Taking care of kids can be a challenge, but getting kids to take care of themselves can be even harder! That’s certainly the case for dentistry—by now you’re probably used to brushing your child’s teeth, but getting them excited about brushing their own teeth presents a new host of challenges.
If you’re trying to figure out how to help your kids take charge of their oral health, here are some things you can try to get them invested.
Spend the Time Together
Often, your child will get excited about what you’re excited about. If you can show them the importance of good dental hygiene by example, they’ll naturally start to care about it more.
You need to brush your teeth just as much as your child does, so why not do it together? By making oral hygiene a family affair, you can make it feel more like an event than a chore.
Reward them for Brushing Well
Forming any kind of habit can be hard for kids, in part because they have a hard time conceptualizing the long-term effects of not doing something. As a parent, there are plenty of ways to both reward kids for brushing and get them used to making plans for the future.
A sticker chart is an excellent example. You can put a sticker up whenever your child does some aspect of brushing properly, like managing to brush for two minutes at a time. When they collect enough stickers, you can reward them with a toy or a trip somewhere they like.
Give Them the Proper Tools
If you struggle to get your child invested in brushing, you certainly aren’t alone. That’s why there’s no shortage of dental products designed for children.
Electric toothbrushes in particular can really help kids get invested in their oral health. They’ve been clinically proven to clean more effectively than manual ones, which makes them great for children who struggle with their fine motor skills.
But the benefits don’t end there. Many toothbrushes designed for children have features to get them excited about brushing. Many of them play music for the recommended two minutes as your child brushes, and some even connect to your phone to allow your child to play a game while brushing.
About the Author
Dr. Jamie Guthrie deeply loves her work, which is why it’s no problem for her to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in oral medicine. That clinical expertise is what makes the work she does for her patients so special. Dr. Guthrie received her dental degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Dentistry, and she has completed coursework with the world-renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Education.
If you have any questions about dentistry for kids, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (580) 224-9600.