If you think you’re busy, try being a kid. Along with school, sports, activities, friends and family time, they’re learning how to take care of themselves and others in new ways every single day.
One necessary life skill all children need to learn is how to care for their dental health. Helping your child get in the habit of brushing twice daily for at least two minutes each time can be challenging, but a little creativity can go a long way in getting them engaged.
For tips on teaching kids to brush, check out the video above. Here are more ideas for making toothbrushing a two-minute blast of fun.
1. Brush to the beat
Instead of just setting a timer, try playing DJ while your child brushes! Choose tunes they love — almost any upbeat track will work well. Music videos and brushing apps can be great, too. You’ll find more on this brushing playlist for young children.
2. Offer simple rewards
What motivates your child? Do they love seeing sparkly stickers on a reward chart, or points that add up for a new book, a museum trip or something else special? Think about what’s right for their age and favorite activities. Rewards can be as simple as saying, “You’ve got an awesome smile! I’m so proud of you,” with a big hug or high-five when they finish.
3. Spin out a story
Create your own tooth care tale to delight your child while they brush. Make them the superhero who brushes away the bad guys that cause cavities or saves the world by giving everyone a healthier smile.
4. Let your child choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste
Brushing can be more fun when you have toothpaste with cool stripes or sparkles and a brush in your favorite color. (Look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.) Fluoride toothpaste comes in lots of flavors, so your child will have plenty of cavity-fighting choices.
5. Brush with them
Take two minutes after breakfast or before bed to brush side-by-side. Children learn from you, so this is the perfect way to model a healthy routine you always follow, no matter how busy life gets. The family that brushes together has even more reason to smile.