How to Make Dental Health Fun for Your Children

Your children’s baby teeth play several important roles. Not only do they help support proper development of their permanent teeth, but they also help your little one to speak and chew properly [1]. While you took good care of your child’s teeth while they were infants and toddlers, as your child grows, more of the responsibility of their oral care is shifted to them.

How can you make dental health fun for your children to encourage proper oral care habits?

Practice Dental Visits

Even if your child is used to the dentist, you can practice dental visits at home to help your children get excited about their oral health. Play dentist with your child where one of you plays the dentist and one plays the patient. You can use a special toothbrush or play tools reserved for dentist play to examine the oral cavity and discuss how you can improve your oral health. This gives children a chance to consider how they can improve their oral health or teach a parent or a sibling about proper dental hygiene. You can also use stuffed animals to create a play dental practice and discuss proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Mix It Up

There are many songs available that are timed for the full two minutes your children should be brushing their teeth. You can mix up their oral care routine in the morning and at night to make dental health more fun. Play different songs, having each child pick their favorite song, or you can even use interactive apps or videos that guide children through the proper brushing and flossing process. Remember, flossing needs to be done just once a day while brushing should be done two times a day!

Have a Chart

If your children are prone to forgetting to brush their teeth or you’re having a hard time motivating them, you can create a chart to keep somewhere visible in your house to record brushing and flossing progress. You can use stickers or dry-erase markers to mark progress and even indicate positive notes or feedback to encourage children. You may also choose to give them a reward at the end of the week to celebrate their progress until children can get into a more self-sufficient routine.

Continue to Supervise Brushing

Sometimes, children need a team activity to get motivated. Since you’ll be supervising brushing and flossing until around age six or seven, consider making brushing a family activity. Supervising brushing can not only help your child to have better oral health, but making it part of your family time may help motivate children to be more consistent with their brushing and flossing [2]. You can even “inspect” each other’s smiles afterward to be sure everyone did a good job!

Since your child’s baby teeth are so important, remember to keep those regular visits with your dentist. Getting your child’s smile evaluated for any potential oral health problems and professionally cleaned can help prevent cavities and keep those teeth and gums as healthy as possible!

Sources:

1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-teeth
2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322355213_Parental_supervision_for_their_childre n's_tooth_brushing_Mediating_effects_of_planning_self efficacy_and_action_control

Summary
Article Name
How to Make Dental Health Fun for Your Children
Description
While you took good care of your child’s teeth while they were infants and toddlers, as your child grows, more of the responsibility of their oral care is shifted to them. How can you make dental health fun for your children to encourage proper oral care habits?
Author
Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry