5 Ways to Make Toothbrushing Fun for Kids

Healthy tooth brushing habits are a habit you can encourage in your child that will benefit them for life. If brushing feels like a daunting chore, though, they’ll be less likely to embrace or stick to it. Adding some fun to the mix provides a powerful means of benefiting your child’s oral health. Doing so can make the whole process more enjoyable for you, too. 

Our experienced dentists at Swinney Dental, located in Tyler, Texas, provide pediatric care for kids of all ages. Read on to learn five ways to improve home dental care for your kids through fun and invite the benefits of positive oral hygiene.

1. Let your child choose a special toothbrush or toothpaste

Having your child join you while shopping for a toothbrush or toothpaste helps them feel as though they are part of the decision-making process, versus merely being instructed. That sense of autonomy can make them more likely to want to put their chosen items to use. They may also enjoy tooth brushing more if their brush is their favorite color, features a cartoon character they love, or if their toothpaste has a tasty flavor.

2. Offer fun rewards

Rather than criticize your child for not brushing as much or as effectively as you would like, offer rewards for brushing sessions well done. Doing so lets your child know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated while providing motivation to keep the good habits going. 

Rewards provided immediately after good behaviors tend to work the best for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So consider options such as special stickers or points on a chart that they can collect and later exchange for a book, toy, or activity they desire.

3. Play music

Like adults, most kids should aim for about two minutes of toothbrushing, twice a day. Rather than set a boring timer or watching a clock, play music or a song your child enjoys for two minutes.

Music can stave off a sense of boredom and lift your child’s spirits as they brush, making it an activity they look forward to. Let your child select their own music, surprise them with a tune you know they love or vary it from day to day.

4. Brush your teeth at the same time

Brushing your teeth alongside your child can provide several benefits. First, you’ll provide them with company. Second, you’ll have a chance to set a positive example, showing that you really “walk the talk.” Lastly, this practice can become a fun ritual. Over time, your child will likely come to not only expect, but look forward to, your shared tooth brushing sessions. 

5. Share stories

Many TV shows and children’s books feature positive themes about toothbrushing. Do some research online or at your local library or bookstore to find stories you think your child would enjoy. 

Read them the story before they go to bed, then ask how they felt about the story and its toothbrushing plotline. You can also make up your own stories. If you aren’t brushing along with your child, consider telling a two-minute story to keep them interested.

To learn more about your child’s dental needs, call Swinney Dental or schedule an appointment with Dr. Chip Swinney or Dr. Kayla Morton. You can also use our online booking feature.

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