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How to Help Your Kids Fall in Love with their Oral Health
Posted on July 13th, 2022
As parents, we all struggle with teaching our children daily routines that will benefit them as they grow into their teens and adulthood. Every child is different, and not every strategy will work the same way on each child. Rather than grasping at straws, here we will talk about some solutions that can help children get into the habit of brushing and flossing, so their teeth can remain strong and healthy.
Make brushing and flossing fun!
It’s difficult to have children understand the importance of dental hygiene. If they find it boring, they are less likely to want anything to do with it. Making brushing and flossing fun is a good way to make children excited about keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Here are a few ways parents can make brushing teeth a fun time for their children:
Find a movie, video or song with an upbeat tone your child may enjoy that will help them pass the time while taking care of their teeth.
Download a kid friendly app on your phone or tablet that focuses on a child’s dental hygiene.
Tell an animated and easily understood story that revolves around a child brushing his/her teeth.
Reward the child when they do a good job
It may take a few days, or even weeks to get a child into the habit of brushing and flossing daily. They may put up a fight at first. However, by explaining to your child that good brushing behavior will lead to a reward is an excellent way of motivating them to brush on a regular schedule every day. Examples of these rewards can include:
Extra TV/movie time before bed
Extra reading time
A special treat the following day
A simple “great job!” can go a long way
Make a weekly chart. When your child brushes and flosses on schedule all week, take them on a special trip to a park, the movies, or a toy store.
Model a good oral care routine
As a parent, if you don’t follow a strict brushing routine, you can’t expect your child to follow one either. Making it a point to brush and floss at the same time every morning and night will make it easier for your child to remember to do the same. Do it together! Set an alarm that will go off at the same time every morning and every night so you and your child both know it’s time to brush and floss. After a while, your child will start following the routine without prompting them, and you can turn off the alarm. Repetition is key! This will condition habitual behavior that has the potential to lead to lifelong benefits.
Let your child choose
Take your child to your local grocery store and let them browse all the dental hygiene accessories. Let them pick their own toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character, their own toothpaste of their preferred flavor, and let them choose whatever floss they might like the most. When your child feels they have a say in their dental hygiene they will be more likely to brush and floss on their own.
With a strong reward system in place, kids are more likely to grow into an independent routine that keeps them healthy for life. If you’d like to discuss more ideas for keeping your child’s mouth healthy, make an appointment today!
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.