How to make teeth brushing fun for kids
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for people between the ages and 6-19. And it is highly preventable with good oral hygiene. Tooth decay can cause pain, infections and speech delays. That’s why it is very important to teach our little ones at a very early age to brush 2 x day for two minutes.
Start the practice of regularly cleaning your little one’s mouth even before any teeth have erupted by wiping their gums with a warm towel. Once teeth start to erupt, switch to a kid’s size toothbrush with very soft bristles and use a rice sized drop of fluoride toothpaste. Flossing can begin when the teeth start touching.
A very common question is, “When should they go to the dentist for the first time?”. The answer is when they get their first tooth or turn a year old.
But how do you take the “chore” out of teeth brushing? Below are some ways to make teeth brushing fun for kids:
- Make a superhero story up with your child. Pretend they are a superhero fighting all the “sugar bugs”
- Make a different funny face in the mirror each time they switch from side to side or to brushing the fronts and backs of their teeth
- Set a good example by brushing your own teeth first, and stick to routines
- Pretend you are a mirror and imitate them brushing, then switch and have them do exactly what you do to hit the missed spots
- Create a reward chart or system
- Praise them for their super sparkly teeth
- Turn on their favorite song and have a dance party while brushing for two minutes
- Check out mouthhealthy.org for some fun toothbrushing songs to sing together
- Read them their favorite short book and act out the characters while they brush
- Set timers or use timed electric toothbrushes that sing or light up
- Bring them shopping so they can pick out their favorite toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste
- Download videos or brushing apps
- Brush as a family