Proper oral hygiene is necessary for overall health in both adults and children. While as adults we can understand this, most children cannot. Sure we can explain to our children what a cavity is but do they “really” understand or even care? Bentonville dentist of Bentonville Smiles finds it important to continually have oral health conversations as our children age and can more fully understand its importance. While making them aware of the dangers of not brushing is great, we’ve outlined four tips to make oral hygiene fun for the kiddos.
Make Buying a Toothbrush an Event
Build up the excitement in going to the store to pick out a toothbrush. Make going to the store to pick out their own toothbrush a mini event, like going for ice cream! There are quite a variety of brands, characters and colors for kids to choose from. Do the same thing with the toothpaste. Allow them to pick out one with a princess or race car, whatever will motivate them to brush.
Use Music as a Timer
The ADA recommends brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each. Make the time fun by letting the kids pick out songs to brush and floss to. You can download a few songs and set a timer for two to three minutes. This will help make the time go fast. There are also multiple apps specifically for this now. A few popular ones are:
Setting up a reward system for brushing each time each day and flossing will encourage and motivate children to brush. A chart with fun stickers that shows their progress each day seems to be very beneficial. They show their siblings, grandparents and whoever else when they come over how well they’re doing. Once they accomplish a certain amount of consistent days you can reward them or just use the stickers and chart as a reward. You know what works best for your little ones.
Make Dental Visits a “Field Trip”
Going to the dentist and sitting in the big chair can be intimidating to children. Prior to their visit try and hype up the dentist so your child gets excited too. After the dental visit take the kids to the park, zoo or reward them with extra play time that night if you need to get back to work. Try and associate the dentist with a fun activity.
Another aspect is to watch our own projection of the dentist and dental check-ups onto our children. If we have a tough time and portray this to the children, they will pick it up. Keep the conversation around dental check-ups as light and fun. If in need of a family dentist in Bentonville, AR that understands and accommodates for the needs of the whole family, contact us today!