Every parent knows that it’s often difficult to get kids to do what’s good for them. Whether it’s eating their vegetables or washing behind their ears, sometimes your little ones just don’t want to cooperate. Brushing and flossing their teeth is no exception. Good at-home dental care is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be a daily struggle. Help make brushing fun for your child with the tips below and start to build a lifelong good habit.
Get a Neat Toothbrush
Every kid has a favourite cartoon character or animal. There’s such a huge selection of kids’ toothbrushes on the market that finding one with your child’s choice won’t be difficult. From pretty pink princesses to ninjas to polar bears, you’ll discover just about every theme. Some toothbrushes even light up or glow in the dark.
Make your child’s toothbrush more personal by writing their name on it, or naming the toothbrush itself. Your kid will get excited when it’s time to use Polly the parrot or Benny the bear. They’ll start to see brushing as more of a treat than a chore. When it’s time for a new toothbrush, let your child pick the next one, whether they want to stay with the same character or try something new. Remember, the Canadian Dental Association recommends you replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.
Try Tasty Toothpaste
Although the vast majority of toothpastes are still mint, there’s a variety of other flavours available. A lot of these are marketed towards kids, so you’ll find many fun and colourful choices. A few examples are bubblegum, watermelon, cinnamon, and strawberry. Some even contain sparkles. Whichever toothpaste you select, make certain it contains fluoride to help strengthen and repair young teeth.
Even though it’s vital for healthy teeth and gums, flossing isn’t much fun even for adults. One way to make the experience better for your kid is to try children’s flossers. Using a flosser instead of traditional dental floss makes it easier for little fingers to hold and navigate between teeth. Also, kids’ flossers come in fun shapes and bright colours, and your child can pick their favourite. Like toothpaste, you can find floss in different flavours, including bubblegum and berry.
Brush to a Song
Dentists usually recommend that you brush for at least 2 minutes. Even this brief amount of time can be tedious for a child. To make the time fly, play your child’s favourite song or read them a short story.
Some kid’s toothbrushes even have a song player built in. Since this is usually only one or two tunes, you might consider a smart phone app instead. Several oral care companies offer free apps designed to let kids listen to music or play games while they brush.