a young child smiles and brushes their teeth

How to Use Fun Activities to Encourage Toothbrushing

Team Pediatric Dentistry

Instilling good oral hygiene in kids is the perfect way to lay the foundation for oral health for the rest of their lives. But, there are not too many kids that jump at the chance to brush their teeth, are there? This warrants fun activities to encourage tooth brushing at an early age

Looking for ideas to make brushing teeth fun for kids? We’ve got you covered. 

How Fun Activities Help

To children, life is easy and it is full of fun and excitement. There are no real chores expected of them and no responsibility, either. So as they begin to grow, it can help to turn not-so-fun things into fun activities. Think about Sesame Street, for example, and how they turn letters and numbers into fun songs, skits, and so on. It teaches a lesson without making it feel like it's a lesson. 

Learning to brush teeth is a lesson, but it can be made to not feel like one with fun activities.

Make it an Experience

Turn teeth brushing into a special experience. It should all begin with letting your child purchase his or her own toothbrush. Of course you want to make sure it is a soft-bristled brush geared toward kids, but choosing the color or a character design can already make your child feel part of the experience. 

Along with the toothbrush, buy an enticing toothpaste. Not all kids are mint fans which is why the ADA has approved many different flavored toothpastes geared toward kids, such as bubblegum, strawberry, bubblemint, berry, watermelon, and more. 

Brush your teeth with your child. Maybe play your kid’s favorite song while you brush. Even a YouTube Kids video of their choice is a good option. Or, maybe brush as you both hum along to your favorite song or while a brush timer video plays. Sometimes visibly seeing the timer video playing can keep the child engaged the entire time through. Either way, doing this together further enhances the importance of it and it sets a good example. 

Play a Game

There are many apps on your phone or tablet that can be downloaded to make brushing time fun. For instance, BrushDJ is an app that plays music for a solid two minutes while your child brushes. This music is geared toward kids. He or she will see a timer, too. Or the Disney Magic time app that encourages your child throughout the brushing time. There are so many apps to choose from. Make use of electronics and how they can play a role in setting good oral hygiene habits. 

See who can make the funniest faces in the mirror or if you can guess what the other is saying while brushing. The idea is to make it fun. Creating your own silly game is a great way to do so. 

Create a Reward System

It is hard to build healthy habits. As adults, we know this. So taking steps to encourage these habits can help our children develop them - without even realizing it. Come up with a reward system that works for your family that will encourage your child to get up and go brush without hassle. 

Small prizes or rewards are all that you need. Nothing major or expensive is necessary. Use what your children love as an incentive to get brushing. Here are a couple of ideas: 

  • An extra story at bedtime
  • 10 extra minutes of screen time
  • A sticker each night on a chart. 
  • A weekly treat choice for a chart full of teeth brushing. 

Using a teeth brushing and flossing chart can help keep your little one on track! Just the idea of getting to mark off the chart can be rewarding enough. As always, offer praise to your child and set up the reward system that will work best. 

Introduce Your Child to Dental Buddies of Vero Beach

At Dental Buddies, we work to help instill good oral hygiene habits in kids - and look to you to keep them going at home. Visiting the dentist regularly can further encourage your child to brush his or her teeth. 

Let’s work together to lead your child to a healthy, happy future of smiles. Contact our office today at 772-226-6888. Or, request an appointment online.