Healthy habits are best developed early in life, including proper oral hygiene. While it may seem challenging to teach a younger child how to take care of their teeth, they’re easier to mold at this stage. The key is to make it fun and exciting, so they won’t start out seeing it as a chore.
Here are some tips for teaching your kids to take better care of their teeth:
Establish a Routine
Designate specific times for your kids to brush their teeth and get them into the habit of doing it daily. They will be taking part in routines for the rest of their lives, so this is a great way to get them used to it. It provides them with a sense of security while helping them develop the necessary discipline for those “boring” practices like dental hygiene.
Let Them Pick Their Own Toothbrush
When it’s time for a new toothbrush, make a special event out of the occasion and bring them along. Tell them ahead of time to get them excited about the fact that they’re going to choose their own toothbrush. They’re more likely to actually use a brush they took part in selecting, than one that was chosen for them. There are all sorts of colorful brushes for them to choose from, many of which are emblazoned with popular cartoon characters and superheroes. While this might seem insignificant, it can be a huge deal to your kids.
Get Them an Electric Toothbrush
As adults, we sometimes get frustrated with today’s sophisticated gadgets, but kids can’t get enough of them. There are all types of electric toothbrushes on the market and many of them were made with children in mind. Some have colorful designs, interchangeable parts and sound effects that encourage kids to keep brushing. If you’re looking for one that can actually guide your kids through the process of brushing, check out this Oral B 5000 review.
Make Brushing a Family Activity
One of the best ways to encourage kids to brush is to brush your teeth at the same time. This shows them it’s not an activity to be dreaded and that you’re not asking them to do anything you won’t do. Both parents should get in on the action at the same time, if possible. Tell them in an excited way when it’s time to brush so they’ll get used to thinking of it in a positive way and not want to be left out.
Make it Fun
It’s human nature to rush through undesirable activities and spend more time doing things that are fun. So if you want your kids to brush their teeth properly, you have to make sure the process is as much fun as possible. It’ll be easier to get their cooperation if you can find some way to turn it into a game or contest. Try encouraging them to beat their last “record” by brushing their teeth just a little bit longer. You might consider looking for an online video with a “toothbrush song” and playing it while they’re brushing.
Instilling healthy habits in your children early on is something you’ll never regret. At the very least, you’ll save loads of money that might otherwise be spent on treating preventable dental problems. Beyond that, you will have shown them the benefits of maintaining healthy teeth and gums without having to fight with them over it.
Ruby Leonard works at a busy dental practice as a part of the team of receptionists who keep everything ticking over. She enjoys the work, chatting to the patients, watching kids grow up. She uses her insider knowledge to write articles in her spare time.