How To Get Your Children To Brush & Floss

Dental health and oral hygiene are the last things on a child’s mind. Because of that, it can be challenging to get them to perform the simplest tasks to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing regularly between bi-annual dental exams can set children up for a lifetime of great dental habits. We’ve already touched on why it’s important for children to see a dentist as early as when their first tooth pops through. So how can parents instill these habits into their children? Read on and find out!

Explain Dental Terms in Their Words

Explaining how things feel rather than what they are is a great way for children to relate. For instance, when explaining a cavity, you wouldn’t expect them to understand that a cavity is tooth decay caused by acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and dentin. Instead, relate it back to an emotion or a sense, like, “Cavities can make your teeth hurt. You don’t want your teeth to hurt, do you?” This allows you to explain the consequences of poor oral hygiene to them while guiding them toward making the best dental health choice.

Make Brushing & Flossing Game

For kids, playtime is at the very core of learning. If something is fun, not only will they stick to it, but they are more apt to learn and retain any lessons from the experience. With that in mind, try making a game out of brushing and flossing. Make a board and tally each time they complete a task and the first one to the specific endpoint gets a prize. We suggest staying away from sweet treats as a reward though!

Let Them Have a Hand in Choosing The Supplies

Think of the last project you were proud to complete. You most likely procured all the supplies and felt vested because you accomplished the task on your own terms. Your children will feel the same way if they get to choose their toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. That doesn’t mean they can decide on whatever they want. Instead, pick out a few of each item and allow them to choose from those. This way, you get the satisfaction of knowing that what they decide is right for them, and they feel good knowing they get to choose their supplies and they’re more inclined to use them regularly.

Give an Electric Toothbrush A Try

An electric toothbrush might be the spark some kids need to brush on a regular basis. If an activity isn’t fun, kids are not going to continue doing it. Manual brushing for some is a task that involves a little too much work with no immediate benefit attached to it. However, allowing them to brush with an electric toothbrush reduces some of that work and adds some excitement to brushing.

When All Else Fails, Make It A Family Affair

If your child continues to put off brushing and flossing, it might be time to make the experience a family affair. Your children take after you after all, so it’s important to instill in them the importance of brushing and flossing. If you don’t do it, it’s much more difficult to tell them to. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching them, join in on the fun. Soon they will adopt your brushing and flossing routine. It’s a great way to keep the entire family’s teeth and gums healthy.

Every time you visit Dobbs & Adkins, DMD, LLC you can rest assured you and your children are receiving top-quality dental care. We want to help your entire family achieve the best smile possible. Call us today (205) 655-4300 to schedule an appointment!