For many parents, teaching children how to brush their teeth and why it’s important is a twice-daily battle. Although tooth decay is easily preventable, it’s still the most common dental disease that kids ages 6-19 face, and it can contribute to other issues like speech delays, infection, and diabetes.
Here are five fun and engaging ways to educate your children about their dental hygiene while turning it into an exciting part of their daily routine.
5. Mirror Mirror
Young kids look to their parents for actions to repeat and recreate as part of their social growth cycles, so it’s likely that they’re paying attention to you when you’re brushing and flossing your own teeth.
Next time you and your kids are brushing your teeth, pretend to be their mirror and mimic their movements to not only teach them proper technique, but also have fun doing it!
4. The Commercial Game
Before sitting down to watch their favorite show, plan for your kids to race to the bathroom and brush a quadrant of their mouth (top-right, top-left, bottom-right, bottom-left) for 30 seconds during each commercial break.
If you have a streaming service and enjoy a commercial-free life, simply pause the show or movie for 30 seconds at 4 random intervals instead!
3. Beat The Timer
Nothing is more fun than beating the timer! Set up a timer on your phone or watch, and challenge your kids to brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes. For added fun, provide NFL Football-style commentary during those 2 minutes!
2. Teeny Tiny Animals
Reveal to your children that there are teeny tiny animals inside their mouths, and they need to chase them out twice a day using their toothbrushes. Let their imaginations run wild and allow them to choose which animals they want to chase away each time they go to brush their teeth.
When all else fails, nothing works better than your classic bribe. Offer to let your kids stay up a few minutes past their bedtime, or choose the next movie for family night as long as they brush their teeth twice today for their two full minutes!
Creating a fun and engaging routine at home will ensure your child develops a lifelong habit of caring for their teeth. And remember, the earlier you introduce brushing and flossing, the better — kids who are used to performing habits like these will start to feel ‘yucky’ if they don’t do it.
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