If you have young children, then you know how hard it can be to get them to floss and brush their teeth. Trying to take them to see a dentist can be a nightmare of temper tantrums and arguing.
However, these temper tantrums may soon be a thing of the past! There are strategies that you can use to make dental care fun for the entire family. By treating dental care as a family activity, kids will soon look forward to visiting the dentist and brushing their teeth twice a day!
Make a Game out of Dental Care
There are many games that you can play to teach children about dental care. One such game organizing good foods from bad foods. All you need is a magazine and two bags. Cut out pictures of food from magazines and have the kids sort out the food pictures into two categories: foods that are bad for teeth and foods that are good for teeth. This game will help teach children what foods to avoid if they want to maintain proper dental health.
Another method could be setting up games at bedtime. If you have more than one child, try starting a friendly competition to see who can get done with their bedtime routine first. Whoever can take a bath, put their pajamas on, brush their teeth, and floss first (without rushing of course) will be able to pick the bedtime story for that night.
Set Up a Reward System
Keep track of your children’s dental habits. Set up a chart and hang it up in an accessible place. If your child is able to complete all dental related tasks for the whole week (such as brushing twice a day, flossing, using mouthwash), then give them a reward. The reward can be anything from having the privilege to choose what movie to watch Friday night, to deciding what they want to wear to school.
Come Up with New Tooth Fairy Stories
Everyone knows the usual story about the Tooth Fairy. If you lose a tooth, you get money. Consider adding onto that story. Make some changes to the legend, such as, “The tooth fairy will only give you money if you brush your teeth twice a day, use mouthwash, floss, and avoid eating bad foods.” Use the mythology to your advantage.
Visit the Dentist as a Family
Turn a visit to the dentist into a family outing. Have your children sit in on your dental cleaning and encourage them to ask the dentist any teeth related questions they have. It will be a great way to bond as a family and will create positive memories. Having positive memories being associated with dental care will make your children more likely to practice taking good care of their teeth and will establish healthy habits for life.
Set an Example
This is easily one of the most important steps towards family dental health. The majority of behaviors a child learns will be from their parents. Set an example and take care of your teeth. Brush at night with the children. This reinforces the benefits of proper dental health to them.
Getting your kids into good dental habits does not have to a chore. Figure out ways that you can make dental care fun and get the whole family involved. Not only will your teeth be healthier, but you’ll have positive memories to look back on for years to come.