Children often disregard their health for the sake of playing and having fun with their peers. In their eyes, the tasks involved in maintaining the upkeep of their health are more tedious than beneficial. After all, they can better use their time doing whatever they please instead of those. That’s why it’s up to their parental figures to shed light.
Since they’re older and more experienced, children look to their parental figures to take the initiative. Once they explain the importance of maintaining one’s well-being, parental figures have a better shot at convincing their children to practice these ‘tedious’ tasks. Dental care is one of those.
Aside from the child’s regular check-ups, how they maintain their oral health regularly contributes to their general well-being, such as brushing their teeth after each meal. Granted, they seem boring and difficult on the surface. But that’s only more reason for you, as a parent, to be involved.
To help you, here are five ways to make dental care fun for kids:
- Be A Role Model
Children are best taught by giving them an example. After all, they’re unlikely to do something when the people they’re surrounded with don’t even practice it. And considering you’re a parental figure, they look to you to guide them. With this logic, as long as you’re not practising good dental care, your kids won’t bother doing it as much as you try to convince them.
Be an example they can use as a reference. Show them and set a standard of excellent dental care, be it flossing or brushing your teeth thoroughly. You should also set an example by getting regular dental check-ups and visiting your dentist in Gosnells or your local area. Being a parental figure means you have children waiting for you to take the first step before they follow, so the steps you take must lead to somewhere everyone will benefit.
- Let Them Choose
Adults and children have vastly different mindsets. While most adults focus on the practical aspect, children prefer choosing whichever satisfies them the most, regardless of whether it’s beneficial. Both age groups often butt heads in many things, especially parents and their children. This is why, instead of forcing your mindset on them, consider letting them take the reins.
Choosing their dental care equipment is the best way to start. Most adults purchase toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste according to their features, such as whitening or tartar control toothpaste. Meanwhile, all children could care about are how colourful they are or whether or not they have their favourite character from a show they watch.
Right off the bat, there’s already friction about to take root. To avoid this, let your kids see their options. They’re bound to pick among their favourite colours or characters for toothbrushes. However, toothpaste might be more complicated since you want them to pick whichever catches their eye, but it’s ideal if its ingredients are effective.
To get the best of both worlds, limit their options to the ones you’ve determined are good for them. But don’t forget to take their packaging into account. Mix your child’s preferences with some of your own, and they’ll start seeing the appeal of maintaining their oral health.
- Sing A Song
One of the basic yet valuable rules for maintaining good oral health is brushing your teeth for around two minutes to remove dirt and plaque in your teeth. But despite its importance, it’s easy to forget when kids only want to get it over with. To have them appreciate this session a little more, use a song to turn it into a timer.
Ideally, it’s better to look for a song that focuses on dental health. Or for those who have a knack for songwriting, you can try your hand at it and make one exclusive to you and your kid. However, since you’re supposed to go with their flow, consider playing their favourite song while they’re brushing their teeth. Ensure they do their task properly instead of singing along to the song.
- Show A Positive Light
Having a stranger looking inside your mouth and using foreign trinkets to prod around already sounds nerve-wracking. Imagine what kids would feel once they go face-to-face with their dentist for the first time. Even though it seems impossible, there’s a way you can remove that fear whenever you visit the dentist together—by talking about it positively.
Going into detail about how scared you were when you first visited the dentist isn’t as reassuring as you think. Instead of recalling that kind of memory, talk about the positives. Use terms they’ll understand better. For example, when they ask what exactly dentists do, tell them that dentists are the ‘heroes’ who defeat the ‘evil bacteria’ inside their mouths. And if your kids behave well the entire time, the ‘heroes’ might give them a treat.
- Reward Them
Even though you’ve already applied all the tricks in the book to make their dental care entertaining, children are still known for their short attention span. This means they’re likely to get bored with the routine once they get used to your pattern. Ensure they don’t skip out on anything by having a calendar set up.
This calendar shows how many days your kids have brushed their teeth. Add a milestone to tell them how long they’ve been keeping it up. Add a reward system on your calendar to drive your kids to brush their teeth or floss even better. Use gold stars instead of candies to keep up with your child’s oral health progress.
Maintaining your oral health is just as important as balancing one’s diet or nurturing relationships. And given how young they are, children must start early when doing dental care. Fortunately, with the help of their parental figures, they’ll see the fun side of doing it.
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