For many parents, teaching kids how to take care of their teeth is a daily battle. But it’s worth teaching your child to have healthy dental habits. According to the CDC, tooth decay is the most common disease for children between the ages of 6 and 19.
Your child’s oral health is also closely linked to their overall health. Learning proper dental education early on is an important part of knowing how to maintain healthy teeth for their whole lives.
Dental hygiene for children is important, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy to get kids to take care of their teeth. Making oral care a positive experience can keep your child excited about maintaining their beautiful smile.
From the Tooth Fairy to teeth brushing games, here are four ways to make your child excited to show off their pearly whites to the dentist.
1. Let Them Pick Their Own Toothbrush
For many children, brushing their teeth can feel like a daily chore. Giving them an element of control over their daily routine can help them feel more engaged. Try letting them pick out their own toothbrush — and have them choose the color, style, and design.
After giving them some acceptable options, you can also let them pick the toothpaste they like. Using toothpaste with the right color, texture, and taste can make the activity feel more fun.
2. Turn It Into a Dance Party
Sometimes all a child needs is a little extra motivation. Make teeth brushing into a dance party with your child’s favorite song.
Not only does this make a great timer, but it also gives your child the chance to get their energy out. Plus, it makes a great time for bonding if you’d like to get in on the action too.
3. Set Up a Rewards System
Instead of punishing your child for not brushing their teeth, you can set up a rewards system for some positive reinforcement. They’ll be much more excited about brushing their teeth if there’s something exciting in it for them at the end.
Try setting up a chart where you mark each day when they brush their teeth without complaining or needing to be reminded. After a certain amount of time, you can let them choose a reward like a sticker, a new toy, more screen time, or a fun trip.
All of this can make it easier for your child to establish a routine of good dental hygiene — setting them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
4. Don’t Forget About the Tooth Fairy
Children love to hear stories, even if you tell the same ones over and over again. Try coming up with one about the importance of brushing their teeth.
Storytelling of any kind — whether it’s the legend of the Tooth Fairy or a story about a girl with a magic toothbrush — can make a powerful tool. Make your story unique to you and your child.
The Bottom Line
If you struggle to get your child to take care of their teeth, you’re not alone. But with the right techniques, you can make teeth brushing a fun and regular part of your child’s nighttime routine.
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