Typically, getting kids to brush and floss every day is not an easy task. It’s essential, though, even if your child only has baby teeth. Healthy baby teeth are critical for proper speech development, confidence, and nutrition. Baby teeth also affect the health and growth of the underlying adult teeth.
Making daily oral hygiene a habit in early childhood also means healthier teeth as a teenager and adult. As a parent or caregiver, how can you make brushing and flossing fun for kids? Here are five ideas:
- Let Kids Pick Their Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Brush with Your Child
- Play Their Favorite Music
- Use a Brushing Timer App or Electric Toothbrush
- Read Books & Stories About Oral Health & Visiting the Dentist
To help your kid develop good oral hygiene habits, let them be active participants. This starts with choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Children are more likely to get excited about brushing if they like their toothbrush and toothpaste. Because they got to choose, they feel more independent.
Most kids like to imitate their parents, so show them how important oral hygiene is by doing it together! If you are enthusiastic about brushing and flossing, your child will notice and want to copy you. When you clean your teeth together, you can also show your child the proper technique.
Many kids don’t like cleaning their teeth because they get bored. Playing 2 minutes of their favorite song is a simple way to keep them engaged and entertained. And you can be sure that they’re brushing for the 2-minute duration recommended by dentists.
There are a handful of timer apps that make oral hygiene more enjoyable for kids. These use videos, music, and rewards like badges. Apps encourage consistent brushing and help kids focus. A good electric toothbrush also has a built-in timer.
Help your child understand how brushing and flossing will keep their mouth healthy and strong. There are picture books and videos that teach kids the importance of oral hygiene and going to the dentist without scaring them. Some of our favorite dental-related children’s books are:
ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth From A to Z by Harriet Ziefert
Curious George Visits the Dentist by H. A. Rey
Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi
The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist by Heidi Murkoff
Your Kid-Friendly Dentist in Denver, CO
Our dentists love working with patients of all ages, including kids! At Vero Dental, family block appointments are convenient and make your life much easier. If you want to help your kids improve their oral hygiene, please contact our Denver office today!