Ways to Motivate and Reward Kids for Taking Care of Their Teeth
As an adult, you understand the importance of brushing and flossing, but getting kids to brush can be a frustrating task. Children have a basic idea of why they should brush and floss their teeth, but many don’t understand that it is more than simply something their parents tell them to do. Even older children sometimes get busy and forget to take care of their oral hygiene. Here are a few tips to help motivate your children to take care of their teeth and gums.
Lead By Example
Kids naturally try to mimic what their parents do, so by brushing and flossing alongside them will encourage your children to floss and brush. Make it a point to brush the back teeth, brush your tongue and massage your gums. Use clear gestures to show kids the entire process of brushing, in a step by step manner. After you brush and floss, smile at the mirror to show your kids how clean your teeth look. Going to the dentist is also the perfect opportunity to lead by example. If you are excited to go to your dentist appointment for a cleaning and examination, the kids will be as well.
Turn on the Music
Turn brushing into a “party” by playing your favorite tunes and dancing while brushing. It is recommended that teeth be brushed for a full two minutes, so simply choose a favorite song, everyone grab their tooth brushes and brush and dance until the song ends, which is usually about two minutes. Another option is to play a video or use tooth-brushing apps, such as Star Teeth, which is a story that will encourage children to brush throughout the full story.
Use Fun Kid Friendly Brushes
It is important to choose a toothbrush that is appropriate for the age of the child, such as toddler toothbrushes. Allowing children to pick out their toothbrush is also a great way to get them excited about their oral hygiene. Power toothbrushes are an excellent way to ensure they are getting the plaque off while letting them have fun using a moving toothbrush. Also, choose toothpaste that contains fluoride as well as kid-friendly flavors. Floss is also available in various flavors, which may encourage them to floss regularly as well.
Good oral hygiene starts when your children are infants. Begin by gently cleaning their gums with a clean, soft cloth and as they become toddlers, begin teaching them the appropriate way to brush and floss. Be sure to schedule their first dentist appointment as soon as they cut their first tooth and discuss how often kids should have cleanings and exams with your dentist. The earlier children start going to the dentist, the more comfortable they will feel as they grow into adulthood.
To schedule your children’s cleaning and dental exam, contact Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.