Tips & Tricks to Setting a Dental Routine at Home for Kids
Do you dread the everyday battle of getting your child to brush his or her teeth? Are you looking for tips and tricks to turn this activity into something your kid enjoys? At Holly Tree Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that it can be challenging to brush your child’s teeth and have some tips and tricks to help parents maintain proper dental hygiene for your kids.
Start a Routine
Just like grownups, kids are creatures of habit, and setting a daily routine can help foster independent tooth brushing once the habit has set.
- Set the same time each day and night to brush their teeth.
- Tie it to other activities they do each day such as getting dressed or undressed, after or before a bath, or before breakfast and after dinner. This concept of habit stacking has been proven to make new habits more successful. A good tip during the school year is to set an alarm a little earlier and have your child brush his or her teeth right after waking up.
- Do it together! Kids follow by example so make sure you are doing this activity with them to motivate them to follow your lead.
Brush for a Full 2 Minutes
A full two minutes of brushing your teeth is recommended by the American Dental Association to ensure enough plaque and bacteria is removed from every tooth. Studies show that two minutes of brushing your teeth can help prevent painful cavities in the future. This can seem daunting, but we have some tricks to help make the time fly!
- Make it a dance party! Pick out some favorite two-minute songs and hit play. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Get a toothbrush with a timer. This will let the child know when the time is up!
- Download apps to help encourage brushing for a full two minutes
- Disney Magic Timer by Oral-B: This kid-friendly app lets children choose their favorite character to encourage them to brush for the full two minutes. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/disney-magic-timer-by-oral-b/id747541884
- Chompers: This is a daily podcast two minutes long for children ages three to seven. https://gimletmedia.com/shows/chompers
- Break down the two minutes by focusing on each quadrant of the mouth for 30 seconds.
- Play Simon Says and make funny faces! For 30 seconds, make a face your child has to mimic while brushing one quadrant of the mouth.
- Watch some fun videos of their favorite characters brushing their teeth! Here is Peppa the Pig and some other favorite characters.
Let Them Pick their Products
Letting your child pick out their favorite character on their toothbrush may help build excitement for the daily routine. Take your child to the store to choose their favorite toothbrush and toothpaste flavors, such as bubblegum, strawberry, and watermelon. You can also check out our list of favorite dental products for kids including toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, and more.
Reward Good Behavior
Break out the sticker chart, pick out a good nighttime book or find other ways to reward your child with the things they love. Associating the routine with positive rewards will help ensure toothbrushing becomes something your child loves.
We hope these tips and tricks are helpful for setting good oral hygiene routines for your child at home. If you have any questions or need additional advice on your child’s dental hygiene, please call Holly Tree Pediatric Dentistry at (864) 297-5585. We serve Simpsonville and the surrounding Greenville, SC areas of Greer, Woodruff, Laurens, Clinton, Fountain Inn, and more. For children under two, we offer first visits for free!