5 Easy Ways to Make Oral Hygiene Fun for Kids
Healthy mouth care for children is important, but it can also be one of the most difficult things for parents and children to do together. Children don’t usually like parents brushing their teeth. They want to do it themselves, but don’t do a complete job. Children also don’t always understand the importance of healthy mouth care. Instead of fighting against a healthy mouth care routine, try these five easy ways to make oral hygiene fun for kids.
Create a brushing calendar for 2017
Print out the 2017 brushing calendar from the American Dental Association for your child. It includes two boxes on each day for checking off after brushing in the morning and at night. If you want to have your child design or create her own, simply follow the pattern and you’re good to go! Hang it in the bathroom or on the refrigerator for your child to tick the box after she brushes each time.
Listen to music about healthy mouth care
The ADA has also put together a healthy mouth playlist designed for children. With great tunes like the Sesame Street PSA featuring Elmo and Nicole Kidman to the American Dental Association’s own Dudley the Dinosaur, you will find memorable tunes that children and adults will love. Listen to the song while brushing or sing it together.
Create a customized bib
Have your child us their art skills to make a personalized bib for your child to wear when going to the dentist. All you need is:
- Picture of, or actual dental bib
- Paper towels
- Markers, crayons
- A variety of age appropriate art supplies (markers, crayons, paint, colored and white paper, glue, tape, etc.)
With these simple materials, you can encourage your child to create his own dental bib to wear to the dentist’s office. It can have his name on it or encouraging words.
Call upon the tooth fairy
The tooth fairy is a part of folklore who trades money in exchange for baby teeth left under a child’s pillow. If the tooth fairy also requires that these teeth be extra clean and well taken care of, would your child be incentivized to take better care of his teeth? Add a bit of healthy mouth care discipline to the tooth fairy story and see if that motivates your children.
Let your child brush your teeth
Children usually don’t like to allow parents to brush their teeth, but giving her your toothbrush and letting her have control can make it easier. Let her brush your teeth for a few seconds and then see if she will let you brush hers. Giving her some control and letting her experience what it’s like to brush someone else’s teeth can make it fun and distract her from the tooth brushing you have to do for her.
There are so many easy ways to help teach kids about oral health and make it fun for kids. Our favorites are from the American Dental Association’s online resources which use their mascot Dudley the Dinosaur to teach children about how to brush and floss. His YouTube videos are a great way to introduce your child to brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist.
Remember that healthy mouth care doesn’t need to be a struggle. Try out these easy ways to make it fun and enjoy it together!
Posted In: Pediatric Dental Care