February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and although we’re getting better about taking care of our kids’ teeth, we still have a way to go. Up to a quarter of young children in the UK suffer from tooth decay and it remains the most common hospital procedure among 6-10-year-olds. If you have a reluctant young brusher in your family, here are some creative ideas to turn a routine chore into a fun activity. 
Let them choose their equipment 
Kids’ toothbrushes come in a variety of colours and styles, with many popular TV characters and action heroes available in toothbrush form. If kids are given the opportunity to choose their own brush (and maybe even toothpaste flavour) every few months, they’ll be more invested in using it. Most options in a regular supermarket dental aisle will be suitable; just make sure that the brush has soft bristles and will fit easily in your child’s mouth and that flavoured toothpaste contains fluoride. 
Add some entertainment 
Children often view brushing as a boring chore to be avoided at all costs, but it doesn’t have to be – turn up their favourite song and have a mini dance party while you brush, or read a story in a variety of funny voices. If you’re technically minded there are numerous apps to make brushing fun (try Brush DJ, Toothsavers, or Chomper Chums), so your child can enjoy a timed activity while they brush for the recommended two minutes. Getting the whole family involved with a nightly tooth brushing dance or taking a family selfie to show off everyone’s clean teeth may also be a good motivator. 
Reward good brushing behaviour 
Rewarding your kids for a successful tooth cleaning gives them an extra reason to brush twice a day – you can use stickers on a calendar to monitor how many consecutive days they’ve brushed for and reward a full week or month with a bigger surprise, such as a cinema trip or extra pocket money. Use incentives that will motivate your child (for example, if he or she is a keen reader they may prefer to choose a nightly bedtime story as a reward). 
Let them practice 
Children who are reluctant to open their own mouths may be willing to practice brushing others’ teeth. Give them a doll or stuffed toy to practice on with an old toothbrush that you don’t use anymore and then let the toy go first when it’s time to brush each day. 
Use their favourite character for inspiration 
Many children’s television shows have storylines about tooth brushing. Watch them together or put a framed picture of the character brushing their teeth in the bathroom to motivate your child when it’s their turn to brush. 
To book an appointment with one of our friendly and experienced dentists for you or your child, contact us today. We look forward to welcoming you to Park Dental Care. 
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