We know kids can be hesitant about daily hygiene. Sometimes it just isn’t fun to stop all your playing to take a bath or brush your teeth. That’s where the fun comes in. Integrating play into the chores and hygiene in our kids’ lives can motivate them to care for themselves. Here are a few dentist-recommended tips on how you can make oral health fun for your child.
Let Them Choose Their Toothbrush
There is no shortage of fun toothbrushes and toothpaste available today! Every one of your child’s favorite cartoon characters or superheroes can be found on a fun, colorful toothbrush. Let them choose their own toothbrush to incentivize daily brushing. We recommend a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste containing fluoride for children over the age of two.
Give Praise & Prizes
Children respond to positive reinforcement. This can come in the form of words of praise, activities that they love, or prizes. Stickers in exchange for teeth brushed, or an extra 5 minutes of story time before bed can let a child know that they’ve done something good. This increases the likelihood that they will repeat the behavior and make it a habit.
Play & Pretend
It’s best to assist children under the age of 6 with brushing teeth. They have a hard time thoroughly reaching spaces in between teeth and in the back of the mouth. Because it can be hard to get children to open mouths wide and be patient with parents brushing, we recommend a little role playing! To get to the back of teeth, play the “Lion” game and ask your child to “roar” like a lion. To get to your child’s front row of teeth, play the “Pirate” game and ask your child to go “Rrrrr”, bearing all front teeth. This can be done with any animal or princess or character. These kinds of games involve your child in play during their dental routine and feels like games that they look forward to.
See a Child-Friendly Dentist
At McNeely Family Dentistry, we prioritize quality dental care for adults and children. That’s why the word “family” is in our name. We have child-friendly amenities in our office that will put children at ease. We walk you and your child through every detail of what to expect. We educate your child about how to properly care for teeth with interactive and memorable methods. Visiting a caring, fun, and skilled children’s dentist can inspire a child to a lifetime of proper dental care. We realize the spark starts with us, so we take extra care to make teeth and dental health fun.
Come into our office today to experience the difference a child-friendly dentist can make, and be sure to ask any questions about how to make oral health fun for your child. We want every patient to look forward to coming to the dentist! Contact us today if it’s time to schedule an appointment.