncomfortable for you, but if it works, the pay-off is worth it: if you’re tired of fighting your child to open their mouths and let you brush their teeth, open your own mouth instead and let them practice using a toothbrush on you. Again, make sure you’re a good actor – make tooth-brushing (even when performed by your child) seem fun, and your kiddo will want in on the fun, too.
If practicing on you is not the ideal option, encourage your child to practice on a stuffed animal or doll. The Baby Alive Brushy Brushy Baby Doll comes with a tube of pretend toothpaste and a pretend electric toothbrush so that your child can practice brushing while playing. Brushing your teeth will seem like a lot more fun when a toy is involved!
Who is the character your child can’t get enough of? Many children’s shows and books, including Sesame Street, have stories about brushing. Watch and read them together, so when it’s time to brush you can use that character as a good example.
Make Up a Story
Haven’t found a story or character to inspire your child? Make up your own. Your child just might be the only superhero who can brush away the bad guys that cause cavities.
If your child struggles around teeth brushing time, a few small changes can make the experience more enjoyable.
- Try using warm water! The shock of cold water could be a bit off-putting and a simple adjustment of temperature could make all the difference.
- Change the toothpaste flavor. Try fruity, mint, and unflavored. Sometimes dentists will offer patients samples or you can get travel sized tubes of toothpaste while you’re testing out what your child likes best.
- Brushes can also be difficult for children with sensory issues. You can use a soft-bristled brush or start off by using a washcloth to help your little one get used something touching and cleaning their teeth.
- Go electric. Some kids don’t like standard toothbrushes, but using an electric toothbrush can work wonders. The consistent motion can be calming for them.
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Whether your teeth needs are a:
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We promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.
- Dental Exams
- Dental Cleanings
- Oral Cancer Exam
- Fluoride Treatment
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- Home Care
- Nightguards & Mouthguards
- Dental Implants
- Composite Fillings
- Porcelain Crowns
- FixedPorcelain Bridges
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- Tooth Whitening
- What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
- Dental Implants
- Inlay Restorations
- Onlay Restorations
- Composite Fillings
- Dentures & Partial Dentures
- Fixed Bridges
- Root Canal Therapy
- Wisdom Teeth Extractions