How to Make Dental Hygiene Fun for your Kids
Helping your children develop great oral habits is a big responsibility, though it can be quite a battle. Keeping the whole process fun and exciting for your children goes a long way towards creating healthy life long oral care habits. Check out Elko Dental Specialists tips on how to make brushing a fun and happy activity you both will enjoy.
1. Working Together
It’s best to start by helping get your kids into a routine each day of brushing after eating. One thing that helps is to brush and floss along with your child every time in their younger years. Children learn more from our actions than our words, so show them regular brushing and flossing is just as important as you say it is.
Come up with silly brushing songs or introduce fun educational videos or books to help keep them engaged as you brush the two minutes away! Not only are you helping them establish good habits, but you’ll get in a few minutes of good bonding time too.
2. Make it an Activity, Not a Chore
Also, make sure to pick up children’s toothpaste, as your own minty brand will be too strong for them, both in flavor and potency. Kids toothpaste comes in a variety of kid-friendly flavors, and some even include edible sprinkles or confetti to make things even more festive!
3. Reward Them for their Hard Work
Introduce a rewards system into the mix. Be it a daily sticker board, a points system towards a new toy, or picking out a favorite movie or book for afterwards, show them there are rewards to brushing even if they are too young to understand the real reward comes in the health benefits. Just make sure the reward isn’t an unhealthy treat, like candy or other sugary snacks.
4. Acclimate Your Child
The ADA recommends your child’s first dental visit to be within 6 months of their first tooth, though no later than their first birthday.
The idea is to get your child comfortable with going to the dentist early on, so they feel safe and happy going in for checkups later in life. Never use a dental visit as a threat or punishment, and never bribe your child into going by promising rewards beforehand. You can always surprise them with a reward after the visit. Always stay positive about the trip, as your child may pick up on any apprehension from your end and become uncomfortable.
Trust who is caring for your child’s smile With a specialization in pediatric dentistry from the University of Iowa where there is a strong focus on patients with special healthcare needs, Elko Dental Specialists very own Dr. Treagan White, DDS, is a perfect model of these values. A family man himself, he knows just how difficult establishing great dental habits in children can be.
Never one to back down from a challenge, he can be there every step of the way to help with any issues you may have ensuring that your children receive the care they deserve while establishing lifelong dental hygiene habits to benefit them years into the future.
Contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. White!