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When it comes to dental care habits for children, a little fun can go a long way. By adding some extra excitement into their oral hygiene routine, you can help motivate them to keep their smile healthy throughout childhood and the rest of their lifetime.
Reward them for successes
Whether your child remembered to floss or said no to sugar at a sleepover, small rewards can be a big boost for good oral health behavior. Read them their favorite book or two before bed if they brushed for the full two minutes. Or set up a reward chart and add a fun sticker every time they remember to floss without a reminder throughout the week.
Find hygiene tools that make them smile
Children need basic tooth care tools and supplies like a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and toothbrush holder. But no one said those tools have to be boring. Choose brushes with their favorite characters or toothpaste that squirts out of a colorful tube. And you don’t have to break the bank to make this tip a reality. If you don’t want to make an extra purchase, research online for fun ways to spice up their toothbrush, toothbrush holder, floss container or brushing timer. Make them extra exciting by adding stickers, designs, sayings and more. As a family project, you can also let kids add their own flair by encouraging them to choose the decorations.
Model desired behavior
A powerful method of conveying proper oral health techniques is showing rather than telling. Ensure your child knows how to take care of his or her smile by demonstrating how to brush and floss. You can also use favorite stuffed animals or action figures and pretend to have them go through an oral health routine. Explain to your child that even these characters brush and floss to keep their pearly whites shining. For further examples, search for library books about dental care that use kid-friendly language to show kids how to brush.
Stage a mock dental visit
It’s no secret that kids have vivid imaginations, so use their creativity to their smile’s advantage. Before a dental appointment, run through a practice visit at home. Replicate as many elements of the dental office as possible with items around the house including the dental chair, cleaning instruments and an X-ray machine. As you go through the steps of a typical appointment, explain the importance of each part and how it helps make your child’s smile healthy. Doing so will help your kids learn the value of regular dental visits and minimize anxiety by letting them know exactly what to expect.
It doesn’t take much to make children smile, and with a few extra steps, it’s easier than ever to make their smiles shine. Make oral health fun and teach them the importance of good dental hygiene habits in ways that resonate for years to come.
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*All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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