Kids Brushing Teeth Made Fun: Tips and Tricks
Teaching kids to brush their teeth properly is crucial to protecting their smile throughout their lives.
Not only does this help build good habits that will protect their permanent teeth once those come in, but it also prevents baby teeth from developing issues that can lead to poor tooth development even before permanent teeth start to pop through.
Of course, brushing your teeth isn’t the most exciting activity. So, it can be difficult to get kids into it.
Today, the team at Dino Kids Dental wants to walk you through some tips and tricks that will make teaching your kids to brush their teeth fun.
Let’s get started.
1: Get the Right Brush
This sounds like such a simple tip, and that’s because it is, but it actually helps improve the experience a lot.
The first thing you want to do is invest in a fun, high-quality toothbrush.
Yes, any basic toothbrush that’s designed properly will work, but there are two reasons you want to splurge a little and get one that your child truly enjoys and doesn’t skimp on quality.
First, there’s the enjoyment factor.
Just like you enjoy having a really nice plate at dinner time, or maybe a steering wheel cover with a fancy print on it, your kid will be just a bit more excited to brush their teeth if their brush is something appealing.
This isn’t a problem. You can get children’s toothbrushes from the top brands with all sorts of their favorite characters on them, and some even have special features that we’ll talk about later.
Try to find something that is solely for them. Match it with their interests, and if you can, have them help pick it out. Just make sure they get one that’s designed properly.
Then, the quality aspect helps improve the experience, too.
A high-quality brush will be a lot more comfortable to use than some cheap brush that was made by cutting corners. You don’t need to spend a fortune but definitely try to get a decent brush.
Think about a pair of shoes. Even if you get a great deal on an awesome-looking pair of shoes, if there’s a minor issue with how comfortable they are, you’ll be looking at the shoe rack again in a few weeks, trying to get out of those uncomfortable shoes.
Your kid’s toothbrush is the same way. It needs to be comfortable if you want them to use it.
2: Get A Kid-Friendly Toothpaste
To go with our toothbrush tip, you need to buy a kid-friendly toothpaste that checks off three different requirements.
First, make sure it tastes good. No one wants to slosh something around in their mouth if it tastes bad, and kids are usually a little averse to the harsh mint flavors of adult toothpaste.
There are plenty of options on the market, such as bubblegum and watermelon flavors. Just make sure you get one that isn’t essentially candy.
Then, you want the toothpaste to look exciting. The boring white tube variety isn’t going to spark your child’s senses. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.
If there’s something related to your child’s interests, go with that. Otherwise, just opt for something colorful that pops.
Finally, the toothpaste needs to have fluoride. All pediatric dentists worth their salt will recommend fluoride toothpaste.
There are non-fluoride trainer pastes available, but those are for very small children who haven’t learned not to swallow the paste. Fluoride will protect your child’s teeth.
3: Add Music
It takes roughly 2 minutes to engage kids in brushing their teeth, and that’s a long time to keep a child focused on the task at hand. As such, a lot of kids don’t brush their teeth nearly as long as they should, or parents get frustrated trying to get them to stick with it until the end.
So, we recommend making it a fun musical event.
Singing the ABCs is a popular method with younger children, but really, you just need to keep them occupied.
Whether it’s a silly song, a song clip you’ve timed at 2 minutes, or something you made up with your kid to encourage them, just try to keep them engaged and having a good time.
This also ties into our first tip. There are quite a few musical toothbrushes available that are timed to stop playing music at the exact right time. So, you take care of the timing aspect, and your kid gets to enjoy a tune while they’re brushing. Just don’t forget to maintain the batteries.
4: Go Electric
Electric toothbrushes can be iffy. You want to focus mainly on teaching your child the proper way to brush manually.
However, electric toothbrushes can add a bit of excitement to the process, and they feel like high-tech gizmos that kids love.
Also, as long as they’re used properly, they can actually clean teeth better than manual brushing. We recommend adult supervision to ensure they’re not pushing too hard or doing anything else that can damage their teeth.
5: Make it a Routine
Finally, the best tip we can give is to work toward making it a permanent routine. There are only so many things you can do to make brushing your teeth a fun experience, and it’s never going to be as exciting as going to the local pizza place or a theme park. However, if you make it second nature, that won’t matter.
We’re creatures of habit, and if you put in the effort to maintain a regular dental care routine, your child will eventually start to maintain that routine on their own.
They won’t need songs and silly toothbrushes. They’ll just know it has to be done and do it as needed.
This is the ultimate goal because it ensures they’ll keep doing it without being told to once they’re older and have their permanent teeth. Good habits prevent a lot of the dental issues adults suffer from.
The fun stuff is more or less a way to get them started with the habit and ease them into it.
Get a Good Pediatric Dentist
Of course, teaching kids proper brushing teeth techniques is just one step in proper dental care. They still need a top-quality pediatric dentist to handle more complicated dental care, and a good dentist will reinforce the need for regular brushing at home.