Oral hygiene habits rooted in childhood can last well into adulthood. Give your child the best chances for lifelong oral health by instilling regular healthy habits when they are young. In this blog post, Pacific Beach dentist Ricardo Hernandez suggests a few ways to get your children excited about dental hygiene.
Lead by Example
Your kids mirror what you do, and if they see you brushing and flossing your teeth every morning and night, they will want to be like you. If your child likes games, you can even make brushing into a friendly competition by gently suggesting, “I bet I can get my teeth cleaner than yours!” Don’t forget to demonstrate the proper flossing technique, and if they aren’t old enough to do it on their own, provide some assistance.
Pick Out Some Fun Tools
Entice your child to brush their teeth with a fun toothbrush that features their favorite character (e.g., Dora the Explorer, the “Frozen” cast). Every time they look at the colorful brush, they will make a positive association with their beloved characters.
Use a Fun Timer
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. Pick up a fun timer (like a sand or egg timer) that your child can use to make sure they are brushing enough. Or, crank up your child’s favorite two-minute song and brush along with it.
Invent a Story
Do your kids love stories about monsters or adventures? Make up a story about “plaque monsters” in their mouth and urge them to get rid of the monsters using their fun toothbrush. Looking at dental hygiene in a different context can make it more fun for the child.
Think more “incentive” and less “bribery” by putting a rewards system into place, which can make brushing fun. Perhaps you can decide that if your child brushes every night for a month, they get to stay up late one night; or, if they brush without being asked, they get a special sticker. Choose the incentive that seems right for your child.
Contact Our Family Dentist
Dr. Hernandez enjoys working with children and teaching them oral health habits from a young age. He has even written two children’s books about dental hygiene. To schedule an appointment for your child to see our family dentist, please contact Pacific Beach Smile Studio by calling 858-272-6047 today. You will receive a free Captain Oral Hygiene book when you bring your family into the office.