Little boy with his father in bathroom cleaning teeth with dental floss. Both looking in mirror and brushing teeth.

Little boy with his father in bathroom cleaning teeth with dental floss. Both looking in mirror and brushing teeth.

With summer here, your kids may not have to worry about homework for a while, but they will need to put in the work to keep their teeth clean. With the less organized schedules of summer, children may be less likely to brush as often as they should. But we have some reliable tips and tricks to help kids stay on a brushing and flossing schedule, brush their teeth long enough, and brush their teeth well enough.

Brushing your teeth for two minutes equals a healthy smile.
Children may not have enough patience to brush for two whole minutes, so use a fun technique to pass the time. Some kids may like to use a timer or actually count the minutes as an interactive game. But if that doesn’t do the trick, try singing a song or play a short video until the time is up. Keeping your child engaged in brushing their teeth will help them stay on a schedule and show them that it doesn’t have to be boring.

Help your child feel included in decisions involving brushing their teeth.
Picking out a toothbrush can sometimes be a very big deal to kids. A soft bristled brush is best for their sensitive teeth and gums, but they may want to choose what it looks like. They might insist it have a princess on its handle, or a dinosaur, or perhaps it absolutely has to be orange. Whatever their choice, even if it’s an electric toothbrush like the one you yourself have, this decision will encourage them to want to brush their teeth. Picking out a type of toothpaste can also be as major as the toothbrush itself. Whether they want it a specific color or flavor, this will also help them feel more involved.

Reward good brushing and flossing habits.
Brushing and flossing are certainly not the most fun activity ever, and children may especially hate these habits if they have sensitive teeth and gums, or are going through a defiant phase. But knowing there will be something they do love after they’ve brushed and flossed may just make them more eager to do such tasks. If your kid loves stickers, make a reward chart and give them a fun sticker every time they complete those habits. If your child loves to read, let them pick out the bedtime story after they’ve successfully brushed and flossed.

All of these tricks can help make brushing and flossing more manageable for you and your children. But bringing your kids to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups is just as important as brushing at home. You can schedule an appointment by calling 815-938-2575 or do so online here. Make this a summer of healthy smiles!