At Bayou Dental Group, we’re closing out Children’s Dental Health Month by sharing our top three ideas for making good oral hygiene fun for your kids!
As bizarre as it sounds, kids just don’t think taking care of their teeth is all that exciting.
We know what you’re thinking…. “Why on earth would kids NOT think oral hygiene is fun?!” We wonder the same thing, sometimes!
In all seriousness, we get that parents have to fight the good fight with the dental care routine on the homefront. There may be a very simple explanation for why kids treat it like a chore.
Since the ADA recommends that we brush our teeth twice a day, most people tend to brush in the morning and at night before bedtime.
This is all well and good for adults, especially parents, because bedtime is a glorious thing, right? What we sometimes forget is that for the most part, kids don’t like going to bed and will learn to actively protest any behaviors, patterns, or rituals they associate with the dreaded trip to sleepytown.
Toothbrushing tends to be one of those dreaded associations. To encourage a lifelong commitment to good oral hygiene, it’s important to help create positive connections with brushing and flossing. An early start on these healthy practices will only benefit their overall health in the long run.
Make It Family Time!
You are your child’s hero. They want to do everything you do. To them, you are THE coolest, smartest, most amazing human being on planet earth (at least until they’re in middle school, but that’s another topic for another day!).
The point is, if you make brushing and flossing family time, your kids will be more excited about doing it.
Make it special. Use it as a chance to bond. In their early years, kids want to be wherever mommy and daddy are, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing.
Like we said, it goes by way too fast, so enjoy this time with them!
Let Them Own It!
Kids really like to feel in charge. Use this to their oral health’s advantage by letting them have some ownership over the process.
Let them pick out their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss at the store, like ones with their favorite cartoon character or superhero on the front. The possibilities are endless!
When they have a say in the tools they use, oral hygiene starts to seem less boring to them.
Kids also like to feel in charge when it comes to activities, so why not let them own it!
Let the kids act like the dentist, and let them teach YOU how to properly brush and floss your teeth. It’s amazing how excited kids get when suddenly they get to be the boss!
Use A Reward System!
Who doesn’t love incentives? They’re too young to understand that good oral health is its own reward. We have to encourage them with things they do understand.
Sit down with your child and agree on a goal, a timeline, and a reward for all their good work when that timeline is up! You can download a chart or create one and color it together and keep it in the bathroom.
Brushing and flossing will become something they want to do simply because they’ll have their eye on the prize!
Get Them Excited To Meet The Dentist!
If kids feel like taking care of their teeth is fun at home, they’re more likely to think it’ll be fun when they go to the dentist, too. Prepare them for the visit by telling them how proud Dr. Finley will be of them for taking such good care of their teeth!
You are also welcome to bring them with you to YOUR next checkup at Bayou Dental Group. Our team loves meeting the kids! If they see our warm, friendly environment firsthand, that familiarity will only help them feel more comfortable when it’s time for their first appointment.