It's no secret that regular and thorough tooth brushing will help keep your kids' teeth healthy. But telling your kids to brush their teeth is not always enough to convince them that this is a habit they need to maintain. To ensure your kids do spent time brushing their teeth each day – and that this habit sticks for life – you need to find ways to make tooth brushing fun. Here are some ideas to start with.
Play a favorite song during tooth brushing time.
Many kids have a favorite song or a few favorite songs. Start playing that song every morning and night when it's time for them to brush their teeth. They can dance a bit and bop along to the music as they brush. And since most songs are around three minutes long, if they brush for the duration of the song, you can be confident that they did a thorough job. (Many experts recommend brushing for at least two minutes, but three is even better since kids might not be as efficient when brushing.)
Let them pick their toothbrush.
While a plain red or blue toothbrush will certainly do the job, kids aren't usually as excited about generic, plain-colored toothbrushes. Take them with you to the store, and let them pick their own brush. You'll be amazed by the assortment of character-themed, light-up, and other specialty toothbrushes in the kids' section. While you'll pay a few more dollars for these varieties, it's definitely worth it if it makes brushing time fun.
Give them stickers.
Create a chart on poster board with two little spaces for each day of the month. When your child brushes his or her teeth without complaint, put a sticker in a box. Agree on a prize that you'll give to your child if they manage to fill in all of the boxes that month. This could be something small like a new soccer ball, or even a trip to the theater. Your child will be so excited to earn the prize that they'll look forward to brushing their teeth so they can earn another sticker.
Make up a story.
Most kids love hearing stories. Every night while they brush their teeth, work on developing a story around the idea of a super hero who goes around saving teeth. You can add to the story every night as your child brushes their teeth – or you can create various short stories with the same basic characters.
For more tips and information about keeping your children's teeth healthy, talk with a dentist, like Paul Dona DDS.