Starting good oral health care habits early is key to get your family into the routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily. The more fun you can make it, the better chance they’ll stick with it! Below are some helpful tips depending on your child's age.
Introduce words such as “dentist” and “toothbrush” to your child’s vocabulary to get an early start on their dental knowledge. Take your child to the dentist by age 1 or within six months of the first tooth. Your dentist and hygienist can provide tips for developing a good oral health routine.
Let your children pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are plenty of fun colors, characters and flavors to choose from! Then, crank up the music while you help them brush. Be sure to model good behavior by showing your children how you brush and floss, and letting them practice on a doll or other toy.
Use a calendar and stickers to keep track of your child's brushing and flossing. Provide plenty of praise. Then, offer rewards such as a new toy, favorite game or later bedtime to celebrate milestones. There are also many great books about good oral health and dentist visits. You can also download fun, free activities from Emerald Pine the Tooth Fairy!
Find a virtual timer your kids will enjoy. Or buy an old-school timer that can sit in the bathroom to help your kids brush for two full minutes. Need more ideas? Check out grinforkids.com for fun activities that teach kids about oral health, including science experiments.
Embrace your child’s love of technology by incorporating it into their oral health routine with an electric toothbrush or water flosser. Then, encourage your preteens and teens to keep brushing and flossing regularly, so they have smiles they are proud of!