Learning good oral hygiene habits when children are young is a great way to prevent tooth decay, and lay the foundation for lasting oral health. Since studies show that children tend to learn more when they are having fun, it’s smart to make teeth brushing more fun. Here are six ways to make brushing more fun for children.
Make Brushing a Competition
Most kids love games. So why not turn your morning and evening brushing routine into a game where you compete for the title of “Best Brusher.” Set a timer for two minutes, and challenge your child to brush the entire two minutes without stopping. If you’re “competing” against your child, you can ensure they win by taking a pause in your brushing, or “forgetting” that you have to brush the whole time, so your child wins the contest. Reward your champion with a prize they’ll love, such as stickers or a few extra minutes of screen time.
Use Videos that Include Favorite Characters to Emphasize the Importance of Brushing
Consider showing your child an educational or instructional video timed video while they brush. For variety, mix and match videos with PSAs featuring Sesame Street characters, or YouTube videos from Paw Patrol. Brushing videos featuring Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse are also free and widely available to stream to encourage excellent brushing techniques.
Add an App to Your Brushing Routine
As parents know, kids love screen time. So, incorporating a bit of screen time into their brushing routine with apps that include timers, songs, or favorite cartoon characters can get your child excited about their morning or evening brushing routine.
Let Your Child Pick Their Toothbrush
Letting your child pick out their toothbrush can make brushing their teeth a special treat. When you’re at the store or pharmacy, direct them to toothbrushes that are the right size and strength for their young teeth, and encourage them to find one they love. Many toothbrushes feature cartoon characters and bright colors that our child can pick from. Electric toothbrushes may also have a two-minute timer that lets your child know when they are finished.
Brush, Floss, and Dance With Your Child
Children learn to imitate the adults in their life, so if they see you brushing, flossing, and enjoying it right beside them, it will make the event a fun learning experience that they want to imitate. Consider turning on a favorite song while you brush together, so you can sway or dance carefully all the while cleaning your teeth. When you’ve both completed, keep the dancing going.
Reward Streaks of Excellent Brushing
If you struggle to get your child to brush regularly and for the entire two minutes, consider creating a challenge, complete with a reward for consecutive brushing streaks. For example, if your child brushes their teeth for a full two minutes in the morning and at night for a whole week, reward them with a trip to their favorite park, stickers, extra screen time, or a special movie on the weekend.
Regular Dental Cleanings Are Essential to Children’s Health
In addition to two minutes of brushing every morning and evening, regular dental checkups and cleanings should be part of your oral health plan. To schedule a dental exam for your child, contact us today by calling 505-888-3520. You may also request an appointment online.