5 Fun Ways to Encourage Healthy Dental Habits

It's important to start teaching kids the value of good oral hygiene habits early on because it sets them on track for a lifetime of healthy habits. While supervised brushing and regular visits to the dentist certainly help in this effort, they aren't the only ways to reinforce the importance of healthy dental habits.

Proper oral hygiene is especially important for children, so an educational approach that's also fun and encouraging will put them on the path of building and maintain great habits in the years to come. Whether you're a parent who wants to encourage good habits, a teacher looking for classroom lesson ideas or a pediatric dental hygienist, you can benefit from using any of these fun, dental activities for kids.

Dental Experiments

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Experiments are the best ways for kids to learn because they're having so much fun, they don't even realize how much they're learning. These six fun activities - including a flossing experiment that uses peanut butter and a DIY apple mouth - are perfect for rainy days spent indoors or as classroom experiments. Every kid will enjoy unleashing their inner mad scientist.

Dental Games & Puzzles

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Dental games and puzzles are fantastic independent activities for kids. Give the young patients in your dental office something to do while waiting for appointments by keeping printouts of crossword puzzles and word searches on the tables. Incorporate a fill-in-the-blank activity into a classroom lesson about the teeth.

Dental Coloring Pages

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Kids love to color. If coloring is a frequent pastime for your little one, keep these dental coloring pages on hand for easy entertainment and education. Like puzzles, coloring is a great solo activity, so keep coloring pages and crayons in the waiting room and in the classroom.

Toothbrushing Charts

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Most kids can brush their teeth on their own at around age 6, but parents should still supervise to make sure they're brushing properly. In addition to keeping a watchful eye, utilize a toothbrushing chart. Toothbrushing charts are especially helpful if remembering to brush and floss daily is a problem in your home. The chart works like a chore chart, which you might already use, that tracks your child's daily brushing habits.

Dental Books

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Books about teeth and going to the dentist are great stories for bedtime and story time, and they're the perfect additions to the waiting room library. There are so many great books about oral health, many of which feature characters kids already know and love, like Arthur and the Berenstain Bears.

If your child is afraid of going to the dentist, a good book might help ease their discomfort. Some popular children's books that encourage healthy dental habits include "Arthur's Tooth," "Clarabella's Teeth" and "The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist." Your child will express interest in taking care of their teeth in no time.

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