Brushing and Flossing Tips for Kids
A good oral hygiene routine is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing several serious oral health complications. This routine should involve daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental cleanings and exams. Oral hygiene is important for your child. However, we know that getting a child to brush and floss can be a bit challenging. At Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we have compiled a list of tips to help you get your child motivated.
Let Them Pick Their Tools
When you go to the store to pick out your toothbrush, you probably do not put much thought into it. However, if you look at the section of toothbrushes and oral care products designed for kids, you will see plenty of bright colors and popular cartoon characters. While you may know what show your kid loves most, or what their favorite color is, let them pick out their tools. This freedom to pick their toothbrush and floss will make them feel more independent, and they are more likely to want to use them.
Make it Fun
Brushing and flossing are not exactly the most fun activities to do. If adults do not enjoy doing them, kids are not going to want to do them. Try making these habits a fun activity. Turn the tasks into a game. Alternatively, you can tell a story. Make the toothbrush and the floss the heroes against the evil plaque and bacteria. By making otherwise boring activities more fun, it becomes less tedious, and your child will be more likely to willingly take care of their mouth.
Read Books on Oral Hygiene
Books for kids teach all kinds of lessons. There are books about bedtime, going to the doctor, or making friends. There are even books about the importance of good oral hygiene. These books have easy to follow stories, fun characters, and colorful pictures. Before your child brushes and flosses their teeth, take one of these books off the shelf and have story time.
Provide a Reward
You can motivate your child with a reward chart. Every time your child brushes and flosses their teeth, let them add a sticker. At the end of each week of successful brushing and flossing, you can provide your child with a reward. These rewards do not need to be tangible. Let your child pick the next movie for movie night or give them an extra book at bedtime. You can also let your child save up for a month and give them a larger reward, such as a trip to the zoo.
Brush and Floss Together
Whether you think so or not, your child watches everything that you do. This includes when you brush and floss your teeth. If your child sees you doing these tasks on a daily basis, they will be more likely to associate them with normal activities. Brush and floss with your child. Show your child how you brush and floss your teeth. Let them practice brushing your teeth. Then let them brush and floss their own. If they are younger, they will need help. Making it a family activity can also make these tasks less of a struggle.
It is important to help your child develop good oral hygiene habits early, which will help to set them up for success later in life. If you have any questions or concerns, call Noreen Goldwire, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today at (425) 485-4010.