Contributed by Audrey Matalon.
Parenting just never stops, does it? At PrimeTimeParenting we thought it was important to bring up the topic of TEETH BRUSHING. Every kid is different and some immediately are interested while others will avoid it like liver.Like it or not THEY HAVE to brush and WE have to MAKE them. Brian Barnes, D.M.D of StoneCreek Dental Care in Alabama, assembled 5 “tactics” to get your kids to brush with ease. And according to his representatives, “The good news is that teaching your children the importance of brushing and flossing daily can be a breeze, IF you make it exciting!
So, here it is, the 5 tips direct from Dr. Barnes…
“1. Pick out a fun toothbrush. Does your child have a favorite cartoon character or superhero? Take your child to the toothbrush aisle and have him or her pick out their favorite toothbrush. This character can be their “toothbrush buddy” that helps motivate them to brush their teeth and keep their mouths clean and healthy!
2. Turn brushing into a game. Brushing doesn’t have to be a chore — turn it into a fun game! Challenge your child to brush for a full two minutes with the proper technique at a 45-degree angle. You can also encourage your child by putting a sticker on a chart toward a goal, and reward them with a new toy once they reach that benchmark. Just make sure they don’t brush too hard!
3. Make it a family activity. Children learn by example. Model appropriate brushing and flossing for your child, and brush and floss with them! By showing them that you care about your teeth, they’ll be more inclined to care about theirs too.
4. Play a song. Are you and your child not sure when two minutes have passed? Have your child pick their favorite two-minute song for brushing! An upbeat song will make brushing more fun, and when it’s over you and your child will know that you’ve brushed the right amount.
5. Use food to demonstrate the negative effects of sugary foods on dental health. A classic activity that children respond well to is the hard-boiled egg experiment. Take two hard-boiled eggs, and submerge one in soda and the other in milk. Ask your child to look at each egg after a few minutes have passed. Do they notice a change in color? Is the shell wearing off? Explain to your child that the egg shell is similar the enamel of our teeth — exposing it to sugary, acidic drinks breaks it down and leads to discoloration and decay. Milk, on the other hand, has essential nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D, which strengthen teeth. This example is just one of many ways to teach your kids that sugar can hurt their teeth!”
After incorporating these 5 activities into yours and your children’s brushing routine, we should teach kids good brushing and flossing technique and why it’s important to see the dentist 2x/year.
It’s a lot of work but doing this will help your kids have a lifetime of bright healthy teeth.
Thanks for the tips, Dr. Barnes.