When it comes to dental care for children, it can be somewhat of a challenge to make them feel a sense of excitement when it comes to brushing their teeth and taking care of their own oral hygiene. Not only is it essential for looking after their teeth in later life, but it can prevent issues occurring at a young age, such as decay and infection. 

It also helps to prevent gum disease in children. Although periodontitis, as gum disease is also known, is less common in children, it was reported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that 46% of 8-year-olds, 60% of 12 year-olds and 52% of 15 year-olds suffered from gum inflammation, with 40% of 15 year-olds experiencing gingivitis. 

The same study also found issues of plaque in 71% of 8 year-olds, 64% of 12 year-olds and 50% of 15 year-olds. With these worrying statistics in mind, it is never been important to make sure your children find dental care and dentist visits as exciting and as rewarding as possible. Here is how you can make dental care fun for your children:

Make it fun

There are many ways in which you can make dental care fun for children. Whether you put on their favourite music or play their favourite TV show while they are brushing away, give them an incentive that will actually make them want to brush their teeth. Make sure they can associate something exciting and fun with the task of brushing their teeth, and you will soon notice that they’ll be asking you if they can brush their teeth just so they can listen to their tunes or watch a television programme they’ve been loving. 

Reward them

This goes hand-in-hand, somewhat, with incentivising the task of teeth brushing. As well as allowing them to watch a TV show they like or to listen to music they love, you can give them a reward afterwards. Make sure you reward them with experiences rather than with sweets or chocolates, for obvious reasons. Not only could this damage the teeth, but you are also validating that they can eat sweets and chocolates if they have brushed their teeth, and that is not the case. 

If you do want to give them food or drink as a treat for brushing their teeth, give them low-sugar fruits like strawberries, oranges and peach slices. Make their reward a walk to the park so they can play on the swings, or it could be something as simple as putting on a movie they have wanted to see by streaming it at home. It does not have to be a trip to a theme park or an evening of bowling, because even the most simple of things can make children feel accomplished and happy.

Ensure the whole family gets involved

Most families will do certain activities together, whether it is hiking or rock climbing, but why should not that extend to even the most simple of things? If you all brush your teeth together, as a family, then that is creating a positive association for your children. Just like when it comes to cycling or visiting the cinema, brushing your teeth as a family will be seen as nothing but a positive for them. It also shows them that there is nothing to be scared of and that it’s important for dental health and oral hygiene.

Read children’s books that are about dental visits & oral hygiene

There are plenty of books and children’s TV shows that touch on the topic of brushing teeth and visiting the dentist. They put a positive, friendly spin on something that most of us grow up with a fear of. By reading children’s books that make a point of showing children that dentists and toothbrushes are nothing to fear, you will soon have a child who accepts that brushing their teeth twice a day is a necessity that is also fun and rewarding. 

Let your child choose their own toothbrush & toothpaste

A way to get your children hyped up to brush their teeth is to let them choose their own toothbrushes and toothpaste. You will, however, need to check that the toothpaste they are choosing contains fluoride, because this is one of the most important cleaning ingredients in toothpaste. Without that, it is rendered almost useless if your aim is to cleanse the teeth properly. 

Make sure you read what is in the toothpaste before buying it. The toothbrush, on the other hand, is something that your child should be able to choose all on their own. Whether it has their favourite superhero on it or is their favourite colour, it reminds them that it is theirs and theirs alone. Sharing a toothbrush is not done, so it gives them something that is solely theirs.

Play dentist-themed games at home

You can buy toys and kits online that imitate the tools of a dentist in a playful setting. These types of toys are vital for getting your child used to visiting the dentist. It also gives them an idea of the tools that a dentist will be using before they get into the dentist’s chair. This will help them to feel more at ease during their dentist visits, and less scared of the real-life tools that can appear to be industrial and unfriendly. If you get them used to what they can expect, in the comfort of your own home, then they will be more accepting of their dentist visit when the time comes around.

Allow your child to watch you brush & floss your own teeth

If your child is unsure about brushing their teeth, or if they find it a scary experience without giving it a real try themselves, then let them watch you brush and floss your teeth. If they see that you can do it without experiencing pain or discomfort, then that will make them realise that, actually, brushing your teeth is not something to be afraid of and that it can be done easily and completely pain-free.

Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic are pleased to provide dental care and appointments to patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas. With highly-qualified dentists and the heart of everything we do, you can rest assured that we will deliver excellent results when it comes to the cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and specialist treatments that we have available. For further information about the dental treatments we have on offer, get in touch with a member of our professional, knowledgeable team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.