3 Creative Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids
Establishing good dental habits early on helps children maintain oral health for life. As a parent, you can use children’s natural tendencies to help them actually enjoy brushing their teeth. Kids love to play and have fun, and they take pride in doing important tasks “on their own.” Creating an enjoyable daily habit for your kids is the priority, but also be sure to guide children to brush with proper technique. The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that parents supervise children’s tooth brushing until they reach age eight. Here are some children’s tooth care tips that can make good oral care easy for you and your little ones!
Cater to Your Child’s Independent Streak
Let kids be creative and feel “in charge” of tooth brushing by allowing and encouraging them to brush their teeth:
- Choose their own toothbrush and paste. Your child may pick a brush that is decorated with their favorite cartoon character and/or in their favorite color, for example. Let them select the flavored fluoride toothpaste they like best, like bubblegum or strawberry.
- Pretend to brush their stuffed animal, doll, or action figure’s teeth daily.
- Track success with daily toothbrushing rewards. Something small, like adding a star sticker (or favorite character sticker) to a calendar daily, gives kids a track record of accomplishment. Add (or let your child choose and stick on) the new sticker they’ve earned every day after the second brushing session.
How to Make Tooth Brushing Fun for Kids
To help kids see brushing their teeth as fun and playful:
- Cheer their celebrations. Celebrate with loud cheers after your child finishes brushing each quadrant of the mouth (for 30 seconds each). Two minutes of brushing, twice daily, is the typical dentist’s recommendation for healthy teeth, for all ages—kids and adults alike.
- Brush with your children. Brush your own teeth, right alongside your child.
- Be enthusiastic and positive about tooth brushing. Make the activity fun and present it as a good, important and enjoyable activity. Your child will catch your enthusiasm. Be upbeat and positive, whether you’re reminding your child to go brush, or when asking them to join you, when it’s time to go brush side-by-side with Mom or Dad.
- Use a fun phone app or video. Most kids tooth brushing apps in the Apple iTunes and Google Android app stores are free and use a variety of methods to make tooth brushing a fun game. For instance, apps may include music as a timer, to let kids know when they have brushed for 2 minutes. You could also let kids watch a 2-minute educational and entertaining oral health video while brushing, like one suggested by the ADA (American Dental Association).
Establish a Brushing Habit Kids Enjoy
Try these tips to see which work best for your child! Soon he or she may begin looking forward to daily brushing. Have questions about children’s dental care or need to schedule an exam? Our team provides expert dental care for the entire family! Contact HollowBrook Dental today!