Getting your kids to brush their teeth isn't always easy, but having fun is. Teeth games for kids help parents avoid the brushing battles before bedtime and after they get up. Introducing dental-driven activities can also set up good oral habits in toddlers, and help older children understand why it's important to look after their teeth.
Here are a few ideas on how to inject some fun and interest in dental care for the youngest members of your family.
Add Music to the Moment
Toddlers can't pay attention for long, but brushing their teeth properly should only take two to three minutes. That's the perfect amount of time to play their favorite pop song or one that you composed yourself. When they know they get to hear a fun song when they brush their teeth, kids will be more motivated to do it. You could sing a favorite nursery rhyme, too, and even change the lyrics to make it about brushing teeth. For example, "Baa, baa dirty teeth, I will make you clean – up, down, up, down, back and forth three times 'round."
Teeth games for kids can include simple experiments to help them learn about how different foods affect their teeth. Eggshells, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, are full of calcium also found in teeth, and react to food acids and fluoride in a similar way.
Place hard-boil eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes, then let them cool before putting them in different liquids to see how they decay.
- Put one egg in soda and one egg in water for eight to 13 hours. Rinse both eggs in clean water and press the shells with your fingertips. The egg exposed to soda will feel soft.
- Try the same experiment with different liquids such as milk, vinegar and orange juice, and compare the results.
- Paint thick toothpaste stripes on an egg and leave it for four days. Wash off the toothpaste and soak the egg in soda overnight. The areas that were covered in toothpaste should feel harder than the unprotected areas.
A pair of dice, some counters, a large sheet of paper and a pencil are all that's needed to create a simple board game about dental care. Create a series of question cards that quiz kids on teeth, dentists, oral health and other related subjects. Have the kids roll the dice and move to the appropriate square, then answer a question. Each time they get one right, they get to roll again. The goal is to move from one side of the board to the other and be the first to land, and answer the question, on the final square. Your board could even be in the shape of a mouth, and each square is a tooth. Once you've played through a few times and exhausted all the questions, let the kids create more questions themselves by looking up facts on the Internet or at the local library.
Play these games as they are, or adapt them to suit your own family. When it's time for your kids to take responsibility for their dental health, they'll have fond memories of fun times with mom and dad learning about looking after their teeth.