Kids love their candies, chocolates, other sugar-loaded treats and starchy food like potato chips, yet they usually run away from the sight of a toothbrush. As a parent, it’s your duty to ensure the little ones practice good oral hygiene, and the easiest way is to make flossing and brushing fun. Here are five easy ways how.
1. Let them choose
One simple way of making brushing fun for kids is letting them choose their own toothbrush. There are many colorful ones aimed at children, such as Colgate Barbie and Colgate Spiderman. These are emblazoned with cartoon characters, and have extra-soft bristles and a smaller head. Having a toothbrush they like will only make your kids look forward to brushing their teeth, and that’s a valuable habit to have.
2. Skip the sweets
When we eat, acids are produced that attack teeth and lead to decay. The more sugar or starch a food has, the more acid it produces, making candy, chocolates and potato chips a big no-no’s for children. Instead of banning treats altogether, which might encourage rebellion, try feeding your kids dairy products instead. These act as a buffer to the acids and lower the risk of tooth decay. But if your children must have candy, reduce the frequency of intake, and make sure they eat them after meals; there is more saliva in the mouth then, which better protects the teeth. They should also rinse their mouth with water afterwards.
3. Brush together
Don’t just send your children up to the bathroom to brush and floss their teeth — do it together! This way, you’ll be setting a good example, and they’ll be more likely to make brushing a habit. You’ll also be able to monitor their brushing technique and correct them if they go wrong. Children usually need supervision when brushing their teeth until the age of 8 years.
4. Let the games begin!
Lighten the mood and inject a bit of fun into oral hygiene by letting your kids enjoy one of Colgate’s educational games and activities http://www.colgate.com/app/Kids-World/US/Games-And-Activities.cvsp.
For starters, download the Brush Chart, which children can color in and mark off every day after they brush their teeth.
5. Story time
Kids love adventure stories and fairy tales, so make every brushing and flossing session a storytelling event. For example, you can make up a battle of the evil germs versus the good and mighty power of toothpaste. All you need is a healthy imagination, and if you have cartoon-themed toothpastes and toothbrushes, well then, those are your characters right there!