According to studies, American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health problems and students who have experienced recent oral health pain are four times more likely to have lower grade point averages than their counterparts who have healthy teeth.
When it comes to kids, things rarely come easy, and we often hear from parents that their least favorite part of the day is the brushing routine. As the stats above show, good oral care starting at a young age is crucial for success in school and beyond. So for National Children’s Dental Health Month (February), our experts here at Wildwood Dental are sharing five tips to make brushing more fun:
Set the example
Make sure kids see you brushing your own teeth and make a point of expressing how great it feels to have a healthy smile. Encourage your kids to show off their own smiles once their teeth are clean, too.
Reverse roles by letting your child brush your teeth. It will make you both laugh and show how much fun brushing can be. You can also encourage your child to open wide by making them roar and pretend to be a tiger or a dinosaur.
Try disclosing tablets
For children ages 4-7, these tablets contain vegetable dye that reveals plaque left on the teeth after brushing by turning it temporarily red. By using these after your child brushes and flosses, you can see the areas that have been missed. Make it a game to get rid of the red! The tablets can be found at many retail stores.
Create a reward chart
Every time your child brushes his or her teeth, add a sticker to a special chart you create. After 10 stickers, reward them with something they enjoy.
Sing a song
Singing the ABCs slowly takes about two minutes, which just so happens to be the amount of time you should brush your teeth. If your child is older, check out the Brush DJ phone app, which takes music from your collection and plays it in two-minute increments.
As always, getting your child to the dentist by age one – and every six months after – is necessary for preventing dental issues.
What are your favorite ways to encourage children to brush?