Young children may be inclined to avoid brushing and flossing their teeth, no matter how much their parents pester them to do it. They also may only complete a minimal amount of brushing when they do tackle this daily hygiene effort. If you're the parent of a small child, implement some fun strategies to help make good dental habits more appealing.
Getting the Child Involved in Buying Dental Care Products
Many fun toothbrushes are available today, and your little one will probably enjoy selecting their own. They can choose from among a variety of colors as well as shapes such as dinosaurs and tigers. Some have sparkles on the handle and others have handles filled with glitter. These devices seem like toys that can be used as tools.
Floss holders also come in various colors and shapes, such as whales, birds and fish. Simple wands also are available. The gadgets make it easier to floss teeth without needing to maneuver the string with two hands.
Providing Stars & Stickers for Brushing
Give your child a wall calendar, or let them pick out a calendar themselves. Check in with them as they brush in the morning and before bedtime, and place a colorful star or sticker on the date if they brushed properly. At the end of a week, two weeks or a month, you might provide a bigger reward, such as renting a movie they want to see.
Adding Another Piece to a Puzzle or Story
Vinyl adhesive and felt cutout toys to be stuck to boards can be provided one by one as a reward for brushing and flossing each day. You can do the same thing with easy jigsaw puzzles as well; give the child a new puzzle piece or two every day. Kids look forward to receiving these items and making more progress on completing a picture.
Giving a Doll With Teeth and a Brushing Kit
If your youngster likes dolls, consider giving a Christmas or birthday present of a doll with teeth and a brushing kit. This isn't a scary Halloween doll, but rather a sweet baby doll that comes with a big toothbrush, a container that represents a toothpaste tube, and a sippy cup.
Watching a Video While Brushing
To encourage your child to brush for at least a couple of minutes each time, let them watch an online video while they're brushing. The video might feature a song, a cartoon or a funny theme about cats or dogs. A convenient aspect is that you can select short videos and gradually create a library of them.
Without any entertainment while brushing, two minutes can feel like forever. Consider that most adults don't brush long enough either.
Making Going to the Dentist Fun
Dentists and dental hygienists are eager to help with tips on motivating children to take good care of their teeth. In addition, the sooner you bring your child to the dentist and keep doing so regularly, the more comfortable they will feel about the process. It will feel like a matter of routine.
Between appointments, you might occasionally have pretend dental clinic role-playing sessions with your child. One of you would be the dentist or hygienist, and one of you the patient. Kids like to pretend they are grownups, and this is a way to make them feel totally comfortable with the idea of being at a dental clinic.
You also might combine dental appointments with an activity the youngster looks forward to. This could involve visiting grandparents, going to a playground or having a picnic.
In addition, be sure to convey a positive attitude whenever you go to the dentist for your own appointments. If your child notices that you're nervous or hears you say you don't like going to the dentist, they have good reason to feel that way too.Share
13 November 2015
After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.