Fun Alternatives to Playing Smile Sheriff with Your Kids

Are you getting tired of feeling like the bad guy, or the sheriff, in your house, because of how much time and energy you have to expend encouraging your kids to brush their teeth? Many young children complain about having to care for their teeth, but this does not have to be the dynamic in your home. If you want to help ensure your kids’ smiles are getting the care they need, but without having to police their every movie, consider your pediatric dentist’s tips for helping to make smile care more fun for the whole family, including you!

Can Brushing and Flossing Really Be Conflict-Free?

There doesn’t have to be a sheriff in town, at all, if you simply take a few steps to make sure your kids are excited or at least diligent about their own dental care. This can involve a number of simple techniques.

For instance:

  • Make it clear why brushing and flossing are important for people of all ages. Proper oral care education can go a long way in helping your kids understand the “why” behind what they are doing. It also helps build solidarity, when they realize that you also have to care for your own teeth. Of course you also need to follow through with your own oral care, so they see a good example of dental hygiene.
  • Give incentives for brushing and flossing. Just make sure those rewards aren’t filled with sugar, or it can be counterproductive! For instance, use a chore chart to indicate when your kids have brushed and flossed, and after a certain number of days or chores completed, take them to pick out a small toy at the store, or to spend an extra 15 minutes with their favorite electronic device.
  • Speaking positively about their dentist can also be helpful. That way they learn to look forward to their checkups and cleanings. You could even follow each visit up with a fun experience, like visiting a local park or a library, so they tie positive memories to their dental experiences.
filed under: Children's Dental Services, Preventive Treatments