Let’s face it, brushing your teeth doesn’t exactly rank as highly as watching YouTube or playing video games when it comes to activities children get excited about. BUT, there are tactics that you can use to motivate your children to brush their teeth while adding an element of fun into the mix!
Here are 5 ways that you can help to make brushing teeth fun for kids while simultaneously encouraging healthy dental habits:
Choosing a Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Like the majority of us, kids don’t like being told what to do. If you give them the power of choice when it comes to picking a toothbrush and toothpaste, then they may feel more in control of their own destiny! There are so many colorful, themed, character-driven toothbrushes available in today’s dental hygiene products market. From Disney princesses to Paw Patrol, being able to select a toothbrush that represents your child’s favorite show, movie or book might make all the difference in the morning and at bedtime, and when it comes to how to properly brush your teeth.
In addition to a toothbrush, consider allowing your children to choose their own toothpaste! The flavor range runs the gamut from bubblegum and chocolate to strawberry and many others. Designed to make oral care more exciting, picking a new toothbrush flavor every week or month can really help to amp up your kids’ desire to brush their teeth.
Incorporate Music into Your Brushing Teeth Routine
As you know, we (and the CDC) recommend brushing teeth for two minutes at least two times per day. One fun idea to help the time pass is encouraging your children to create a playlist of two-minute songs that they can listen to, dance to, attempt to sing to as they brush their teeth. Not only will this make brushing teeth feel like less of a chore, but it can also help to improve blood flow & boost their moods.
Consider Implementing a Rewards System
Many of us become motivated when there is an incentive involved; kids may arguably be the masters of negotiating so turn the tables and see what you can negotiate with them. You could do something simple like use a sticker chart and set a goal of brushing twice per day for a week, two weeks, a month – whatever you feel is fair and reasonable. Once they achieve their goal, perhaps they’ll earn extra time on devices or a well-deserved prize!
Make the Act of Brushing Teeth a Game
This could be something simple like giving your child a timer or stopwatch to use while they strive to reach the 2-minute mark. Depending upon your child’s age, you could also consider allowing the use of a device while brushing teeth – in fact, there are even apps available to help make brushing teeth more fun, like Colgate’s Magik, an augmented reality brushing experience.
Consider making brushing teeth an activity that includes the whole family! After all, kids learn behaviors by example and from those that are their role models. Spending time together as a family can be hard to come by these days, so even if you’re all squeezed into the bathroom for two minutes, you’re making a concerted effort to bond… like teeth… get it?
If you’ve tried these strategies and still find that you’re having difficulty getting your children to brush their teeth on a regular basis, please feel free to contact us for advice. In fact, even if the strategies are proving to be useful in your home, we’d love to know what’s working, what’s not and how you’ve achieved brushing teeth success with your kiddos!