Keeping kids enthusiastic about optimal dental care is no easy feat. However, you can simplify the struggle to get your kids to brush, floss, and swish with mouthwash by making these tasks more fun. Consider these simple ways that you can help your kids discover joy in following healthy dental care habits each day.
Be Mindful When Discussing Dental Care
How you speak about dental care will have a big impact on how children look at brushing their teeth. If you talk about teeth-brushing as a chore that must be done two times per day, children are likely to see it as a drudgery. However, if you speak about brushing teeth in a positive way, children are more likely to embrace the task.
Here are some ways you can bring up dental care habits in a positive way:
Tell your kids that you have a surprise for them: You can surprise your kids with a toothbrush that has one of their favorite cartoon characters on it. Talk about how you can play the theme song from the show every night while they brush their teeth. This fun surprise can make your kids more excited to brush their teeth
Talk about how flossing is fun when you play a game with it: Teach children to pretend that the floss is a line in a maze. To the end of the maze, the floss must go carefully between each tooth. After you supervise kids correctly flossing their teeth, reward them with a gold star sticker or other small, inexpensive token of appreciation.
The truth is that dental care habits need to be followed every day whether kids particularly enjoy them or not. But if you can present these habits in a light-hearted way, they don't have to feel like chores.
Bring On the Positive Reinforcement
Heap a lot of praise on kids for brushing their teeth. Look for different ways to pay them a compliment. Children are usually delighted by their parents' enthusiastic approval and are likely to be consistent with their dental care habits when they receive such validation.
Some things you may say to encourage children with their dental care include the following:
"The way you brushed your teeth so carefully was terrific. You're taking great care of them."
"You're so smart. You pick up on dental care tips so fast!"
"The way you tried so hard to take good care of your teeth is paying off. Your teeth are so sparkling clean!"
"Wow! Good job on meeting all your dental care goals for the week. That's so impressive!"
"Everybody makes mistakes, but the way you've fixed yours is amazing! Good job on improving the way you brush your teeth. You're doing great."
"Way to go! You inspire every member of the family to take better care of their teeth."
"The attention to detail you put into flossing between every tooth was wonderful!"
Also, consider how you can use actions to offer positive reinforcement. High five your kids after they brush their teeth for two minutes. Clap and cheer for younger kids. Offer them a thumbs up sign. As you are praising children for a job well done, give them a congratulatory hug or pat them on the back. All that attention will amp up the fun factor for any child.
Finally, encourage your kids to ask their dentist questions about their daily dental care. They may feel reassured to get answers to their questions and hear the dentist praise them for the excellent ways they're taking care of their teeth and gums. Contact Edison C. Louie D.D.S, Inc. to make an appointment for your children's next check-ups today.