It takes time to create good habits; whether it’s eating right, daily chore routine, or simply brushing your teeth. Starting kids off on the right foot early with good oral hygiene habits and bi-annual cleanings will set them up for a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. If you make brushing fun for kids, they are more likely to develop healthy brushing habits early, which means less (or no) time under the drill.
Here are some ideas to make brushing fun for kids:
- Buy them a “fun” toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes or ones that “sing” encourage kids to actually want to use it. Letting them pick out their own children’s toothpaste isn’t a bad idea either.
- If you have more than one child, make it a game to see who can make the most bubbles from brushing.
- Have a sticker chart that they can fill in each time they brush their teeth. Once they fill out a section, have a predetermined prize waiting for them, like stickers, a small toy, an outing or a book.
- For younger kids under two, brushing your teeth at the same time they do shows them how it’s done while giving them the chance to “do it themselves.” (You may want to go over their teeth again when they are finished doing it themselves until they have developed good method.) Other versions include letting them brush YOUR teeth!
- Have a favorite 2-minute tune playing in the background while they are brushing. A free app called Brush DJ is a great tool to use, which also allows you to calendar dental appointments and track flossing, mouthwash and other important dental habit reminders throughout the day.
- Once they are done brushing, praise them for doing such a great job!
The sooner they start brushing their teeth, the easier it will be as they grow older and become toddlers, and their dentist will thank you.