The Struggle is Real: Getting Your Child to Brush Shouldn’t Be Like Pulling Teeth
Dentists have a wealth of knowledge about oral health, but it can be hard for them to get that knowledge across to their patients. Here are five things dentists wish more patients knew that could help them maintain better oral health:
1. The Power of a Story
Children love stories. Why not make them informative and educational as well? Create a fun story about your child’s teeth, with the protagonist being a bright and shiny tooth. Explain how food and drinks can cause the tooth to turn dull and eventually lead to cavities. End the story with some tips on how to keep their teeth clean by brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods.
2. Use a Timer
Brushing for a full two minutes can seem like an eternity to a child. Make it a fun game by using a timer. You can use a physical sand timer, a YouTube video that counts down two minutes, or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. The key is to make brushing time a fun activity and something that the child looks forward to and feels proud about.
3. Make Brushing a Family Affair
Children are more likely to adopt healthy habits when they see their parents following the same routine. Make brushing and flossing a family activity and a time for bonding. Create a “brushing station” in the bathroom where everyone can brush their teeth together. You can also sing a song or narrate a story while brushing, adding an extra element of fun.
4. Let the Child Choose Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Giving your child a choice in the type of toothbrush and toothpaste they use can go a long way in making brushing time more enjoyable. You can even take them to the store and let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste within a set budget. Remind your child that they are responsible for taking care of their teeth and that they need to choose wisely.
5. Make Healthy Food Fun
Food is a significant contributor to dental health. Encourage your child to choose healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and cheese over sugary snacks. Use cookie cutters to cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes or add food coloring to yogurt to make it more fun to eat. A creative food presentation can make healthy eating a fun activity for kids.
By incorporating these easy and creative ways into your child’s daily routine, cavity prevention can become a fun and enjoyable activity for your child. Remember that early dental care can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.