A lot of times it’s difficult to convey the long-term importance of certain habits to kids—and that makes getting them to stick to those habits quite the challenge! But their oral health is extremely important, and will be for the rest of their lives. Keep reading for some interesting ways you can make oral hygiene fun for your kids!
How to Engage Kids in Oral Health
Let’s face it—two minutes is a drop in the bucket to us. But it can feel like hours to a kid who just wants to play! Engaging them is key, even when it comes to routine things like brushing their teeth. Here are a few ways you can make your kids look forward to their oral health habits!
Give Them a Say
Giving your child some agency in something they have to do is a great way to make it more fun and engaging for them. Start out by letting them choose their own toothbrush or toothpaste! Get something with their favorite characters or colors, and they’ll be way more excited to use it every day. If you also want a say in their choice, pick a few options beforehand and let them choose from those.
Do It Together
Actions always speak louder than words, so showing your kids that you are also invested in your oral health is so important. Not only that—but kids learn so much by actively mimicking adult behavior. Consider making it a family affair! By brushing your teeth together, you’re not only leading by example: You’re also showing them that oral hygiene doesn’t have to take them away from the fun.
Make Going to the Dentist Exciting
Has your child ever fallen over or bumped something, but only started crying after you started fussing over them? It’s actually very common! Children look to us for how they should react to certain things, whether it’s a fall or visiting the dentist. If you act like going to the dentist is scary or unpleasant, your child is more likely to react that way—even if they don’t actually feel that way.
Playing dentist, or telling them about all the cool things dentists do, will make them excited to meet them!
Make It Fun
Find ways to make it fun! Try turning on their favorite song and having a teeth-brushing dance party. Or say that whoever lasts the longest without needing to spit wins! That one could get a little messy. It’s also important to normalize the habit. Talk to your kids about how their favorite characters or dolls also brush their teeth to stay happy and healthy.
There are so many ways to engage kids in oral health. Figure out what works for your family! Maybe it’s as simple as rewarding them with playtime or storytime afterward, or maybe it’ll take a little more imagination. The important thing is that you’re helping your kids establish lifelong healthy habits.
Lead By Example
The more you can normalize committing to oral health, the more likely your kids are to make it a priority now and later in life. Make sure you’re keeping up with your six-month checkups! If you’re due for one or if you’ve been experiencing some pain or discomfort you’d like to get checked out, contact LeCroy Dental to set up an appointment today.