*This is a guest post
Taking care of kids isn’t for the faint hearted, and morning and bedtime routines can feel like the toughest of battles. Trying to get your child to stand and brush their teeth for 2 minutes twice a day might seem hard enough never mind getting them to have fun as well!
It isn’t always easy but it is crucial to form these good oral care habits from an early age. And they will thank you for it later.
Over the years at Buttercup 7 Day Dental we have heard the war stories from parent after parent, and have came up with some amazing tips to make brushing teeth fun for kids, and maybe even yourself!
Of course it depends on the child, how they like to play, learn, and communicate, but here are our favourite tips for making brushing teeth fun for kids that will hopefully make your kid smile.
Make it family time
Children learn from their parents, so why not make brushing your teeth a family activity, just the same as sitting down for family dinner. Make it a habit and a fun family activity that everyone is involved it. Children learn from seeing and doing, therefore you are the role model here so make sure you are there daily morning and night to brush your own teeth as well as theirs. Make sure to get down to their level as well as being in front of a mirror, and show them the proper techniques. Don’t forget to be overly happy and thorough so your child understands your reactions and copies them too.
Make it “special”
Make it special and “theirs” by allowing your child to pick out their very own toothbrush (providing it’s age appropriate) and their own toothpaste for them to use.
Luckily there is a huge range these days of childrens toothbrushes, pastes, mouthwashes and even floss. Let them choose different colours and flavours to make them feel like they are participating as well as getting them excited. You can consider buying a selection so you can mix it up weekly and they get to choose each week. Or make it a reward, if they complete the week of twice daily brushing they get to choose the flavour the following week. If they complete a month, a new toothbrush?
Practice makes perfect
We all know that famous saying, practice makes perfect, well how about letting them practice on their stuffed toys to add a bit more fun as well as responsibility. And for the brave, let them practice on you (but you should maybe re-brush after!)
Letting them practice on something other than themselves allows you to really show them the good techniques they should be applying as well as making it more fun.
Turn it into story time
A great idea to keep your kids distracted from the 2 minute time they should be brushing, make brushing their teeth more fun so the time flies by. How? Tell them a story!
You can make it up as you go along, but if you incorporate the reasons why you should brush your teeth along with good techniques and a few extra characters throw in for good measure, you’re sure to make teeth brushing a fun time.
Stories such as the tooth fairy are a classic, we all know she doesn’t like to collect nasty teeth with holes in them.
Or what about the evil sugar monsters that like to destroy the teeth? This can be a fun one to explain how sugary snacks and not brushing your teeth causes cavities and you can really make your child the hero of this tale by having them battle the sugar monsters by brushing their teeth. But they are always ready to attack again, that’s why you need to brush AT LEAST twice a day. But they might sneak up after a sugary snack too, so maybe just to be safe brush after that as well.
Make some noise
If you aren’t overly creative, especially in the morning or just before bed, then why not find a few songs that your kid loves and blast them during teeth brushing time. If you can get a selection of songs that last close to 2 minutes then play them while you brush not stopping until the song stops. It’s a easy way to keep it fun and keep in time. You can also use songs as a reward by letting your child pick one for night time if they do well in the morning.
Try some role play
Pretending to be the dentist and examining each others teeth is a fun game as well as one where you can really get into technique of doing it right.
And if all else fails… bribe them
No, we definitely don’t mean with sweets. But even the things we have already mentioned like choosing their toothpaste, or choosing songs to listen to can make brushing their teeth all the more rewarding and exciting for them. Just try to make sure that it isn’t the only reason they do it but that they understand it’s to have a healthy and beautiful smile too.
Figuring out the best way to make brushing their teeth fun will be the easiest way to make it a habit. Getting in early will make for a future of good oral health care and perfect smiles. So tell them to turn those frowns upside down and get brushing.
Have you got any good tips worth sharing for making brushing teeth fun for kids? We hope this helps!
Aimee works with Glasgow-based dentist Buttercup 7-Day Dental, writing about all things oral care, dentistry and healthy dazzling teeth.
Buttercup 7 Day Dental is a dentist located in Glasgow’s West End. Butterup was founded in 2011 by Gerwyn and Angela Rowlands with the aim of creating a clinic where patients would feel safe and relaxed. At Buttercup, our finest mission is to end our patients dentist fear and provide them with a high quality service.