One of the most effective ways to make sure your children develop good life-long oral health habits is to make oral health a fun and engaging experience starting at a young age.
Creating positive associations for children with taking care of their teeth will mean that they want to actively participate in their oral health. This is a great way to start them on the path to good oral health for life.
Here are some fun ideas for making dental care a little more fun and engaging for children:
Put on one of your child’s favorite songs when he or she is brushing, and make it a challenge: don’t stop brushing until the song is over! Or play one song for the top teeth, and another for the bottom; or, one for the fronts of the teeth, and one for the backs!
The Tooth Fairy - create a family tradition
The tooth fairy is a popular North American tradition that goes a long way in getting kids engaged and interested in their oral health.
There’s lots of joy to be had in the magic of discovering a gift under your pillow in the morning, where you left your baby tooth the night before. And it doesn’t have to be money! A small toy or game, a special message, or even a brand new toothbrush can all be fun choices, too.
You may also want to conduct a little research; there are lots of traditions practiced by people all over the world when children lose a tooth, so maybe you’ll find something a little different for your family to enjoy. And of course, you could also invent your very own, unique tradition, too!
Keep a tally/calendar
This one is simple: each time your child brushes and flosses, mark it off on a calendar or tally sheet. After a set number of days or brushing/flossing sessions, have a little celebration, a special treat, or read a new book about oral health: there’s lots of great books on this subject out there!
Choose fun toothbrushes, floss, and toothpastes
Bring your children along to the pharmacy, and let them have a little fun picking out a toothbrush in their favorite colour, or one with a favorite cartoon character; there’s lots to choose from these days.
Toothpaste and even floss also come in lots of different flavours and in unique packaging, too. Letting your child pick these things out will give him/her a sense of agency and involvement when it comes to oral health.
Make brushing and flossing a family event
Gather your whole family up in the bathroom every morning or every evening, and brush and floss together! It may be a bit crowded, but why not take a few extra minutes to spend some quality time? Chances are good that your kids will remember family teeth brushing sessions fondly as they get older!