It’s not easy being a parent. (And if we remember right — it’s not easy being a kid either.) Even the most simple tasks can be an uphill battle, especially when it comes to dental care and their health. You want the best for them. You do everything you can for your kids to be healthy, happy, and have great dental care. And that means getting them to brush their teeth. But that can sometimes feel impossible — especially at the end of the day when you can barely keep your eyes open.
Take a word of advice from your dentist. The trick is to make brushing fun — not a chore. That takes a little creativity, but it makes the task so much easier. Soon your kids will be brushing because they want to. And their next trip to the dentist will be cavity free. You’ll have fewer dental emergencies and more cavity free dental visits.
Here are 4 tricks to make brushing fun so kids forget it’s good for them.
Kids love getting new things. And dentists recommend you change your toothbrush every 3 months (as soon as the bristles start to flatten.) That means kids’ toothbrushes too. Let your child choose their own toothbrush — something playful and imaginative, perhaps a favorite superhero or cartoon character. This will help make brushing fun and less of a chore.
Are your kids using the same boring toothpaste Mommy and Daddy use? For kids with sensitive taste buds, that stuff is awful! Choose a tasty toothpaste that’s yummy — strawberry or rainbow sherbet flavored. (If you notice, all the mouthwashes and toothpastes your dentist hands out are grape, blueberry, or strawberry flavored — something yummy!)The yummier it is, the more they’ll love to brush. Just make sure it’s fortified with fluoride and recommended by the ADA.
Kids need some incentives to reward good brushing. (That’s why we offer kids a toy prize after they see a dentist.) This could be as simple as stickers in a sticker book that mark their progress. Perhaps you could offer a half-hour of their favorite show before bed. Maybe a week’s worth of brushing could win them a trip out for ice-cream.
As family dentists, we understand the value of family, of doing things together. That’s why we recommend making brushing a family affair. Brush alongside them to demonstrate the importance of good brushing. Let it be a fun occasion with dancing, tickles, laughing and jokes. This can be a great way to bond as a family and encourage great dental health.