Your child’s life is probably filled with things that he or she naturally sees as fun or exciting.
For instance, no one has to teach their child to jump into a mud puddle…they instinctively seem to know that getting muddy is awesome.
You also don’t have to do much convincing to get them to eat candy. Most kids are born candy fanatics.
But so many things in a child’s life do require convincing…and teaching…and coaching.
Like washing hands. And using good table manners. And proper dental hygiene.
Encouraging your child to take good care of their teeth can be quite a challenge. There’s just not a lot about brushing, flossing, and avoiding sweets that screams “FUN!” to a child.
But there are some ways that the concept of dental hygiene can become more familiar and understandable to your child.
We want to share a fun Toothy Craft that you can do with your child. This craft is not only entertaining, but it shares in a very simple way how important it is to eat foods that keep your teeth healthy.
What You Need:
- 2 pieces of large, white paper
- 5 pictures of sticky, sweet food (gummies, caramel corn, cotton candy, gum, chocolate bar)
- 5 pictures of healthy, teeth-friendly food (carrots, apple, milk, cheese, sandwich)
- Glue sticks
- On one of your pieces of white paper, draw a giant picture of a tooth. Draw a happy face on the inside and a toothbrush in his “hand”.
- On the other piece of paper, draw another giant tooth. But inside this one draw a sad face. Draw a thermometer sticking out of his mouth and a Kleenex in his “hand”.
- Bring your child in and tell him that you are going to do a fun craft together. Explain that this craft is going to show him what can make his teeth happy and what can make his teeth sick.
- Lay all of the pictures on the floor (make sure they are mixed up). Pick up a picture and have him name what it is.
- As you discuss the reasons why you should avoid or eat each particular food picture, have him glue it to the happy tooth or the sick tooth.
It is so important for all children to understand the importance of eating sweets in moderation. A simple craft that is fun and stimulating can be an avenue for you to discuss these things with your child.
Once the craft has been completed, sit down and share a healthy snack together. As you’re eating, you can praise your child for his hard work and let him know that what he is eating is making his teeth very happy.
We here at Montgomery Dentistry have made it our mission to assist our patients in maintaining great dental health…and dental health and habits start in childhood.
Photo Credit: Niklas Hellerstedt