To help your children develop good life-long dental health habits, make a point of making oral health a fun and engaging experience for them starting at a young age.
Developing positive associations with good oral hygiene habits will mean that your children will want to actively participate in their oral health. This will start them on the path to good oral health for life.
To help make dental care a little more fun and engaging for children, try the following ideas:
Play some music.
Play one of your children’s favorite songs while they're brushing their teeth, and make it a challenge: keep brushing until the song is over! Or, play one song for the top teeth, and a second one for the bottom; or, one song for the fronts of the teeth, and another for the backs!
Create a family tradition.
In North America, the Tooth Fairy tradition is one of the most popular surrounding children losing their baby teeth. The Tooth Fairy can really help get kids interested and engaged in their oral health.
There's something magical in discovering a little gift under your pillow in the morning, where you left your baby tooth the night before! And it doesn’t have to be money! A small game or toy, a message from the tooth fairy, or even just a new toothbrush can all be great choices, too.
However, traditions for when children lose their baby teeth vary significantly from country to country and culture to culture, so do a little research, and maybe you’ll find something that fits your own family better than the Tooth Fairy. And there's nothing stopping you from inventing your very own, unique family tradition, too!
Keep a tally/calendar.
Every day that your child brushes and flosses successfully, at the right times and for the right amount of time, mark it off on a calendar or tally sheet. After a predetermined number of days or brushing/flossing sessions, celebrate with a special treat, like reading a new book about oral health: there are lots of great books on this subject out there!
Choose fun toothbrushes, floss, and toothpastes.
Let your children pick out a their own toothbrushes in their favorite colours, or one with a favorite cartoon character; there are all sorts of different, colourful toothbrushes for children.
Even toothpaste and floss can help make the oral hygiene process more fun! They come in lots of different flavours and in unique packaging, too. Allowing your children to pick these things out will give them a sense of agency and involvement when it comes to oral health.
Make brushing and flossing a family event.
Get your whole family together in the bathroom every morning or every evening, for a family brushing and flossing event! It may be a bit crowded, but it's a simple way to take a few extra minutes to spend some quality time. And chances are good that your kids will remember those family teeth brushing sessions fondly as they get older!