Unless they’re encouraged, children often fail to care for their teeth and gums. Parents often have to remind children to brush, floss, and rinse. Kids may forget these simple tasks because they’re young and get distracted, or they find it to be a “chore.” However, there are many ways to encourage better oral health care in children. By making these tasks fun, you can encourage your children to pay attention to oral health.
Here are some ways to help children brush and floss:
1. Set reminders. Sometimes, reminding children to brush their teeth isn’t enough. Kids often need assistance remembering routines. Create a chart listing morning and nighttime habits, like putting away toys, taking a bath, and (of course) brushing their teeth. When a task is completed, allow them to apply a sticker to the chart. Perhaps offer a reward when your child collects a certain number of stickers. It’s amazing how motivating a prize like a small toy (or afternoon at the movies) can be.
2. Allow them to choose. There are a variety of toothbrushes, flossers, and toothpastes designed for children. Many have popular cartoon characters on the design. Toothpastes come in different flavours to make the taste more appealing for kids. The next time you buy oral health care supplies for your kid, let them choose the characters and flavours they enjoy. They’re likely to enjoy brushing and flossing more.
3. Set an example. Brush your teeth with your child. They can then follow your example and learn how to properly brush. Help them understand the proper way of brushing by describing what you do. You can also sing songs during the process so they understand how long it should take. (Singing the alphabet song twice is usually a good guideline.)
4. Make it fun. Search the Internet for songs that encourage oral hygiene and share them with children. If you find children’s books with the same purpose, check them out from the library and read them to your kids. Children like learning when it is fun.
5. Apps for kids. It seems that these days there’s an application for everything. For children who enjoy playing online games, apps can help with encouraging them to brush.
When children are encouraged at an early age to pay attention to oral health care, it turns into a lifetime of good habits. By brushing, flossing, and rinsing, they can protect their teeth and avoid pain and costly procedures later in life.
Vsit Cosmo Dental Centre for great dental care for children in London, Ontario. We offer dental services for the entire family. Contact us at (519) 659-2767.