Take Advantage of These Fun Ideas To Teach Your Children About Oral Health
Teaching your children about oral health can give them a solid foundation and establish good routines for caring for their teeth as they grow older. However, kids’ oral health isn’t always the most engaging topic. You can impart these important principles on your children by taking advantage of these fun activities for kids.
1. Make Brushing Fun
If you’re teaching your kids about oral hygiene, much of the focus should be on brushing and flossing. Establishing a good routine early on can save a lot of trouble down the road. However, you’ll be able to get much better results if you can find a way to make brushing fun.
One of the most straightforward ways to get your children to love brushing is to pick up a special toothbrush. Some of the most effective children’s toothbrushes play music for two minutes, which is the recommended amount of time to brush. This technique ensures children brush long enough and that they’re having fun doing it.
You can always implement some kind of reward system for consistent brushing too. A simple brushing chart is easy to make, and you can add stickers twice each day when they brush their teeth. This can take a bit of extra effort but can establish habits that will make your child more independent in their oral health care as they grow older.
2. Try Fun Flossing Games
Flossing can be challenging for young children. Brushing is easy enough to understand, and the only real challenge may be getting them to stick to a routine. However, many young children don’t understand how to floss or why it’s so important. You can try a few fun activities for kids to explain it more thoroughly.
Legos are a great way to explain the importance of flossing. Kids love Legos, and chances are you already have some in your home. You can stick playdough on Legos to represent sticky pieces of food caught between and around teeth. Then, explain that this is what causes tooth decay and talk about the question what cavities look like and why it’s important to prevent them.
You can use string or yarn as a substitute for floss to remove the playdough. This will show children how the floss helps and how it should move between the teeth. This kind of hands-on learning can really help them understand the importance of flossing.
3. Pick Up Some Toy Teeth to Learn With
Toy teeth can help your children understand more about their oral health. They’ll be easy to find around Halloween you can likely find some kind of novelty item or toy at stores near you. They don’t have to be accurate models — just enough to provide a visual aid when discussing oral health. You can use them to discuss brushing and flossing and offer a visual answer when your kids ask, “What does a cavity look like?”
You can use these toy teeth to explain proper brushing techniques. Being able to perform the brushing motion and look directly at the teeth at the same time will really help your child visualize the technique and understand the importance of getting every side of each tooth.
4. Set Up a Baby Teeth Chart
As your child starts to lose their teeth, you can take that opportunity to get them interested in oral health with a baby teeth chart. You can create a chart of your children’s current 20 baby teeth and cross them off as they fall out.
As you complete the baby teeth chart, you can also mark the adult teeth, also called secondary teeth, as they come in. There are 32 in all, including the four wisdom teeth that typically only emerge in early adulthood. Hopefully, they won’t need so much guidance on their oral health by then!
5. Visits from the Tooth Fairy
The tooth fairy is a tradition that takes different forms in different parts of the world, but here, it’s as simple as your child putting a freshly fallen baby tooth under their pillow and receiving some kind of reward in exchange. Not every family does this, but it could be right for you.
If you are planning on doing so, you should keep inflation in mind. Today, most kids get between $3 and $5 per tooth. If that doesn’t seem quite right, some families switch out the cash with toys, treats, or other prizes.
Quality Dental Care for Your Children
Knowing how to take care of their own teeth and being conscious of their oral health is incredibly important for children, but so are routine cleanings and exams. We Make Kids Smile can provide all of your pediatric dentistry needs with preventative and restorative treatments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.