A son and father brushing their teeth

Children often dislike brushing and flossing their teeth, but the earlier they learn dental hygiene the more chance they have of a lifetime of good oral health. If your little one is struggling with their dental routine, don’t worry. In this blog post from Palmyra Family Dentistry, we discuss four fun ways to teach children healthy dental habits. With a little creativity, your child will not tolerate toothbrush time, but even come to enjoy it.

For the best pediatric dental clinic in Wayne County and the greater Rochester area, turn to Palmyra Family Dentistry. We offer a variety of children’s dental services including routine exams and cleanings, sedation dentistry, and more. If your child is a teenager, we also offer orthodontics and wisdom teeth removal. No matter whether you’re five or 105, Palmyra Family Dentistry can help you take control of your oral health. 

Buy a Fun Toothbrush and Toothpaste

There are many toothbrushes available with the specific intention of making brushing teeth more enjoyable for kids. For instance, many children’s toothbrushes feature popular TV or movie characters. Next time you go to the store, let your little one choose a toothbrush with their favorite character. Another common feature of children’s toothbrushes is toothbrushes with popular songs. With each song designed to last for the two minutes of brushing recommended by most dentists, singing toothbrushes will have your kids brushing along to the beat!

Flavored toothpaste is another great tool for teaching kids healthy dental habits. Today toothpaste no longer comes in just mint or “natural.” Toothpastes targeted specifically for children feature everything from cotton candy, to bubblegum, to tutti-frutti, and more. Your kids might rave about their new toothpaste so much, that you’ll be tempted to try it yourself (no shame)!

Give Rewards

Many parents like to create a chart to put on their child’s bathroom wall in order to keep track of their brushing and flossing. Each day your little one brushes and flosses their teeth, give them a star sticker. After a certain amount of stars in a row, such as a week, reward them with a small toy such as a board game or stuffed animal. For a month of brushing and flossing, you can give them a bigger prize, like a trip to the movie theater or dinner at their favorite restaurant. While this may seem a bit costly in the short term, it will play off immensely when your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth. 

Make Up a Game or Story

Take advantage of your child’s playful nature by turning toothbrush time into a game or story. Hide your child’s toothbrush in a crazy place, and make them search to find it. Hold a race to see whether you or your little one can get to the bathroom to brush first (this is a great option for homes with multiple kids). Make your child’s toothbrush the star of a silly story that you only tell when they are brushing; Give the toothbrush  a goofy name and voice. Your child is sure to look forward to the next installment in Tootsie Toothbrush’s space adventure. 

Visit the Library

There’s nothing like storytime to capture a child’s attention. Reading books to your child can help expand their imagination and introduce them to everything from history, to art, to math. Dental hygiene is no different. Some books we recommend include:

  • The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
  • Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire
  • Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl
  • Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush! By Che Rudko
  • Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut
  • Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller
  • Jacob Learns to Brush His Teeth by Anthony Heath]

Schedule Your Child’s Next Checkup at Palmyra Family Dentistry!

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, routine dental exams and cleanings are essential for maintaining your child’s oral health. We are a Top Rated Local®  dental clinic in Palmyra offering a wide variety of pediatric dental services, including cleanings, sedation dentistry, and more. Both of our skilled, gentle dentists are parents themselves, and have years of professional experience working with children. To learn more or schedule an appointment, get in touch with Palmyra Family Dentistry today!