As parents, you know how hard it is to get your kids to implement good oral hygiene. But, taking good care of their teeth is the first step towards reducing large dental bills and keeping a beautiful smile your entire life. This can be even harder when you have kids with braces who want to eat all sorts of goodies that are forbidden. To give your kid good oral habits, it may be time to get creative with your parenting. Learn how to inspire kids to take care of their teeth by making it a fun and interesting experience.
Engage Your Kid’s Natural Curiosity
Everyone knows the stereotype of the kid who won’t stop asking questions. When something is new and unusual, it tends to heighten a child’s natural curiosity. The point is to make your kid’s dental hygiene routine as fun as possible, while teaching them the basics of good oral hygiene. What would your kid think if you tried the following methods?
Make Brush Time Play Time
Does your kid want to be a super-hero? Then, maybe you can get a themed toothbrush and pretend that part of their mission is to save their teeth. Let your kid’s imagination run wild when you’re out shopping for toothbrushes or getting braces. Get them involved in picking out their brush, their floss, and setting up their tools in the bathroom. They will tell you what colors and themes they resonate with the most. The more they associate brush time or dental hygiene with fun, the more likely they’ll stick with it.
Teach Two Skills at Once – Is your child learning to read? Do they love comic books? There is plenty of reading material that appeals to children about the subject of oral hygiene. Even if your child is not at the stage where they can read, you can use one of these kid’s publications as a bedtime story to help them learn why it’s important to brush and floss regularly.
Invoke the Yuck Factor
Kids may hate the idea of sitting through your carefully thought out reasons for why they should brush. However, if you invoke the yuck factor by visiting pictures online of people who didn’t take care of their teeth and ended up with tooth decay and gum disease, it will get their attention more. This is not only a way to appeal to the “gross” factor, but also is a very dramatic visual aid.
Tap into Their Inner Artist
Bring home some dental coloring books or art projects. They may not care too much about the subject, but they’ll have to soak the information in to complete the project.
Fun Games for Older Children
If you’re trying to teach what foods a child with braces can or can’t eat, then opt for brain teasers that have that information integrated into word puzzles and brain teasers. Look around for digital games and apps also that can help you get the information across.
Pick Dentists that Make the Experience Fun
Getting braces or dental work is not fun, even for adults. But, some dentists at least attempt to make it more fun by using funny props when teaching good oral hygiene. Try to find a practice that appeals to younger kids when you’re looking for a dentist for a child just starting to learn about the basics of good oral hygiene.
Learning what types of routines can help a child develop lifelong healthy dental habits does not have to be as boring as learning a mathematics times table. Make it a game to see how many routines they have completed successfully by setting up a chart where they can track their progress. Provide some sort of reward when they are able to maintain discipline by eating healthy, brushing, and flossing. Set goals like having no cavities the next time they visit the dentist, and then give them a reward to acknowledge their accomplishment. Make sure they understand how important is to keep appointments and how their behavior contributes to the news they get in the dentist’s office. The more children realize how their own choices create good dental health, the more likely they are to try to minimize trips to the dentist by brushing and flossing more often. By making the experience fruitful and entertaining, children can grow up with healthy dental habits that they never outgrow.