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Oral Health Buzz

Activities to Encourage Dental Health for Kids

Shadra Bruce

From the time a child first begins teething, dental health is something moms and dads think about. But sometimes brushing your child's teeth is harder than it sounds, especially when your little one struggles against it. But parents can avoid this aversion to brushing by adding several activities to encourage dental health for kids of all ages.

Activities With Babies

Even as the first tooth starts to come in, you can encourage good dental habits by making the toothbrush something familiar. Singing a song is one way to introduce your child to brushing. Try this song, to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":

Brush, brush, brush your teeth

Keep them nice and white.

Brush, brush, brush your teeth

Every day and night.

Singing or playing will help your infant associate fun with tooth brushing.

Activities With Toddlers

Helping your toddler become a good brusher requires you to recognize his budding independence. Since he will still need help brushing but will likely go through a "me do it" stage, play a game of taking turns, where you brush his teeth and he brushes yours. Following your example will encourage him to pay more attention to his teeth. Make brushing fun by letting him choose a toothbrush and toothpaste featuring a character he loves, like Colgate's Dora the Explorer dental products. To encourage good brushing habits, put a chart up by the bathroom door. Every time your child brushes every tooth, let him put a star on the chart. A certain number of stars can earn him a prize.

Make Tooth Brushing Fun for Older Kids

School-age kids and tweens are not going to want help brushing, but you'll need to make sure they're getting their teeth thoroughly brushed. You can make it fun for them with special toothpaste designed just for kids their age, like Colgate 2 in 1 Kids Toothpaste in Strawberry or Watermelon. You can also make make a contest or game out of who can brush for the full recommended 2 minutes without stopping.

At any age, you can create activities to encourage dental health for kids. By making brushing fun, kids of all ages will be more likely to see dental care as a fun part of their overall health.

Learn more about oral care for children in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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