At Klement Family Dental, parents often ask us how to instill good oral hygiene habits in their kids. We’ve offered some tips on our blog which you can read here.
While these tips will certainly help you show your kids the importance of regular brushing and flossing, consider using another tactic: the Tooth Fairy.
The majority of kids who lose baby teeth — 86 percent in 2013 — receive goodies beneath their pillows from the tooth fairy. So why not use your kids’ fascination with this pearly pixie to your advantage, and let the Tooth Fairy show your kids the importance of oral hygiene.
Tooth Fairy Tips
Start early. Your children probably won’t start losing baby teeth until around age 6, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t hear about the tooth fairy before that. Tell your kids the tooth fairy only provides rewards for kids with good oral health habits. Talk about it even before baby teeth start falling out as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of everyday dental care. And if your children still don’t want to brush and floss, remind them the tooth fairy is only interested in healthy baby teeth. She doesn’t give treats for teeth with fillings or crown teeth.
Put it in writing. Along with a treat, leave a note from the Tooth Fairy. Your kids will probably be as thrilled with the note as with the goodies. The note should include tips for maintaining good oral health along with accolades for good brushing and flossing habits. The Tooth Fairy’s note could also include a reminder to see a dentist in St Petersburg, FL every six months for a cleaning and exam. Here’s a great online resource with example letters, games, quizzes and a log to track your child’s tooth-related details.
Give toothy gifts. Most kids get a few coins or cash from the Tooth Fairy in exchange for a baby tooth. But, along with money, why not give them a new toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or a fun-flavored new toothpaste? (Just make sure it contains fluoride.) Or consider a story book about the Tooth Fairy or another children’s book related to taking care of teeth.
Got other ideas? Please let us know what’s worked for your family.