February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! While it might not be the kind of holiday your children look forward to all year, you can make this month fun while also teaching important dental habits that will serve your children well for the rest of their lives.
Make Brushing and Flossing Fun!
As anyone who’s interacted with children knows, it’s hard to get a child to develop a habit by using facts alone. You can tell your children how important it is to brush, but for many kids, that just won’t be enough to cement the habit of brushing their teeth. If you can make toothbrushing fun, though, kids are much more likely to stick with it!
Many dentists recommend brushing for about two minutes, two times a day. Find a song your child likes that is about two minutes long, and play it for them when it’s time to brush. Feel free to add some dance moves, too!
Give Them Options
Today, there are so many different kid-friendly toothbrushes and toothpastes that kids really can add an element of fun to their dental hygiene. Let your child pick a toothbrush they like, and let them choose the flavor of toothpaste that sounds best to them.
When they’re brushing with their favorite cartoon character, maintaining healthy teeth can be a treat instead of a chore.+
Make a Habit Stick
Try different habit-building tools to see which one works for your child. Make a calendar where your child can mark every day they’ve brushed and flossed, with a fun reward — like a toy or a fun new activity — at the end of the week or the month.
One of the most effective ways children learn is through example. If your child sees that you brush your teeth every day, they’ll be more likely to do it too! Brushing your teeth with your child doesn’t take much time, but it can have a lasting impression on their healthy habits!
However you teach your child to make brushing and flossing part of their routines, you are contributing to years of healthy smiles!