Around 40 percent of children in America will have cavities before they even get into kindergarten. The statistic might not seem that bad when you think about how this is just baby teeth. They will lose the teeth anyway in a few years. Cavities still cause pain and can even damage adult teeth. Baby teeth are a holder for adult teeth. When the teeth come out prematurely, it can lead to crowding in adult teeth. It is important to start oral care early, but it doesn’t have to be a nightly battle. Here are four ways to make brushing your teeth fun.
1) Let children have a say
Children are more likely to want to brush their teeth if they get to choose their equipment. Let them pick a toothbrush with their favorite characters or cool design. Let them pick a toothpaste with flavors they like. If the children hate the taste of mint, and you have mint toothpaste, they are going to fight every night.
2) Have a dance party
Everyone should brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes. A good way to time this is to set music to a timer. Let the children dance to their favorite song as they brush their teeth. You can make up a special toothbrush dance. For example, everyone brush to the left. Brush to the right. Take a step forward to the sink, and then take a step back.
3) Tell a story
Children are more likely to listen to a fun interactive story, then just saying to brush your teeth. Tell a story around their interest. The toothbrush could be a camera that they are using to take pictures of the wild animals in their mouth. The toothbrush could be a superhero fighting off the cavity monster or aliens. The children will be happily laughing and playing along, instead of complaining about brushing their teeth.
4) Give them a reward
Children will be more willing to brush their teeth if they get something out of it other than a clean smile. Filling out a ‘brushing your teeth’-chart can be fun. Give them a sticker each time they brush their teeth to put on the chart. When they have enough stickers, they can earn a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be small things like having their favorite dinner or a family game night. Giving your child a goal to work toward will help them eagerly brush their teeth.
Brushing teeth doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. It can be a time when the family gets together for fun while also taking care of their teeth. Brushing gets easier when the children do it every day, and it just becomes part of their routine. These steps can help motivate your child to want to brush their teeth every day, or at least not cry over it.