Make Dental Health for Kids a Fun Habit

Do your little ones resist your efforts to get them to brush and floss? It is possible that something as simple as switching to a mild-flavored children's toothpaste can turn things around, or it might take a bit more creativity on your part. One easy way to encourage good dental health for kids so that it turns into a lifelong habit is to look for ways to make it enjoyable, maybe even exciting.

Children's Toothpaste

Children's mouths are much more sensitive than adult mouths. The toothpaste that leaves you with a clean, tingling sensation can feel as if it is burning to a little one. That is why it is so important, and so helpful to your child's dental health, to find a toothpaste flavor your child enjoys.

Make Up a Game

Take advantage of your child's playful nature when teaching him how to take care of his teeth. The earlier you start, the simpler the games can be. Just make sure to put a big smile on your face and keep the mood light.

Try a copycat game. To play, brush your teeth and get a big mouthful of bubbles, and then smile wide and let the bubbles run down your chin and into the sink. It looks funny, but that is the point. Then have your child copy what you did. Next time, let your little one lead and be prepared to make a toothpaste mustache on your lip if that is where he leads the game. Have fun with it, and don't worry. It will wash right off.


If messy games, such as copycat, are not your cup of tea, go with a reward system instead. Put stickers on the calendar each day after your child brushes and flosses; at the end of the week, let him pick a board game that the whole family can play together. This can be fun for the whole family, and it creates a connection in your child's mind between dental care and having fun.

Teaching your little ones about good dental health for kids is so important to lifelong dental habits that it is worth making some of the rewards big and memorable. Throw in a bigger reward for a full month of brushing and flossing, such as an evening at the movies or making your child's favorite meal and dessert.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.