Dental health is key to a child’s wellbeing. From basic hygiene to kid’s orthodontic care , what they learn now will set them up for a lifetime of bright smiles, but how do you teach your children good oral habits without boring them?
Fortunately, kids love to learn new things, as long as they can have fun along the way. With that in mind, here are a few dental health activities for elementary students that make brushing and flossing an enjoyable affair.
The Family that Brushes Together, Smiles Together
If there’s one ironclad rule of parenting, it’s that kids pay more attention to what you do than what you say. That’s only natural since children learn by mimicking others. Take advantage of this natural curiosity by including your children in your daily brushing and flossing routine. Once or twice a week, prop them on a stool and show them how you take care of your pearly whites. They’ll learn something new while spending quality time with the ones they love!
Ready, Set, Go!
How long does it take to brush? According to the American Dental Association, you should be brushing for at least two minutes. Keeping track of time can be a dull affair unless you spice it up with some fun activities.
If you have more than one trainee in the house, hold a timed competition. Whoever stops brushing before two minutes is up forfeits the game. You can also get a colorful sand timer so the kids can have fun watching the minutes pass on their own.
Gold Stars for White Teeth
If you want to reinforce healthy habits, then reward good behavior. Grab a large wall calendar or make one yourself out of poster board. Give your kids a gold star every time they brush their teeth. Getting star points will get them excited about good hygiene. Consider giving a real reward at the end of the month if they collect enough gold stars.
Separate the Sad Foods from the Happy Foods
The foods we eat also affect the health of our teeth, gums, and mouth. Organize fun activities that help your children understand the difference between healthy foods and junk foods. For starters, try this simple food game, which is both fun and educational:
- Take two paper bags.
- Draw a “happy tooth” on one, and a “sad tooth” on the other.
- Now find some colorful food stickers, or grab food magazines and cut out pictures.
- Have your kids place mouth-friendly foods (vegetables, milk, fruits) into the “happy tooth” bag and not-so-friendly foods (sodas, candy, sticky foods) into the “sad tooth” bag.
Paint It White
If you’re the crafty type, then you’ll love this exercise, which will teach your kids the purpose of brushing:
- Draw several tooth shapes on some yellow construction paper, then cut them out.
- Now give your children some white paint and pretend it’s toothpaste.
- Encourage them to brush their yellow “teeth” and turn them pearly white.
As your kids have fun with paint, tell them that this is why people brush—to make their teeth white and beautiful again.
Visit a Children’s Orthodontist
Orthodontic care is just as important as basic hygiene when it comes to long-term dental health. According to experts, kids should see an orthodontist before the age of seven. If you’re looking for an office that as kid-friendly as it is medically renowned, then drop by Labbe Family Orthodontics in Maryland. We go out of our way to create a fun, family-friendly atmosphere that will have your kids looking forward to their next visit.
Contact our offices in Annapolis, Crofton, Bowie, and Greenbelt to make an appointment with a pediatric orthodontist—because life is better with a smile, and kids are happier when they’re having fun!