Dental Health Blog

Parenting hacks to raise kids with good oral health habits

There are a few good hacks out there to establish habits and have your children more conscious of maintaining good dental care. There are a few successful things you can do as a parent to support and encourage them.

When I was a kid, I remember my mother trying a few ways to get me to brush and floss my teeth more. It went back and forth from positive reinforcement to being grounded. When I was doing well, I did great… And then there were just times I did not want to brush my teeth. In the morning, I just hated standing there forever, was a sports-obsessed kid, and had sports to play with my friends. In the evening, I was so tired from all my sports shenanigans from the day that I just wanted to go to my bed and pass out. Brushing and flossing was clearly not at the top of my priority list!

Let’s go over some of the hacks you use to help your kids develop good dental hygiene habits.

Positive reinforcement with oral hygiene goes a long way with your kids…

  • My mother had a great system that she used that worked like a charm for me. I was given a $5 a week allowance but had to earn this allowance. I did certain chores to earn up to $3 of it and the other $2 came from me brushing my teeth. I would have to check in with my mother when I did it. It’s funny but if I had a smartphone back then, I would have just had to video record it and send it to her.
  • I wanted to earn that extra $2 for my allowance because that meant I got to buy 2 or 3 packs of baseball cards. Because I was given a reward for brushing my teeth, I quickly made it a habit and by my teens, I was brushing and flossing my teeth without being told and no longer had to check in with my mother to show her I was taking care of my oral hygiene. Instead, it became an ingrained habit that I simply started doing it on my own.

Make oral hygiene fun for little kids.

  • Another great form of positive reinforcement for kids is making something fun. If your kids are younger, do things like dance to some fun music in the mirror while brushing your teeth with them and be fun and goofy with them while they brush. Many studies show that if you can make mundane activities fun for kids that even if the fun gets removed after some time, they will still be excited about that mundane activity.

Develop an oral hygiene routine for your kids.

  • Routine is a big portion of the battle when getting your children started with good hygiene habits. It is suggested to have a morning and an evening routine to brush your teeth as well as flossing every night. As a parent, it is a good thing to lead by example, so if you brush and floss with your kids every morning and evening, they will establish this as a habit sooner than if you were to just tell them to do so. Make it fun for yourself and your kids will want to do the same.

With these few suggestions, your kiddos will be on a great track to developing good oral hygiene habits. Be sure to use this as a guide and do not hesitate to ask your children’s dentist for some suggestions next time you see them or you can even call your dental services in SE of Calgary. Dentists have lots of great suggestions as they have kids in for examinations all the time.

If your child is being difficult, be sure to experiment amongst all the different methods and there will be one that will eventually stick.


Questions? Let's get in touch. 


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on July 28, 2021

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