Brushing your teeth is one of the necessary life skills that every child should learn. Helping your child adopt the habit of brushing his/her teeth twice daily for at least 2 minutes is not a small feat, but a bit of creativity goes a long way when it comes to his/her dental health in the long run. Here are 5 effective ways for making brushing fun for children.
Children love singing and playing and you should take advantage of this by singing them a silly song or turning on one of their favorite songs to encourage them to brush their teeth. Tell your child or children to brush their teeth for the duration of the song since it makes time go by faster for them because the music acts as a distraction.
Telling your children stories about teeth brushing is an excellent way to educate them on the importance of proper oral care. You can even try reading a story to them while they are brushing their teeth. Depending on how long it will take you to read a short story, it is possible to finish the story at the same time the child finishes brushing his/her teeth.
3. Use the Right Toothbrush
A brightly colored toothbrush or one with your child’s favorite character on it usually does the trick for most children. Children often have a hard time reaching the back molars, so you can use a battery-powered or electric toothbrush since they work well to clean all the surfaces of the teeth.
Allowing your children to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste is an excellent way to make them more responsible for their gums and teeth. The other advantage is that your children get to choose toothpaste flavors they like. Always ensure that the toothpaste you buy for your children contains fluoride and has a stamp of approval by the American Dental Association (ADA).
4. Make it a Game
Making a game out of teeth brushing is a great way to make it fun for children. You can have the child role play with you while brushing his/her teeth.
Some fun ways to do this is to have the child pretend to be your dentist who has to check for cavities. You can use a small mirror to make it a fun game for them. You can then pretend to be your child’s dentist and then find ‘bugs’ in their mouth that can only be destroyed by brushing teeth.
Fun games make teeth brushing exciting. Another great tip is to brush your teeth when your children brush theirs. Brushing teeth at the same time makes it a game for the family and your children see that you are doing a “chore” just as they are.
5. Using a Timer
Older children might not necessarily respond to games, stories, and singing, so consider using a simpler approach to brushing their teeth using a timer. Set the time for 2 minutes and they will know they are done when it dings.
Using a timer makes it easier for children to remember how long they should brush their teeth. This approach prevents them from brushing too fast because they will know that they are not finished until they hear the timer ringing.
The Bottom Line
You know your child’s personality best, so you will choose the approach that you know they will love. Some children might prefer games while others might prefer singing or even storytelling. The important thing is to ensure that whatever option you choose is enjoyable and lighthearted so that your children start looking forward to brushing their teeth.