5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Brush & Floss
As a parent, you have to choose your battles…carefully. The last bite of food at the dinner table. The candy bar at the grocery store. The Wonder Woman costume that your child refuses to take off and insists on wearing to school….daily. For some, there are also battles around nightly routine of brushing and flossing. This may seem like one of those battles you can let them win. Let us tell you that it is not. It is one of those battles worth fighting. Why? Good dental habits formed early on set the stage for a lifetime of good oral care — that means less toothaches, less time missing school for dental treatment, less money spent on dental procedures, and better overall health. But we know it’s not easy. Here are some tips to help make the nightly brush and floss routine easier — even pleasant!
1. Brush Your Teeth At the Same Time: It can be easy for children to not value the importance of brushing and flossing when they never see their parents doing it. Showing them that not only is it important, it’s also easy and enjoyable, can be a great help when children are just starting to brush and floss on their own. It can also help them to see how to do it properly by following a role model.
2. Use a Tracking and Reward System: We really like the monthly calendars that you can download from Mouth Healthy Kids that encourage children to color each month’s calendar, then track their brushing and flossing each day. This paired with a fun reward helps children feel involved in the process, and proud of their work each month.
3. Get a Fun Toothbrush: There are so many great options out there! Some of our favorites include the Phillips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush that comes with an interactive app for the phone or tablet that kids can use while brushing; the Minions Talking toothbrush (because Minions are adorable no matter what age you are); and the Grush toothbrush with brushing games.
4. Play Your Own Games: The toothbrushes listed above are great, but sometimes some good ol’ fashion brushing games are in order. These can include the most toothpaste bubbles, having your kids get rid of the cavity monsters, and showing how they make their teeth sparkle.
5. Pick Your Brushing Song: There are a lot of songs that are great to brush to (They Might Be Giants is a band with a ton of educational and fun songs that happen to be around two minutes long!). Have your kids select their brushing song each week and play or sing it while they brush. If they are too young to brush on their own, you can sing their Brushing Song while you brush their teeth, encouraging a fun and positive association with brushing from the start.
What other tips and tricks have worked for your family? Let us know!