5 Tips for Encouraging Proper Dental Hygiene Habits in Kids
As a parent, keeping your children healthy should be your top priority. It’s important to remember that dental health is just as important as other components of physical well-being. Allowing dental problems to develop and get out of hand can set your children up for years of suffering.
When it comes to kids’ teeth, it’s always best to prevent problems before they develop rather than trying to fix them after the fact. That’s why dental hygiene is so important, especially for children. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to keep your kids on top of their dental health. All that daily brushing and the occasional trips to the dentist can be a hard sell. Encouraging your kids to develop healthy habits sometimes requires a bit of creativity. Here’s how you can motivate your children to keep their teeth clean.
Brush Your Teeth With Them
If you want your kids to develop good habits, then you’re going to have to set a good example. Most children are eager to copy their parents. That’s why they’re so keen on playing “house” and other domestically-inspired games. Teeth-brushing is an adult activity that they can actually copy with no imagining necessary. Simply telling your kids to brush while you stay on the couch probably won’t cut it, at least at first. Brushing along with them is the best way to convince them that dental hygiene is both fun and important.
Make It Part Of A Fun Routine
Your goal is to make dental hygiene something your kids look forward to, not something they dread. The best way to do this is by creating a silly routine. Perhaps you could lead your child in hopscotching across the floor tiles on the way to the bathroom. Maybe a secret password is necessary to free the toothpaste from its “secret lair” in the medicine cabinet. Use what you know about your child’s imagination to create a set of games that will encourage them. Soon enough, they’ll be excited by the prospect of brushing their teeth.
Put On Some Music And Sing Along
Not only is music fun while brushing, but it can also serve as a timer marking the two minutes that you should brush for. Have your child pick a new song every week, and encourage a silly, warbling sing-along while brushing. This will help make dental hygiene something to get excited about. You might even improve your own brushing habits by forcing the two-minute rule upon yourself.
Let Them Choose A Fun Toothbrush
Your typical toothbrush, while extremely useful and amazingly practical, is not an especially exciting piece of equipment. Letting your kid choose a fun brush made especially for kids will make the entire process more exhilarating. If you set the right tone, you could even make a toothbrush into one of your child’s favorite toys. Brushing your teeth is hardly something to look forward to, but “slaying the plaque dragons in your teeth” with the “megatronic superhero brush” sounds like a pretty fun time.
As your childs gets older, these childish games might not be as effective, and at a certain point, the fact that you’re also brushing your teeth might make them less likely to join in rather than encouraging them. When your child reaches this age, it’s time to launch a dental hygiene rewards system. After every successful brushing, write down a check mark by the bathroom door. When you’ve got ten check marks in a row, give your child something they’ll be excited about. When it comes to dental hygiene, a little bribery can go a long way.