A recent article in the Huffington Post by dental student Mirissa Price has some great ideas for making tooth brushing more fun and more effective for families. Creating an environment where tooth brushing is a family affair, and more fun goes a long way to keeping the dentist’s drill away. We encourage you to read the full article, but here are Mirissa’s 5 tips, and we think they’re pretty great.
Kids love stickers, and even more so – they love rewards. The article suggests creating a poster board chart for your family to which you add a sticker for proper brushing (at least twice a day for two minutes). The author suggests teaching and inspiring your child if they don’t brush their teeth properly. Your family can set goals such as 10, 14, or 30 stickers for a prize.
2) Making tooth brushing a family affair
In this tip, the author suggests that the family gather around one sink twice a day and brush teeth together for the two minutes. That actually sounds fun. Tooth brushing family selfie anyone?
3) Add a song and dance
A lot of songs are about two minutes. The idea behind this tip is to find or make up a song to listen to or play in your head while brushing. Adding a little hip action makes it even more fun.
4) Take them shopping
When your kids have a role in choosing their toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, they may be more invested in use. The article suggests looking at brushes with action heroes, princesses, or other fun characters. Makes adult toothbrushes sound a bit dull.
5) Disclosing tablets
This is a good one. You can buy disclosing tablets at stores like Target or online at Amazon.com. The tablets are chewable and stain the plaque deposits on teeth a vibrant shade of green or blue. The game element is to see who can brush away more of the color, thus getting a better set of clean choppers.
Many stores carry toothbrushes with timers and or songs coordinated with the normal 2 minute brushing cycle. Dr. Feldman’s personal toothbrushes, he uses 2, one to dry out and one to use, are Lady Gaga singing “Born this Way” and “Bad Romance” which he recently purchased at Wal-Mart!
We suggest coming up with your own ideas as well to make tooth brushing fun. Every child responds differently to rewards and games, so get creative, stay positive, and most importantly, set the good example. Please share these ideas with friends and family.