Cavities, bad breath, and eating toothpaste. All three are valid fears for every parent that has kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers. Buy throw some fun games and toys in the mix, and you are setting yourself and your children up for success as you teach kids about dental hygiene and go into more detail about why brushing teeth is important!
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My three year old is great at brushing her teeth. No really, she is.
But sometimes her end goal is just to get her mouth to smell better because we have always done the sniff test to ensure she really brished her teeth like we asked.
But she could absolutely be behind the door eating toothpaste for all we know.
And that’s when I realized we needed to teach kids about dental hygiene and its importance rather than just checking to see if the toothbrush is wet, her mouth smells better, and her slimy tongue looks plump and red.
And becasue kids seem to learn best through play, I went searching for some of the most fun ways to learn about the mouth and teeth. Even some outright strange ways to get my preschooler to understand the importance of brushing her teeth.
Teach Kids about Dental Hygiene & get kids to brush their teeth better with these 7 toys!
These oddly cute erasers show dental damage. And I am not sure about you, but my kids shy away from pain. Even though I don’t want to scare by kids into doing anything, sometimes a little bit encouragement to not let something happen can go a long way.
This game is too much fun. I think I even had it as a kid.
Basically you push the teeth and the croc snaps when you hit his sensitive tooth. It opens up a lot of discussion about why teeth hurt or are sensitive and what we can do about it.
Fake Tongue Super gross, right? But kids love it!
And unfortunately, there is little about oral hygiene for kids that involves their tongues.
But it’s just as important to keep the tongue clean as it is the teeth. So work on brushing that tongue with this silly, slimy, fake one.
What tot or preschooler doesn’t love chatter teeth? They’re a great way to practice brushing by puting some gunk on them for your child to get off.
Go into the details of teeth so your kids understand they’re not just white things with no meaning hanging out in our mouths.
You can talk about what’s inside a tooth and how it relates to our health, or even (going back to the croc game) how damage can cause pain.
Or maybe even discuss why when you break a tooth it can hurt, but it doesn’t bleed.
These silly and fun over-size tooth brushes are great for all kinds of fun activities. Scrub down toys, paint with them, or find other fun activites. Regardless, they’re a fun buy to get your kids used to scrubbing with a toothbraush.
Make play-doh braces, give your little guy a dental exam, and more with this play-doh kit.
I am not completely sure how to feel about it because it’s kind of weird to me, but the point is the same, it teaches kids to play with and be comfortable around teeth, dentists, and proceedures typically done on teeth.
Check out our favorite Books about Teeth.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!