Thanks to movies, television shows, and word-of-mouth, the dentist can be seen as a horror figure, which can make going to the dentist a scary event for kids. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can make going to the dentist and dental hygiene in general, fun for kids.
Make brushing their teeth a game
Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be boring, it can be a fun game. Make the toothbrush seem as though it’s a magic wand, magically cleaning their teeth. You can also let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste as they come in a variety of colors and shapes, some even depicting their favorite cartoons. Another fun thing to do is create little stories as to why they have to brush their teeth or even make up a fun song.
Brush your teeth together
Brushing your teeth together can be effective as kids like to mimic what their parents do. It is a good way to teach them the right way to brush and even floss. Brushing together can also make taking care of their teeth seem like a routine and they will get used to doing it on their own when they are older. Make it a few minutes of daily family time!
Use rewards as encouragement
Kids always like getting rewarded for doing what they are supposed to, so why not incorporate it into their dental hygiene routine. Create a chart and use stickers each day when your child brushes their teeth. Maybe once they hit the two weeks mark they get a bigger prize and once they hit a month they get an even bigger one.
Read books and watch videos
Sometimes kids work best when they are given a visual explanation. There are many books and even cartoons and videos out there that kids can watch to make brushing their teeth, flossing, and going to the dentist seem more fun.
Make the Tooth Fairy real
Using the Tooth Fairy as a reward or even a threat can help get your child to take better care of their teeth. Let them know if they take good care of their teeth, when they lose their healthy baby teeth, the Tooth Fairy will bring them a special treat, but if they don’t take care of their teeth, the Tooth Fairy will pass right by their house.
Find a kid-friendly dentist
Be sure to find a dentist that is kid-friendly. This can include a dentist that is specifically trained to work with kids, but also knows how to make them feel comfortable. The rest of the staff should also know how to interact with children as well. Find a dentist that has an exciting waiting room with fun colors, music, and even some toys.
The dentist does not have to be a scary place and brushing teeth doesn’t have to be a chore for kids. Make taking care of oral hygiene fun for kids can set them on the right path for future healthy teeth and gums.