No matter how much your kids may get excited when it's time for the Tooth Fairy to pay a visit, it can be like, well, pulling teeth to get some children to brush theirs. If your kids get bummed out at just the thought of brushing and swishing, try these fun games to get your children excited about taking care of their teeth.
Why make a game out of dental care? There's no child who isn't going to relish playing a game, especially one that can be done before bedtime. It feels like a win-win because they're putting off going to sleep. To encourage children to have fun while taking care of their teeth, try the following games:
When it's time to floss, some kids want to head for the hills. Flossing can be a little painful at first until a child gets used to it. Bring out the floss and show your child a fun, imagination-based game to play when flossing. Say that you pretend that the floss is a gopher who has to go exploring underground. The space between each tooth can represent the hole that the gopher digs. He has to explore all of the hills in the mouth in order to be done. Be sure to give your child plenty of positive reinforcement for a job well done.
Longer Than You
The best way to teach your children to take excellent care of their teeth is to lead by example. Be sure to brush your teeth alongside them. Even better, offer a fun prize if your kids brush their teeth longer than you do. So, if you brush your teeth for two minutes straight, your children will still need to be brushing theirs when you stop in order to get the prize. Some prizes can include:
- An extra story at bedtime
- Staying up an extra 10 minutes after brushing their teeth
- A sticker
- An impromptu dance party where you turn on music and dance for 10 minutes before bedtime
You may opt to turn on the classic song "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin for a little retro fun during this game. Explain to children that their teeth needs a bath just like their bodies do. The kid-friendly mouthwash represents the bubble bath, so explain that they need to put a bit in their mouth and swish all around in order to get all their teeth super clean. Act excited about using mouthwash yourself and swish it around while they do. Be generous with praise if your kids complete the task well.
Finally, keep in mind that no change occurs overnight. Your children will likely be initially excited to try these ideas, and their effectiveness relies on consistency. Continue to implement these ideas on an ongoing basis to keep your kids happy about taking care of their teeth. For more information, contact a dentist in your area.