How to make brushing teeth fun
The importance of dental hygiene for children
We all know that teeth are important to our everyday lives; from the moment they come through, they help us to eat, speak and more. Setting your little ones up for success means teaching them to take care of their teeth and gums, and giving them the tools they need for the rest of their lives.
There are a range of elements to making sure your children’s teeth are in the best condition possible such as:1
- Brushing teeth twice a day
- Brushing baby teeth as soon as they come through
- Having regular dental check-ups to make sure they’re comfortable with the environment
- Limiting sugary treats and snacks
How can you teach your child to practice oral hygiene?
Starting the conversation about why oral health and dental hygiene is important can begin with a few simple steps, and being a role model for your child can go a long way. Let them see that you brush your teeth regularly, use mouthwash and floss and tell them why you do this. Have a dentist appointment? Let them know that you’re going in a way that makes it sound exciting and a good thing. That way, when you do take them for their own regular check-ups or cleanings if needed, they will know it’s ok as you’re doing it too!
That said, we all know that getting little ones to do what you ask is a little tricky sometimes, particularly brushing teeth. In this instance, you, may find yourself asking how to make brushing teeth fun for children; we’ve found a range of things you can try to help your child look forward to brushing their teeth and helping them develop their own oral hygiene by playing brushing teeth games.
4 Ways to make brushing fun for babies, toddlers and small children
Choose a toothbrush and toothpaste that feels right for them
The first step in making brushing fun, make sure that it looks fun! Children’s brushes come in a range of fun colours so that they’re interested in using them.
When it comes to children’s toothpaste, there is a range of specially formulated products made for little teeth. These kinds of toothpaste need to contain no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check the label), this is unless a dentist advises otherwise.2
For the smallest teeth, Aquafresh Milk Toothpaste and Milk Toothbrush are created with little teeth in mind. For toddlers and small children up to the age of five, our Little Teeth toothpaste and toothbrush are available.
That said, make sure to watch out for little ones trying to lick or eat the toothpaste because it tastes good!
Let them hold the brush
Children are curious and want to understand the world around them. While parents or carers should brush the child’s teeth themselves, let the child hold the brush and put it in their mouth so that they understand and enjoy the sensations.
Use music or dancing
What’s more fun than singing and dancing? Adding these into your daily routine can make little ones look forward to these twice-daily occurrences. To help, Aquafresh have created the Brushing Teeth Song, take a listen.
Use noises and sounds
To make brushing more fun, ask your little one to make sounds as they brush, turning it into a fun game! For cleaning, their front teeth make a ‘teee’ sound, and for the back, an ‘ahh’ sound.3 These actions will make things more fun and like a game.
3 Ways to make brushing fun for older children
As kids grow, you want to make sure that they continue to be enthused when it comes to keeping their teeth clean.
Set a challenge!
Who can brush their teeth for two whole minutes can be an exciting game for older kids. Using our app and 2-minute timer for brushing teeth can add to the experience.
Music is a great way to encourage brushing, whether you use our specially created tooth brushing song or their current favourite song so that they can brush for the duration of the song or to the beat. In doing so, you also create a positive association with brushing your teeth.
Use a rewards system
Some kids really aren’t keen on brushing their teeth; this is where an incentive can help. You may already have a reward system, such as a sticker chart for help around the house, so why not add brushing your teeth twice a day too? In doing so, your kids are getting into a routine while also earning a reward.
As kids get older, so does their appetite for sugary treats, meaning that kids between the ages of 6-8 years old need more protection; our Aquafresh Big Teeth Toothpaste, Toothbrush and Mouthwash are available to help. And not forgetting those who are 9-12, Aquafresh Advance toothpaste and toothbrush.
Now, let’s make brushing fun!
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of ways to make brushing a fun experience for kids, all while teaching them skills so that they can take care of their own teeth as they get older and eventually reach adulthood. Want to know more? Explore our website for more children’s brushing tips and looking after children’s teeth in general. When brushing is made fun and rewarding, children will be more likely to take an active interest in their oral hygiene and continue good habits.