Family Dentist in Flagstaff, AZAs a family dentist in Flagstaff, AZ, we actually recommend watching cartoons with your kids.  As strange as this sounds, these aren’t ordinary cartoons.  They are actually two-minute clips that are featured on the American Dental Association website.  With popular shows like Adventure Time participating, there is something for all ages of children and even tweens.  Whether your kids are toddlers looking for a sing-along or a twelve-year-old that likes Nick, there is something or everyone.  So, what’s the point?  Each video is the exact amount of time that your child should be brushing their teeth every evening and morning.

When you watch these videos with the kids, it provides an easy way to ensure that they brush their teeth long enough to be effective.  Since the cartoons are silly and fun, they won’t notice how long they have been brushing but, rather, start to enjoy this part of their bedtime routine.  This works far better than pulling out a timer that can make it seem like they are brushing forever.  All you need to get started is your smartphone, tablet, or computer to start watching and brushing.

If you don’t like your kids watching cartoons, try music instead.  The goal is to make brushing teeth fun while getting kids used to brushing for the full two minutes.  Music can lighten any mood, so find out what their favorite song is and play it while they brush.  Whether you have a little Princesses, that loves Frozen or you have a tween that can’t get enough of Uptown Funk, playing their favorite tunes can get them dancing and brushing at the same time.  As a family dentist in Flagstaff, AZ, we have patients that make this part of their morning routine to help the kids wake up and use the videos at night since they are good to unwind to.  In both cases, kids are learning how to brush their teeth for the appropriate amount of time, and they begin to associate brushing with something fun.

Another way that we are using media to improve oral hygiene habits is by having kids watch videos on how to brush and floss properly.  Even if they are brushing for the full two minutes, they need to brush correctly in order to ensure that they are getting all of the plaque and bacteria off of their teeth.  Knowing that it can be difficult for parents to constantly remind children to brush correctly, playing the video once a month can do the trick without causing conflict.  Kids are naturally drawn to media since they are constantly exposed to it, making this one of the best learning tools that we have.

As a family dentist in Flagstaff, AZ, our goal is to keep you and your children in excellent oral health and while these ideas may seem silly – they work.  Teaching your children how to brush properly and getting them used to brushing or the full two minutes, will instill in them oral health habits that can last a lifetime.  This will reduce their risk of getting cavities and gum disease both now and into adulthood.