Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy by Making Dental Care Fun!
Raise your hand if getting your kids to brush their teeth is a challenge! You too? So glad it’s not just us! February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so in line with this important initiative, we’re bringing you tips for getting your kids’ teeth cleaned regularly and in fun ways.
Dental care is an essential habit that affects our overall health in unexpected ways. Our kids depend on us to show them the correct way to brush and floss, but getting them to do it (or be willing to let us do it for them) can be tough. When you consider the most common times to brush (first thing in the morning and right before bed), you add tiredness to the mix, making the whole process more like a chore than a game.
Here are a few ideas for making the everyday (twice a day) cleaning kids’ teeth a more enjoyable experience for everyone!
Put on a song! - Dentists all agree that brushing for 2 minutes is the way to get all those pearly whites as clean as possible, but 2 minutes can be a LONG time for that tired 3 yr old (or a stubborn 8 yr old). Music makes the time go faster, and there are even some fun brushing songs like this one by Blippi or our family’s faves: Elmo’s brush your teeth and Raffi’s brush your teeth -- these both make our kids laugh! (plus they’re kind of catchy!)
Make it a family event - Having everyone brush and floss at the same time sets the example that this gets done every day (twice a day!). Have the older ones show off their changing mouths and brushing skills to the younger ones. If you’re brave, maybe let them brush your teeth so they can see what the dentist sees.
Use rewards - Creating consistency is key, so having a sticker chart can help them see when they are brushing. Having small prizes or fun activities for going a whole week or months without missing a day can help cement those good habits! We’ve got you covered with tons and tons of sticker options for you if reward charts work for your kids!
- Recruit the Tooth Fairy - Reminding the kids that the tooth fairy pays more for clean teeth can be a great way to inspire your kids to brush their teeth. Pick out a special container or piggy bank (check out our Unicorn Piggy Bank Craft Kit!) to keep those hard-earned coins after the tooth fairy has visited.
- Let them pick their toothbrush - We all get a little excited over new things, and a new toothbrush is no exception. Brushing with a fun character toothbrush may be just the thing to motivate your kids’ dental care.
In addition to making the daily brushing and flossing enjoyable, try to make going to the dentist an exciting event. Having your kids’ teeth checked regularly by the dentist is crucial for the early detection of any problems that could happen. Also, the dentist has the tools to deep clean those chompers and remove any stubborn plaque that happens even with good brushing technique. If going to the dentist is a happy event, they learn early that dental care is important from professionals who care just as much as you do.
Don't forget to download this week's FREE printable booklet! A Let's Take Care of Our Teeth activity sheets for your kids to enjoy!
Your kids’ teeth are so important. They affect how they talk, eat, their face shape and are essential for self-confidence. Taking care of the two sets we get with good dental care is vital to our long-term health. By making dental care fun, we can instill good habits and make some incredible memories along the way!
For more ideas on making family memories (with and without toothpaste), follow us on social @PLBFun.