Fun activities that teach kids the importance of dental health
That is the most common response when you tell your kids that it is time to brush their teeth!
Dental health is important for children. Unfortunately, it isn’t straightforward to teach to the little ones. Many parents will agree that it is a struggle to educate kids about the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene.
From brushing their teeth to regular dental visits, it is natural for kids to be stubborn when it comes to their oral health. The key is to teach them young and make it fun. Read on and learn from the tips we’ll share.
Fun ways to teach little ones the importance of dental health
Dental education can be challenging, but that’s only the case if you do not know how to do it right. Below are some of the tips that might work.
1. Brush together
When kids refuse to brush, it can be because they are too lazy and they would rather play. More so, some kids may be experiencing sensory issues when brushing.
Whatever the reason is, a fun way to create dental health awareness in children is to brush together. Make it a parent-child activity that they look forward to. It is a good idea to play their favorite music and dance while brushing. This way, they will not end up being bored. It would seem like it is a part of their playtime.
While you should not forget the fun element, take time to make it educational as well. Explain how brushing should be done. Teach them the strokes and what they should not miss when brushing. Be patient and respond to any question that they might have.
2. Give them a kid-friendly toothbrush
If they are still too lazy to brush their teeth even if you are doing it together, another good thing to do is to give them a kid-friendly toothbrush. It should be small enough for them to hold and must be perfect for the size of the mouth. More importantly, it should incorporate some of their favorite characters and must have fun colors, so they will look forward to brushing time.
Instead of buying a toothbrush for them, let them do it. Give them the freedom to pick one they like, and such can help encourage them to prioritize their oral health.
3. Read a book about dental health
Kids will probably end up being bored when you talk to them about dental procedures such as regular cleaning or fluoride varnish treatment.
One trick that can help is to read a book, especially during bedtime. This is also an opportunity for them to ask questions and for you to respond to any concerns they might have.
Choose books with colorful graphics, including the following:
- The Tooth Book by Edward Miller
- Brush Your Teeth Please by Jean Pidgeon
- Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller
- Superbug Doug by Dr. Ben Magleby
3. Watch videos
Limiting screen time among children is a common goal for parents. Nonetheless, screen time isn’t always bad. You can use it to your advantage when done the right way. Among others, one thing that you can do is to use their screen time to watch videos that talk about dental health.
And no, we are not talking about lengthy, boring, and technical vids. Instead, we are talking about the kind of videos that will make them hooked in the same way as they pay attention when they are watching Baby Shark or Cocomelon. Look for videos with kids brushing their teeth or those that will teach them how important dental health is.
4. Make a model mouth
It is hard to go wrong with a giant model mouth if you want to teach kids the importance of dental health without boring them. You can buy one or you can also make it a DIY task. Involve your kid in making a model mouth yourself. It is one of the playful learning interventions that will help kids acquire the right toothbrushing behaviors.
There are endless possibilities on how you can use a model mouth. For instance, you can use it to teach them the right way of brushing their teeth. Plus, the model mouth can have some sort of discolorations and decay, so the young ones will know what can happen to them if they neglect their oral health.
5. Use Duplo Blocks
If your kid has Duplo, you can be creative and use the blocks to teach them the importance of flossing. What you can do is to put clay around the blocks and let them use a floss to remove it. While doing so, make sure that you are teaching them the right way to floss.
During playtime, emphasize how important it is to make sure that they remove all the clay in the block. Teach them how to apply enough force while being gentle at the same time.
6. Role play as dentist and patient
Role-playing is almost always an instant hit amongst children, even when teaching them the importance of dental health. Buy toys that look like dental tools and role play. Let your child play the part of the dentist or patient, whichever he or she is more comfortable with.
During role-playing, make sure to incorporate educational tidbits. For instance, teach your child the common dental problems in the little ones, including their causes and how such can be prevented.
Effective oral health education programs are labor-intensive and will require the involvement of others, including parents. It is common for children to be uninterested when you teach them about dental health. Make them more engaged by making it fun, such as by using a model mouth, reading colorful books, and role-playing, among others.
Chelsea Smith is a content creator who writes about a variety of topics, especially around dental health. She has been promoting proper dental care through her work and urges everyone to visit their dentists regularly.