Explaining the importance of proper dental care is often not enough to encourage children to brush their teeth. In fact, putting a pause on playtime to make way for brushing teeth and getting ready for bed is not a fan favourite, at least 7/7 days of the week! But encouraging dental practices no longer has to be a struggle! With a little bit of creativity, your child may even begin looking forward to brushing their teeth!
Here are just a few ways you can try switching it up:
- Let Them Choose Their Own Toothbrush
A good way to switch up a boring routine is to make the process different, and special. Try to make this time of the evening a fun one, and maybe this will turn into an activity, or routine that your children look forward to! One way to make brushing your teeth special is by letting your child choose their very own toothbrush. Toothbrushes today are made in so many different colours, with all types of patterns and some even have popular cartoon characters on them! There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to picking out a fun looking toothbrush and this is where your child can start seeing this as a fun process.
- Try Fun Flavoured Toothpaste
And, an obvious complement to a unique, quirky cool toothbrush is none other than a fun-flavoured toothpaste! Perhaps minty breath isn’t as fun as the tons of flavours of toothpaste that exist out there. And, perhaps a more fun flavour is what your child needs to voluntarily brush their teeth! Just as vitamins come in an array of colours and flavours, so too does toothpaste. In fact, many of the large toothpaste brands now carry an assortment of toothpaste flavours to choose from, including fruity flavours such as strawberry, watermelon and blue raspberry!
- Pump Up The Jam
If choosing a fun toothbrush and tasty toothpaste aren’t quite enough to get your child jumping for brushing time, try turning on the tunes! Whether they exercise their imagination a bit, so that their toothbrush magically becomes their microphone, or if livening up the activity is all that is required, this is a great way to may brushing teeth fun. Help your child select their favourite song for this activity and make brushing your teeth an enjoyable part of their day. Sometimes some music and roleplay is all that is needed to help take the focus off what otherwise seems like quite a bored and lengthy chore in “kid time”. In fact, a few minutes of a dance party before bed every night doesn’t sound so bad afterall!
- Get Techy With It
Kids are now becoming very technologically savvy and are far more in-tune with appliances and tech-related gadgets than ever before. In fact, their love of gadgets may be a great way to turn an undesired “to-do” into a desirable daily routine! Especially if your child is fairly independent, you may want to try suggesting an electronic toothbrush. This may help make the process a little bit less monotonous (and perhaps even improve how thorough the cleaning is) and with handy built-in timing mechanisms, your child will be aware to time how long they are brushing for. Doesn’t that sound handy?!
- Embrace Digital Dentistry (kind of)
There’s an app for almost anything now. This means – you guessed it – there’s also an app to help your child enjoy brushing their teeth, or at least help them get there! Here are two of the most popular apps for teeth brushing time, below:
- Brush DJ is a free, award-winning app that plays two-minutes of music, taken from the user’s device, to encourage brushing for an effective length of time. The app also allows users to set reminders to brush twice a day, floss and when they should be seeing the dentist next.
- StarTeeth is a simple app that will walk your child through their two minutes of brushing by guiding them on how they should be properly brushing their teeth. The app allows your child to choose a new “buddy” each day that acts as their brushing assistant during this process and is based off information from real dentists!
- If All Else Fails: Rewards!
Not to be confused with a bribe, offering your child a reward for making positive choices mirrors how our behaviour is incentivized in the real world. You can do this with their brushing routine by creating a sticker chart, or offer small rewards for when they brush their teeth. A rewards-based system will help convey the importance of having a positive dental health routine and will encourage them to make healthy habits a consistent part of their daily routine.
Though children’s baby or primary teeth with eventually be the property of the Tooth Fairy, in the meantime they can still develop painful and expensive cavities if brushing isn’t part of their regular routine. Positive dental habits are easily formed at a young age and children’s primary teeth need to be as healthy as possible as they hold the spots open for the permanent secondary teeth.
At Oakville Place Dental Office, we make a child’s trip to the dentist as stress-free and as painless as possible. We understand how important it is for children to develop good dental habits and believe that a positive experience will encourage them to care for their teeth as they grow into adults. Having a healthy and bright smile is important in life and we can help ensure that your child is off to a good start by teaching them proper oral hygiene habits.