No matter a child’s age, getting your kids to brush and floors regularly can be challenging. In fact, many parents may even find it difficult to stay on top of their own daily dental habits. Everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. But the best way to improve your dental habits is to work on improving them. So here are a few ideas for how families can improve their dental habits.
There is nothing more important than leading by example. If your kids know that you don’t visit the dentist twice a year, or you are not on top of your own brushing/flossing, it will be difficult to get them on board. That’s why a family morning routine can be helpful. Knowing who has the bathroom(s) when and all of the things that are expected to get done before people head off to work and school can be helpful in creating a daily rhythm. Getting up a little bit earlier, eating or preparing breakfast together, and making sure everyone has ample time to get dressed, brush their teeth, and pack their bags is a great way to ensure brushing and flossing gets done. The number one reason people skip brushing and flossing in the morning is that they don’t have enough time in the morning. Setting a daily routine is an effective way to prevent skipping dental habits.
Depending on the age of your children, this tactic may be more or less effective. But around the age, they start being responsible for their own dental habits, a calendar can be effective. Children can use stickers or markers to mark down each day they brush and floss and they can actively see how well they are doing. Calendars and logs are a great way for kids to stay organized and with some incentives for completed calendars, it can add motivation to daily brushing.
Music can help when brushing your teeth in a few ways. First, faster songs can encourage kids and teens to brush more thoroughly. Additionally, the length of most songs is longer than the minimum recommended brushing time. This is very beneficial in making sure that teenagers aren’t just brushing their teeth but are actually brushing their teeth thoroughly. Music can also help us wake up and get more energy before the day. Some families even have a Bluetooth speaker in or near the bathroom so kids can listen to music as they go through their morning routine.
Brushing and flossing is a hard habit to keep. One thing that often breaks this good habit is vacations, camping, or sleeping over at a friend’s house. That is why it is important for your kids to have travel kits that they can bring with them when they go on a family vacation, an overnight school trip, or to their friend’s house.