Your kids may say they want healthy teeth, but when the time comes to brush and floss they aren't always so enthusiastic, but you know how important it is for children to develop a habit of cleanliness and proper dental hygiene. Below are some tips to keep brushing and flossing fun and engaging for even the least enthusiastic children.
A Family Event
Make your daily routines for brushing and flossing a family event, making sure to join your children in the bathroom at the same time. Kids love to imitate their parents' behavior. Setting a good example in this way demonstrates the correct technique and shows your kids that its no big deal
Practicing high quality oral hygiene together also gives you the chance to make note of any concerns you may have about your children's brushing and flossing technique. Make sure they don't brush too hard and that brush everywhere. This means ensuring that they properly brush those tricky areas like the rear molars and the back of their front teeth. Your child should be under your supervision for their daily routine until they have developed the necessary motor skills required to do a good job on their own.
Choose Child Themed Toothbrushes, Floss and Toothpaste
The quickest way to make brushing and flossing fun for your children is to indulge in kid themed oral hygiene products. Most grocery stores carry a wide selection of kids' toothbrushes and toothpaste like SpongeBob SquarePants and Hello Kitty, as well as other superheroes and classic comic book characters.
Make sure the bristles are soft and the size of the toothbrush is the appropriate size for your child's age. Bringing the kids along with you to the store in order to pick out their very own toothbrush, toothpaste and floss can help them feel like a part of the process, allowing them to take pride in their choices and behavior.
Music can be a fantastic tool in your parenting repertoire, especially when used to lighten any repetitive activity. If your children have a favorite song, try humming it together with them while you make sure they are thoroughly cleaning their teeth.
The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is for children to spend two minutes brushing their teeth for each session, and as a minimum to brush twice daily. This period of time can seem like an eternity to a restless child. Employing the use of music is a boon in keeping your kids brushing instead of whining, as well as helping to make the time appear to pass more quickly.
Try to pick a song that matches the length of time it takes your family to brush and floss so you can judge your progress and the kids know they should keep on brushing.
Turn It Into a Game
Kids respond to fun and games much better than a sense of duty or commitment to health. Find games that you can play with your kids that center around brushing their teeth, using their imagination to state a "play" battle is a great way to turn brushing their teeth into an adventure. For example, pretend that there is a fight between good and evil such centered around evil bacteria and the king of floss or the king toothbrush.
Another technique is to get their minds working by way of counting their teeth as they floss. If your kids like to play on your phone or tablet, check for any dental hygiene games-- you may be surprised how much fun your kids can have with a good game about brushing and flossing!
Keep consistent with your kids and make brushing and flossing a fun family activity. You never know, they may shock you and ask to brush when you forget! For more ideas, ask your pediatric dentist.Share