Taking the drab out of dental care: Three unique tips for making oral hygiene fun for young children

Getting young children to take care of their teeth and mouth can be a challenge, particularly if your child is strong-willed and reluctant to open up at brushing time. If you have a hesitant toddler or pre-schooler who needs a little dental motivation, check out these three unique tips for making oral hygiene fun!

Create some tooth-friendly foods together

Looking after your teeth begins in the kitchen, with healthy food choices one of the best things you and your children can do to prevent decay. A wonderful way of encouraging your young child to appreciate the importance of good dental health is to get cooking! Most children love creating delicious snacks and meals, especially if they're allowed control over the process. Take the time to whip up some tooth-friendly foods with your young child- try corn fritters, fruit kebabs, pitta bread or veggie sticks and dip, or some tasty savoury popcorn. Little apple pizzas are a lovely sweet treat that are easy for little hands to make- simply cut an apple into discs, spread with nut or seed butter and sprinkle with shredded coconut, seeds or dried fruit for a yummy dentist-approved snack.

Celebrate happy teeth week!

Make your oral health focus into an occasion and celebrate happy teeth week in your household! Take those tasty tooth-friendly snacks and add in some cute toothy decorations, print out some fun colouring and activity worksheets, and launch a toothbrush incentive chart. Try some different dental-themed activities throughout your week, and for older kids you can talk about the different parts of a tooth and why we need to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Take a visit to your local library and find some picture books, both stories and facts, about dentists, teeth and oral health. If your child is attending childcare or preschool, approach them with your theme idea and encourage them to integrate some tooth-related activities and stories throughout the week!

Have a surprise visit to the dentist

Family dentists are experienced with helping young children feel comfortable in the dentist's chair. One of the best ways to get young children used to the idea of regular dental check-ups is with frequent, short and positive visits to your local family dentist. A surprise visit to your family-friendly dentist can be quite fun for little ones, with stickers, special toothbrushes and a ride in the chair. Help dispel the fear by jumping in the chair with your young child, and letting the dentist look in your mouth first. Finish off the visit with a trip to the best park in your neighbourhood, and a tooth-friendly picnic!

For more information on how you can make toothbrush time enjoyable for your young children, chat with your family dentist today.