6 Tips on How to Make Brushing Teeth Fun for Kids
You may think that it’s okay to let your young kids’ oral hygiene slide now and then because they will eventually lose their baby teeth—this is actually a serious misconception. Developing cavities in baby teeth can have long-term effects on your child’s oral health and overall well-being. Because baby teeth are place holders for adult teeth, unhealthy baby teeth will ultimately become unhealthy adult teeth.
Kids may put up a fight and resist brushing their teeth and so taking the easy way out may be tempting. But at Prescott Dentistry, we want to remind you that caring for your children’s teeth is essential. They will need help brushing and flossing until they are between the ages of 6-9, depending on the child, to ensure that their teeth are being thoroughly cleaned. We understand how challenging this task can be, so we’ve put together this list of 6 tips on how to make brushing teeth fun for kids.
1. Play music
Pick some fun songs with your children that are around 2 minutes long to play while they are brushing their teeth. They can even dance in place as long as the proper technique is maintained!
2. Make it special
Go on a special outing with your child to the store. Let her pick out her own toothbrush with her favorite superhero. Then, let her pick out her favorite flavor of toothpaste. When it’s time to brush, brush your own teeth with your child. Let her know that this is special time together, just the two of you—or the whole family!
3. Make up a game
Make brushing a “race”—either against you or as a game between your children. See who can brush their teeth for the longest (just be careful that they don’t brush too vigorously and cause damage to their gums). Use a timer, or an electric toothbrush to make sure your child brushes for a full two minutes.
Another fun game is to give your child a toothbrush to play with and let him brush his stuffed animal or doll’s teeth while you brush his. You can also let him brush your teeth first and then brush his, making a game of it.
4. Add some drama
Tell your kids about “sugar bugs” that are out to get their teeth. The only way to defeat the sugar bugs is to wield a toothbrush and toothpaste. Give them capes so they can become superheroes defending their mouths against the evil sugar bugs. (Just be sure to remind them that it’s a game and not to scare them into believing that there are actual bugs in their mouths!)
5. Use tooth-brushing apps
Apps can be a good way to get your child excited about brushing their teeth. Here are some of our faves!
6. Offer a reward
Some parents may be hesitant to offer rewards, but if you have a particularly hard time with getting your child to brush her teeth, this may be a good option. Keep in mind that as adults, we get rewards as well—paychecks, for example. A simple reward, like a sticker from her favorite movie, could be just the thing to get her excited about brushing her pearly whites!
With a little creativity, your children may even come to look forward to brushing their teeth. Encouraging good dental hygiene does not have to be a chore that you and your children dread. You can actually make it become a fun, exciting part of the day! If you have more questions about how to make brushing teeth fun for kids, be sure to ask at your next appointment. And be sure to check out these other dental tips for kids. At Prescott Dentistry, we believe that one of the best things you can do for your children’s health is to start them off with good dental habits for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!