Let’s face it, it’s tough to get kids to do many things that are good for them; getting to bed early, eating their veggies, and of course, brushing their teeth! But these things are key to their healthy development; veggies to grow strong, sleep to keep their minds alert and focused, and good oral hygiene to keep a bright and healthy smile. Instilling proper brushing habits when your kids are young will do wonders for their dental health as they age, even if it is a bit of a struggle to keep them on top of it!
As a parent, you’ve probably noticed that adding some element of fun or distraction to those tasks they resist can sometimes do the trick. Here are our 5 suggestions for getting your kids on the right track with their dental health.
1. Explain the ‘why?’
If you have little kids, you know that their favourite question in the world is ‘why?’. They are at an inquisitive time when they are trying to learn the motivation and reasoning for many things. Giving them the explanation for ‘why’ they have to brush their teeth each day (obviously, in language at their level) can do wonders for keeping them self-motivated to brush.
2. Let them choose
Children of a certain age like to feel some sort of control, even a small detail like picking out their own clothes. Give them a bit of a say in their brushing routine and let them pick out a fun toothbrush or special flavour of toothpaste for this daily ritual.
3. Select a tooth brushing anthem
Pick a fun song* (about 2 minutes in length) to play when it’s time to brush. This will make the task a little more fun as they can dance and hum along while brushing, and they’ll know that they aren’t done until the song ends.
*parents’ note: you may want to switch up the song from week to week so you don’t go nuts!
4. Monkey see, monkey do
Try brushing your teeth with your child so that they see it’s an important thing to do for kids and grown-ups alike. Alternatively, you could have your child “brush” the teeth of their favourite doll or stuffed animal and then brush their own for extra encouragement.
5. Stay positive
As in many activities with your child, it’s important to encourage them along the way. Let them know they are doing a great job, and that they will grow up healthy and strong by taking care of themselves. A little praise and positive reinforcement can go a long way!