In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, getting the family to the dentist can be difficult if not completely out of the question. Many dental offices are completely closed, or only doing emergency procedures. Getting your kids, and yourself, to the recommended dentist visits may not be an option, so it’s more important now than ever to ensure that your family is taking good care of those pearly whites at home. Here are some great tips to encourage your kids to keep scrubbing their little chompers:
Turn it into Quality Time
Brush your teeth together. You both need to do it, so why not take the opportunity to spend that time with your kids and show them what a good time brushing your teeth can be? Children learn by example, so watching the person they admire most can encourage them to continue the practice. It also provides a place for kids to ask questions and receive encouragement.
Make it a Party
Provide incentives to your little monsters that make them want to brush their teeth. Play music and dance around together while they scrub. Provide a prize or activity if they do a good job. Turn it into a game where they fight off the little cavity monsters in their mouth. Promise a (sugar-free) treat at a later date. Devising a positive connotation for their brushing habit might take some of the fight out of morning and bedtime routines.
Some kids really benefit from high expectations and accountability. Adding structure to their brushing may assist children in developing ownership over this habit. Set a two-minute timer and challenge them to brush non-stop until it goes off. Make a sticker chart to track the successful brushes that they’ve had. Take some time to educate your children on the reasons brushing your teeth is so important. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, so if they understand why it’s crucial, they may take care of it themselves.
Yum it Up
A lot of children dislike brushing their teeth because of the strong flavors and uncomfortable textures of most toothpaste. Because kids have such sensitive taste buds, minty flavors can even become painful. Find ways to make brushing a more comfortable and delicious experience for them by getting milder kid-specific toothpaste. While you’re at it, grab a toothbrush with their favorite character on it. Brushing can become a yummy adventure!
Bonus Tip: Children in prehistoric times did not have any trouble with dental decay because processed sugar didn’t exist. Lessen sugar intake and significantly increase the health of your little ones’ smiles.