As adults, most of us understand the importance of looking after our teeth. After all, we only have one set to last our entire adult lives. However, even though your child's milk teeth only last until they are 12, it is still important to establish healthy brushing habits as soon as possible.
Teaching your children about tooth brushing can be a challenge. This is can quickly become a chore and is difficult to fit into a busy daily routine.
Unfortunately, tooth decay is one of the most chronic diseases in children at the moment and this can have a big impact on their life. This can affect how your children eat, speak, and learn.
To help you out we've put together some ways that you can inject a little fun into your morning and evening oral health routine! Let's take a look at some great ways that you can make tooth brushing for kids fun!
1. Brush Your Teeth Together
Children love to learn socially so showing them that you brush your teeth can really help them. This also shows them that everyone has to brush their teeth to stay healthy. So they are more likely to associate it with being fun and grown-up.
Try to carve out a time in your routine to brush your teeth altogether. This could be after breakfast in the morning and just after bathtime. Try to brush after each meal if possible.
2. Let Them Pick a Cool Toothbrush
Letting your child choose their toothbrush is a great way to get them excited about brushing. It also gives them a sense of control and purpose over the activity.
Of course, it's important that they have an age-appropriate brush. So try to narrow down their choices before you offer it to them!
3. Find a Song to Brush To
For thorough cleaning, you and your kids should brush for at least two minutes twice a day. This can feel like a long time for a child, especially when their attention span is short. Finding fun ways to measure this time can really help.
You might want to get a cool hourglass or stopwatch. Or you could find a song that they love to brush to. This is a great way of establishing a tooth brushing routine — simply put the song on and away you go!
4. Play Around With Tooth Brushing Technique
Your children need to learn how best to brush their teeth so why not have some fun with this? You can try out different tooth brushing techniques when your kids get a new toothbrush.
To start with, show them how you brush and then see if they can copy. This is a great way to teach them about circular brushing motions versus up and down brushing. You can also use this time to show them different parts of your mouth and how to clean them best. Make sure to show them the hard to reach areas that are most often missed. Around the very back molars in the mouth and the areas closest to the tongue.
Your kids might want to look at their own mouths when they do this so make sure you have a mirror to hand.
5. Create a Star Chart
You should always praise your kids whenever they clean their teeth. This is a good way of positively reinforcing their routine. But you can take this further by creating a rewards chart as well.
Rewards charts are easy to make — all you need is some colored cards, some pens, and some stickers. Then you can add a sticker every time they brush their teeth properly. Over time you can create a rewards scheme so a certain number of stickers will result in a prize!
This is a great way of incentivizing your kids to stick with their brushing.
6. Teach Them How to Brush on Their Toys
Kids are often being told or shown what they need to do or having it done for them! This can leave them feeling like they don't have a lot of independence, which takes the fun out of things.
So why not put them in charge and let them brush one of their toy's teeth at bedtime after they've done their own? Of course, you need to pick a toy that is easy to clean.
Alternatively, you can let them try their technique out on you. This role reversal is sure to make them giggle — plus you can always try out your best 'aaah' sounds for comic effect!
7. Plan an Exciting Dentist Visit
Kids won't always understand how brushing your teeth every day impacts your long-term health. Teaching them to associate dental care with family dentist visits can help them get their heads around this.
It is a good idea to try and make visiting the dentist as fun as possible. This might involve planning a fun activity before or after a dentist visit. For example, they could go and collect their star-chart reward after seeing the dentist!
Creating this positive association early on will make them more confident about seeing the dentist in the future. It will also help to reinforce the importance of their everyday teeth brushing routine.
Keep These Tooth Brushing Tips in Mind
As you can see, when it comes to encouraging your kids with their tooth brushing it's all about finding the fun! Making this a fun activity now will also help them establish a healthy tooth cleaning routine in the future. So it's worth putting the time in.
We've got loads more great advice on looking after your dental hygiene. For more inspiration, check out our top tips for keeping your teeth clean between dental visits.
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