Getting a child excited about dental care can feel like (wait for it) pulling teeth. While your children may fight over the remote control, chances are they don’t fight over who gets to brush their teeth in the morning and evening. The aim of encouraging good oral hygiene habits isn’t to elevate flossing to the level of, say, movie night, but some simple tips can improve their oral hygiene habits enough to save their teeth from unwanted decay. Who knows, it might even give one less chore to remind them about every night.
Offer a metaphorical carrot
The old carrot vs the stick adage offers one solution. Your Denver dentist believes that rewarding good behavior tends to end in better outcomes in most situations. If your children have a list of chores, brushing on their own can lead to stickers on a chart, which can lead to meaningful rewards at the end of the week. This approach will allow your children to associate brushing their teeth with fun treats and good vibes.
The clock is ticking
Children (and many adults) have an uncanny fascination with sand-filled hourglass clocks. You know, the glass clocks that have a narrow band in the middle that sand sifts through. Find a clock that clocks out at around two minutes. Prompt with a “Ready, Set, Go,” and you’ve turned a chore into a fun race to finish brushing before time runs out.
Use ownership to your advantage
Most convenience and grocery stores are stocked with kid-friends oral hygiene appliances, ranging from themed toothbrushes to flavored toothpaste. Build excitement by telling your child that they will be able to pick their own oral hygiene products. Each time your son or daughter sees their toothbrush and toothpaste choices, they will remember that they have ownership of what they use to clean their teeth at night.
Set a good example
The easiest way to encourage brushing is to make it a family habit. It’s far easier to set aside time each night for brushing than to tell children to go off and do it on their own. You can even play fun games as a family by seeing which siblings can continuously brush for the longest or who has the cleanest teeth when they are done.
What cleaning services does my child need?
Your child should see the dentist by age 1 or within six months of the eruption of his or her first tooth. Cleanings and exams at our dental practice will play a critical role in ensuring that your child does not develop tooth decay or gum disease. If one of our doctors sees developmental issues, they can be treated accordingly.
Our dental team loves working with children of all ages, and we will ensure that your family visits are enjoyable. Teaching your little ones about the importance of brushing will be one of our top priorities because we know that a strong foundation of oral health begins at a young age.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Visit Today
From your child’s very first visit, he or she will feel welcome and comfortable at Metropolitan Dental Care. When your kiddo is in-between visits, the tips offered in this blog can ensure that daily brushing remains an important feature of daily family life. To schedule your next visit with your Denver dentist, please contact our office online or call (303) 534-2626.