Even though oral health is a very important part of maintaining a beautiful smile and good overall health, most people don’t list “going to the dentist” and “taking care of teeth” on the top of their list of favorite things to do. However, the oral health habits that you help your children develop now can impact them for a lifetime, so it’s important to make things like brushing and flossing teeth and visiting your kids dentist as fun as possible to encourage them to continue good habits later in life. Here are a few ways to make dental health fun for kids.
Make Brushing Time Fun
The best thing parents can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums in children is to help them brush their teeth two minutes, two times a day. Two minutes can seem like a long time (and many adults don’t even brush this long), but you can make it more fun by incorporating activities in a variety of formats, including:
- Teeth brushing apps with games and videos on Android and iPhone
- Teeth brushing videos that are two minutes long
- Teeth brushing songs that children can listen to
- Flashing toothbrushes that indicate how long to brush
Choose a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist (or a kids dentist) in Salt Lake City will have an clinic that is designed to help put kids at ease, with things like toys and games, and a staff that is trained to interact with children of all ages. When you begin visiting a pediatric dentist regularly from the time your child is young—your first visit should happen by the time your child is 12 months—he or she will be familiar with the dentist and the staff and will be less likely to experience anxiety in the dental chair.
Find Oral Health Games and Activities
Tooth-related games and activities are a great way to make kids feel like oral health is fun, and provide them with the right knowledge to keep teeth healthy. There are a variety of activities, games, videos, and other resources at places like mouthhealthykids.org, all available for download. Toothpaste and toothbrush manufacturers may also have websites specifically geared toward childhood dental health with activities available.
Let Your Children Play “Dentist”
You and your child can play “dentist” before they go for a visit. Show them how the dentist will explore their teeth and put tools inside their mouth. This can help ease the anxiety your child might feel when s/he gets to the dentist and sits in the dental chair. If you’ve visited your pediatric dentist regularly, your dentist won’t be a stranger, so this can also help make the visit go smoothly.