February is Children’s Dental Health Month! Teaching good dental habits are more important than ever and we have 5 easy ways to get kids to brush and floss.
“Please brush and floss.” How many times do parents tell that to their children in a week? One of the most frustrating battles parents wage with their kids is getting them to brush and floss their teeth.
Preventative health and dental care is more important than ever, so don’t give up! Try using these 5 simple tips to encourage them to make the decision on their own. Kids who are taught to consistently take care of their teeth end up the oral-health winners, but getting there isn’t always easy. There are ways to make brushing and flossing a consistent habit and making it fun will make your job as a parent easier.
Kids seem to be reluctant to do chores that aren’t fun. Even if adults don’t see dental hygiene as a chore, kids might. So make it fun with an electric toothbrush. You can choose from princesses to action heroes and using an electric toothbrush may do the trick to get them to brush regularly. They are inexpensive and can be replaced if their interests change. Use an hourglass timer to make sure they brush for a full two minutes and let them watch the sand fall as they brush away those “sugar bugs.”
Competition and Game
If you have more than one child, brushing and flossing can be a competition. Sibling rivalry can be useful when it comes to who can brush and floss better. If your child is too young or doesn’t have a sibling with whom to create a little healthy competition, make it fun by making it a game. Everything is easier when it is fun, especially in a kid’s world.
One way to make it fun is to use a toothbrushing chart. The American Dental Association has a great monthly brushing calendar or you can create your own. Offer prizes for each week and month that they accomplish brushing and flossing.
Choose Their Supplies
Let your children go with you to pick out their own dental supplies. They can choose their brush and floss. They can pick out which flavor of floss and toothpaste they would like. This may seem like a small thing to adults, but for kids, being part of the process helps them feel like they have an important part to play in their own dental health.
Brush and Floss with Them
Make sure that you brush and floss with your kids. When your kids see that good dental hygiene is a part of your daily routine, they will be more likely to grow up with healthy habits as well. Show them the proper way to brush and floss. They should also be aware that you make regular visits to your dentist, so they will think that is also part of a healthy lifestyle. Kids pay more attention to what their parents do than we sometimes think. When they see how important your teeth are to you, they will want to keep theirs healthy, too.
Make sure that your children understand the terms that are used to describe dental conditions. You can explain cavities in terms that they understand. Show them pictures of what healthy gums and teeth look like, and show them what teeth can look like if they are not cared for properly.
Dental Health Associates
As dental professionals we appreciate all the hard work that parents do in making sure that their children stay healthy and practice good dental hygiene. Dental Health Associates welcomes children of all ages to our practice and we provide life-long preventative and complete dental care to the entire family. From dental check-ups to sealants and braces to clear aligners, and everything in between, we will bring out your best smile. In need of a dental visit? No problem, just call us today at 608-284-5400 or submit an appointment request using our online form.