Clever Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Dental Care

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Most of us know that protecting our health is important. But while almost 60 million Americans participated in running, jogging, and trail running in 2017, protecting your health comes down to more than just exercise. It’s also important to prioritize dental health — and to start those habits early. But that’s easier said than done when your kids view brushing their teeth as an annoying chore. To that end, here are just a few clever ways you can get them excited about dental care.

Get Fun Brushing Tools

It’s a lot easier to feel excited about brushing your teeth if you aren’t using a boring brush. Ask your dentist about the best brushes for kids and see whether there might be a brush that features characters your kids love. Since it’s recommended to switch out your brush every few months, picking out a new toothbrush can give your child something to look forward to. There are also toothpaste and floss flavors that are more enjoyable for kids’ palates. Since fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40% when used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, picking a palatable flavor can really go a long way. Of course, make sure you’re choosing age-appropriate brushing and flossing tools, as many are made for smaller hands that have less manual dexterity.

Model Good Behavior

The old “monkey see, monkey do” adage can work wonders when encouraging your child to brush their teeth. After all, why would they be excited about dental care if you don’t feel that way yourself? Invite them to watch how you brush and floss your teeth every night — and do so diligently — to entice them to be just like mom or dad. When you set a good example, they’ll be more eager to mimic you with their oral health.

Offer Rewards For Dental Visits

Although 20% of the population doesn’t have the ideal bite, orthodonture work might be a ways off. It’s important to schedule and keep dental appointments starting from an early age; dentists recommend that you start visits for your child by the time they turn one or when their first tooth emerges. But of course, dental visits aren’t the most enjoyable activity for anyone — so you should make it something your child can look forward to. You might consider taking them out of school for the afternoon so they can do to their appointment and do something fun with you afterward, like picking out a new toy, getting a healthy treat, or watching a movie. If you associate dental visits with small rewards, they won’t be so inclined to avoid going (and they’ll want to take care of their teeth to get a glowing review from their dentist!).

Throw a Toothy Dance Party

It’s tough even for adults to brush for the recommended amount of time. But you can make brushing and flossing go by more quickly if you turn it into a game or a dance party! By having a little competition at bedtime or by turning on some fun music to dance to, it won’t be long before they’ve brushed for a full minute. Establishing a favorite brushing song can make this activity a lot more enjoyable and provide an opportunity for you to bond — all while your kiddo cares for their teeth.

Dental care can be a drag, even for grown-ups. But it’s important to establish healthy routines from an early age. With these tips, you can get your kids excited about caring for their teeth and ensure they keep smiling as they grow older.

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