Toddlers and small tots. Whether it’s a toilet paper roll, piece of lint, or a cloud that’s shaped like a brachiosaurus, there’s so much in the world that’s way more entertaining than “boring old brushing.” If you have frustrated parents looking for some tips on how to establish good oral health habits in their little ones, here are 5 tips to pass along:
Move over, potty training! This isn’t the only activity worthy of a reward chart. A sticker chart for top-notch tooth brushing with a special reward at the end of a certain timeframe can go a long way in developing a great dental habit for life. A variety of tooth brushing reward charts can be found here if you want to print some out and give to parents. They’ll love this simple gesture!
One problem parents encounter is when their children get a little too rough with the toothbrush. They mistake brute force scrubbing for effective cleaning. (Let’s be honest, some adults are guilty of this too.) Parents can try this trick: tell the kids to brush their teeth like how a train moves along the track: big round circles, slow and steady. When kids have trains on the brain, it’s a great distraction from the task itself.
Make It Fun
When parents act like brushing is a cumbersome chore, kids pick up on that. But when parents act like it’s a can’t-wait, fun fun fun event, the kids want to do it too! Brushing together and talking about “showing those sugar bugs who’s boss” makes it even more fun!
Bust Out the Timer
Two minutes can seem like an eternity to a child. Parents can help the time fly a little faster with a cute timer or one of those sand-in-the-hourglass contraptions from a board game. Or, parents can sing a fun song and be a real-life timer.
This or That
From Dora to Elmo to Snoopy, a fun toothbrush that the kids pick out is a lot more fun that your basic red or blue. Letting kids decide gets them more involved and ups their excitement when it comes to dental care.
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Share your tips below for establishing great dental care for kids!