Tips for getting your kids to develop great oral hygiene habits!
It’s tough to get kids into a consistent oral hygiene schedule.
Here are some helpful hints that may ease the struggle of getting your kids to brush those chompers:
- Show and tell – You are your kids’ biggest role model, so let your kids watch you brush your teeth in order to instill the same habits in them. While brushing, exaggerate your movements so they can see you brush your tongue, massage your gums, and brush those hard-to-reach teeth in the back of your mouth. When you’re finished, rinse and give a big smile!
- Make it theirs – Allow your kids to take ownership of their oral hygiene by taking them to the store and letting them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are so many kinds of character-themed, colorful, and light-up brushes that can make the brushing experience more exciting for your kids if they are able to pick them themselves.
- Game on – There are plenty of ways to add some fun into the daily brushing routine. If your kids are resistant to the toothbrush, give them one to play with for fun! Let them brush their stuffed animals’ or dolls’ teeth. It might even help to let them practice by brushing your teeth, once again exaggerating those expressions to show them when they’re doing a great job.
- There’s an app for that – If you’re one of those people who believes there’s really an app for everything, try these two for your kids’ oral care routines:
- Reward the chore – Your kids may need a little extra motivation, so it’s ok to offer a reward for brushing well. Remember not to think of it as a bribe – it’s a way to encourage your kids that if they do the task well, they will get something too! It could be anything as simple as letting them play one game on your phone before bed or allowing them to pick out a sticker to wear.
Maybe your kids are already brushing well, but you haven’t been able to get them into the dentist’s office for an appointment with Dr. Gabhart quite yet. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you bring your children in to the dentist as early as age 1.
In order to prepare them for the trip, here are a few things you can do: Start them young (first birthday is preferred by dentists); don’t make a big deal out of it (rather, treat it as an everyday trip so as not to stimulate unnecessary anxiety); read books about a dentist visit (Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist or The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist are a couple of suggestions); and be sure to remind your child that the dentist wants to keep their little teeth healthy and strong, just like mommy and daddy do.