Parents, learn new and better ways to keep your kids healthy Learn methods to teach children to clean their teeth properly and regularly–without the fight.
Children love to feel big. They love to feel like they can make choices on their own. Help them feel some ownership over carrying for their smiles by allowing them to participate in purchasing some of the vital tools. Picking out a toothbrush they love can help them look forward to brushing. Finding a toothpaste that they find appealing can also make brushing time more pleasant. (Some kids are very sensitive to mint flavors. But the good news is that toothpastes come in a range of flavors now so you can find one they like. Often, toothpaste packaging may depict one of your child’s favorite heroes as well. Allowing them to choose a character that inspires them will aid in their attitudes about brushing.
Children are visual learners. Pictures and words can really drive home a point. As can fun characters. Colgate has a fun educational video, “Meet the Tooth Defenders” that can help engage young minds in the quest for strong teeth. Crest also has produced a fun video for kids called the Crest Dental Defenders. The Little Fox network also produced a video about going to the dentist that you could share with your kids. There are a wide range of videos with more tips for oral care with kids that you can find by doing a quick search on YouTube as well.
Apps can work, or you can find a fun timer to help count down the time your child should be brushing their teeth (2 minutes). Several automatic toothbrushes come with built-in timers as well to help monitor the amount of time needed to get all four quadrants of the mouth clean. (Need a little refresher on the proper way to brush the teeth? Click here. Or, here is a fun video from Colgate that teaches about brushing teeth that your kids will enjoy.)
Kids love playing pretend. Take the opportunity to role play dental care scenarios with your children to help them get accustomed to how proper oral care works.
Positive incentives to help motivate children can yield fantastic results. Consider offering children gold stars, stickers or other rewards for brushing and flossing their teeth. (Developing consistent oral health habits is the greatest reward you will ever give them.)
When setting up a reward system, consider starting with small rewards. Such as, if he or she brushes and flosses regularly for an entire week they get a reward. Then, something else if they brush and floss for two weeks (or longer.)
Also, as part of our healthy body healthy teeth goal, make sure your rewards are non-candy or sugar rewards. Look for ways to reward behavior that isn’t counterproductive to their amazing efforts!
Our Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry offers our families and kids a well-trained staff with developed systems that allow patients and parents to move quickly through the treatment process with enjoyment and less fear! Call 813-576-0200 to schedule a children’s dentistry consultation with Dr. Botero today and to receive more tips for oral care with kids!