Encouraging Your Kids’ Good Oral Hygiene

maleah,amaya,kimberly,calvin,mcleod_044Lots of kids don’t like to brush and floss their teeth. You don’t want to have to stand over your kids all the time just to ensure that they practice good oral hygiene. What’s the solution?

Lead by example.

Ensure that you yourself are practicing good oral hygiene. Let your kids see what you do to care for your teeth. You can even take your kids into your dentist’s exam room with you when you have your semi-annual exams: your kids can thus observe the absence of scariness, pain, etc.

Talk with your kids about why oral hygiene is important.

Show your kids videos about good oral hygiene, cavities, and dentist office visits.

Buy oral care products that are kid-friendly…

…products that fit the size of your kids’ hands and mouths, products with your kids’ favorite cartoon characters or superheroes depicted on them, products that are glittery or are of your kids’ favorite color(s), enticingly flavored products, etc.

Develop theme music for oral hygiene time.

For example, if your daughter likes Disney’s The Little Mermaid, you could play her favorite song from that movie every time she is to brush and floss. (Note: buying an Ariel toothbrush may help tie this experience together for your daughter.) As the music plays, your daughter can hum (as best she can, given her mouth is otherwise occupied) with the music and dance around as she pleases. This helps make oral hygiene time fun for kids. At least initially, you should brush your teeth and dance along with her. This helps set the tone for future oral hygiene sessions.

Have them show you a great big (spotty?) grin.

After your kids have brushed and flossed, have them consume a chewable tablet that shows them the spots that they missed. (These tablets discolor the areas that were not thoroughly brushed.) Then, have them show you a great big grin. When they have done well, praise them generously. Tell them that you are proud of them. When they have done not-so-well, provide them praise on something they have done correctly and then give them gentle guidance on the areas for improvement.

By following the tips above, you can take steps toward ensuring that your kids practice good oral hygiene.


About the Author: Candi Wingate, President,

Candi Wingate is an expert in the child care industry with over 20 years experience. She is the founder of and, and author of 100 Tips for Nannies & Families and The Nanny Factor: A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Right Nanny for Your Family

Photo Credit:,amaya,kimberly,calvin,mcleod_044.jpg

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