Teaching new things to young children can be challenging. It requires some thinking and strategies to make learning pleasurable. The habit of brushing teeth is important for children’s dental and oral health; however, many parents report that they find it hard to instill this practice in young children. As a pediatric dentist we know it well how to make teeth brushing a fun activity. So here we pass along this knowledge to you so that you can ensure that your children enjoy it when they brush their teeth as a daily health activity.
Give Your Child a Special Toothbrush
Children love toys and other things in their daily use. Empower your child with ‘choice’ in a way to make cleaning teeth a fun activity. Encourage your child that he or she can have a toothbrush of choice based on color, cartoons, or the type of grip to hold. Once you allow your children to exercise the right to choose something you actually win their trust; they start listening to you. They will start brushing their teeth willingly and without much external pressure.
Make Brushing a Family Affair
Leading by example is another powerful way to teach new habits and behaviors. To instill brushing teeth as a lifelong habit in your children make sure you are brushing and flossing with your children daily. Children love and appreciate their role models and try to imitate whatever they do. Such family routine of teeth brushing will ensure consistency and gradually children’s behavior will become automatic requiring little or no reminding.
Reward for the Practice
Children expect rewards for good behavior. If you want your children to brush and floss twice a day then work out a plan to reward them. The reward may be as simple as praise or some fun actions; they cost nothing. Then you can authorize them to decide something when they achieve the goal of teeth brushing as instructed (i.e. two minutes per day twice a day for brushing and once a day for flossing).The point is reward must catch their attention. Reward system must be consistent to automate children’s behavior and the rewards must be increased gradually once children start brushing perfectly.
Music and Stories can help Brushing Teeth
Music and story are two powerful elements to teach something. Playing music while brushing teeth serve two purposes: it produces a calming effects to the activity, second it acts as a timer to help children know how long they should brush for. To add rhythm to your child’s dental and oral health you may try Brush DJ app for iPhone and Android. To encourage the habit of brushing in your child weave some small stories around the imaginary “sugary bugs” that negatively affect dental and oral health. Tell your children that they can become superheroes by fighting the evil bugs once they start brushing and flossing their teeth regularly.
Other than the above there are many more ways to make teeth brushing fun for your children. When you schedule your child’s dental appointment with Kid Dentists in Allen, Dr. Lisi and Dr. Alina.. We not only provide medical treatment but teach parents and children both how they can make oral hygiene a real fun.