As many people know, the healthy options in life are not typically the most enjoyable ones. Though there are a few exceptions, even getting adults who know better to take care of themselves can be a difficult task. And one of the most often overlooked issues is that of dental care.
If it is that difficult to get adults to take care of their teeth, you can probably imagine (or have firsthand experience with) how difficult getting your young ones to look after their teeth is. However, there are a few things that can encourage kids and make it more desirable for them to visit the dentist.
Make a game out of dental care
This principle can be applied to any task you have difficulty getting your child to do.
When trying to get your kids interested, think of fun side-activities that you can add. For example, say that you are having a hard time getting your children to floss their teeth. Instead of implementing punishment, try having them sing the entire time that they floss. Whoever can sing the entire time, while still doing a good job, wins!
This is also true when it comes to going to the dentist.
As you probably know, children and dentists do not usually mix well. It’s a little bit like taking a dog to the veterinarian. You know that it’s good for them, but they definitely don’t think so.
So, when the appointment time comes and you need to take your kids to the dentist, try the same tactic. Make dentist trips a positive experience rather than a negative one. Having a good-natured dentist certainly helps in this endeavour.
There are websites, like www.whitehorsedental.com.au/ that can help you locate dentists specifically geared towards working with children. These offices often have children’s activity areas, special rooms, “treasure chests” kids can pick prizes from, and other methods to make the dentist office less scary and something to look forward to.
Allow them to choose their own toothbrush
Have you seen those toothbrushes that have special decals or colours on them for kids?
There are a bunch out there that have a variety of different characters on them. Those characters range from Transformers to Barbies to any Disney movie that you could think of. Chances are, your kid loves one of those characters. In fact, they would likely prefer it to whichever one that you could choose. So, let them pick their own toothbrush and see how much of a difference it can make.
See who can make their Halloween or Christmas candy last the longest
Halloween and Christmas. Those two holidays can be a parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to dental care. They also tend to be a dentist’s best friend, because if your children don’t take care of their teeth well, the candy from these holidays can create a lot of cavities. However, your kids probably wouldn’t thank you for limiting the amount of candy that they can have.
That is why you need to flip the system on them.
Instead of creating a limit for them, challenge them to limit themselves. Offer a small amount of money, no more than five or ten dollars, to the child that manages to keep their Halloween or Christmas candy the longest. If you are the parent of a single child, perhaps create a tiered system where the longer they can last, the more money they can get.
Come up with a reward system
Easily one of the most difficult problems to solve is consistency.
Sure, you may be able to get your kids happily brushing one night, but the next one may prove more of a problem. You need to find a way to enable them to consistently and happily take care of their teeth. One way to do so is to create a sticker board for them. Every night that your kids brush and floss, you add another sticker to the board. This helps to create some competition, which can only work in your favour.
Although it is certainly not easy to get your kids brushing, it is very important. When they take care of their teeth, it definitely saves you money on your dentist’s bill, and is also teaching and creating important self-care habits.
Keep in mind that some or all of these techniques may not work. Alternatively, you may need to implement them together or in different ways. Ultimately, you know best what your child responds to, so get creative in coming up with what he or she needs to keep their chompers nice and shiny.