For kids, one of the primary functions in life is to explore and play. Fun is an aspect of children’s lives that motivates them and keeps them calm and happy. That’s why at Storybook Smiles, we always aim to put children’s comfort and happiness at the forefront of great dental care. And we understand that it can be difficult for parents to get kids to stay on top of their daily routine at home. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips for how to make dental hygiene fun for your kiddos!
- Call on Your Child’s Heroes
- Make It a Game
- Balance Treats & Healthy Snacks
- Give Prizes & Praise
- Visit a Child-Focused Dentist
There’s an abundance of children’s merchandise today. Their favorite cartoon characters can be found on everything from lunchboxes to running shoes. Luckily, this means lots of fun choices when it comes to toothpaste and toothbrushes. We recommend allowing your child to pick out their own toothbrush when they are old enough. A soft-bristled brush with their favorite character or hero may be just the motivation they need to look forward to brushing every day.
If you have child under the age of 6, we recommend helping them brush their teeth to ensure proper technique. It can be hard to get them to cooperate with opening mouths wide and allowing you to help, so we suggest making it a game. Play zoo animals and say things like “Lion face!” so that your child will open wide enough to let you brush their back teeth. To get to their front teeth, encourage your child to make a monkey face, baring their front teeth like a chimpanzee. Ask for a “giraffe tongue” to brush their tongue. It’s even more fun if parents make the faces too!
We all love treats, but too many aren’t good for teeth. Allow sugary treats only in moderation and do your best to make nutritious snacks fun. For example, we advise turning veggies and fruits into things your child loves! Make a smiley face out of pineapple slices and blueberries. Create a robot using celery, carrot sticks, and hummus. Pair apple slices with a low-sugar nut butter. The possibilities are endless when you use your imagination (and the internet for ideas).
For children old enough to receive an allowance, consider incorporating good dental hygiene as another chore that deserves a reward. For younger children, we recommend rewarding with stickers, a new fun toothbrush, or a coloring book. If your child is brave at a dentist appointment, tell them how proud you are and celebrate with a special outing, like to a friend’s house, the park, zoo, or aquarium. Consistent praise and rewards will help them feel pride and confidence that will keep them motivated to maintain good oral health habits.
It only takes a visit to our homepage to see that we are all about children’s comfort, safety, and joy when it comes to dental care. We strive to help kids have good experiences at our office and to feel at ease when they see us to encourage a lifetime of healthy teeth. We feature a play area, TV screens in each treatment room, fun learning tools to encourage brushing, and a friendly team. We also offer gentle sedation options to relax kids during treatments. At Storybook Smiles, kids look forward to their dental appointments.
If you have any additional questions about how to make dental hygiene fun for your child, or if it’s time to schedule an appointment for your child, contact us today!