The habits set during early development will lay the groundwork for lifelong success. Brushing teeth twice daily for at least two minutes is vital to maintaining good oral health throughout your child’s life. That being said, we understand that getting your children to brush their teeth can be a real challenge. While difficult, it’s not impossible and there are some great techniques you can employ to make your child’s brushing time much easier.
Brush with Your Kids
One of the most important things you can do to develop good dental habits in children is to brush with them. They learn by example, so if you brush with them they’re likely to copy you. Additionally, keeping a routine every day is extremely important.
It can be easy to skip a night here and there with your busy lifestyle, but keeping and maintaining the habit of daily brushing is vital for long-term oral health. But just because it’s a routine, that doesn’t mean it has to be a chore. Here are some fun and creative tips for making brushing fun for you and your kids.
Tracking your child’s progress on a chart with stickers is an excellent way to stay consistent with brushing. You can set a goal such as ten days of brushing on time in a row and set a reward your child can earn for doing a great job.
Choosing a prize
The prize or reward doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You can even tie in dental care into prizes. For example, after reaching a prize goal, you can let your child pick out a new toothbrush that has their favorite character on it. Additionally, if they are using a brush they picked out, then they are more likely to find brushing their teeth fun.
Make it a Game
There is no need to just sit there brushing your teeth when you can make it a game for you and your kids. Imagine you’re going on an adventure to the moon or you’re on a safari in the jungle. Pretending and making it a game helps to reinforce that brushing is fun and not something you want to skip.
Let Your Child Brush Your Teeth
If your child is at the age where you’re brushing their teeth and they tend to give you a hard time, try letting them brush your teeth. It may seem a little silly and it is, but it will encourage them to let you brush their teeth and helps them understand how to brush their own teeth down the road.
Many songs are around two minutes and can serve as fun timers. Once the song starts, it’s brushing time and you can dance and brush together to make the time fly by. Brush DJ is a fantastic app available that plays two minutes of your favorite songs while you brush.
There are lots of great children’s books available about brushing your teeth. One fantastic book, Brush Your Teeth, Please: A Pop-up Book features animals brushing their teeth and teaches your child about the importance of good dental care. The more you can incorporate teaching good dental habits into their life, the more likely they are to stick to them as they get older.
Keep it Fun and Positive
Having a happy, healthy smile should be a fun and positive experience. As much as possible, keeping brushing time an uplifting and compelling experience will produce greater long-term results than if brushing is seen as a chore. Good dental health is vital for long-term health and it gives your child a leg up on life if they don’t have to deal with unnecessary dental complications.
In addition to brushing, flossing is also a vital habit to develop in children. In a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 31.5 percent of participants reported flossing in the past week and 32.4 percent reported no flossing at all. Flossing your child’s teeth even when they only have their baby teeth will help make flossing a normal part of their dental care regimen and will help to prevent cavities.
Schedule Your Visit Today
While brushing and flossing are extremely important, they don’t replace regular bi-annual checkups. Dr. Kosinski offers a variety of services for his patients in the Bingham Farms area. From root canals and TMJ therapy to composites and dental implants, Smile Creator of Bingham Farms has the treatment you need with the care and attention you deserve. Call us today or fill our contact form to schedule your next appointment.