Proper dental health starts at an early age and there is no better time to highlight the importance of correct dental care for kids than in February, National Children’s Dental Health month.
Celebrate the month and elevate the importance of brushing and flossing with some fun activities designed to educate youngsters about proper teeth maintenance.
Toothy trivia—While in front of the sink, test your child’s knowledge (and your own) on all things dental with these fun facts:
- Ancient Egyptians even brushed their teeth using a powdery substance made from pulverized eggshells and oxen hooves
- The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s, brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s
- Which animal has the greatest number of teeth – dog, cat, pig or snail? A snail can have between 1000-12,000 teeth!
- An average toothbrush has around 2000 bristles.
- Americans buy more than 14 million gallons of toothpaste every year.
- Teeth start to form before we are born.
- It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile.
- A fossilized T-Rex tooth can weigh up to a pound.
- Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
Gummy games—Bring a smile to youngsters faces with these fun games sure to encourage proper brushing at an early age:
Toothbrush Tales: Make your child’s toothbrush the star of a goofy, adventure-packed story, but only when a child is brushing. Give the toothbrush a name and a voice and make Toothpaste, Floss or Mouthwash trusty sidekicks and give them a storyline.
Brush Your Body: Take the toothbrush, get in close and tells your child it’s time to brush teeth. But then pretend to scrub the child’s ears / elbows / toes / nose until they say, “No! My teeth, my teeth!” and show you how.
Practice makes perfect: Ask your child to help their favorite stuffy brush their teeth for them. A crocodile stuffed animal makes a great friend to practice on.
Other ideas to help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health month include:
- Buy a bunch of colorful, soft and child-sized toothbrushes, along with a variety of toothpaste flavors, so a child can pick and choose their own dental tools.
- Make up a song to hum to during teeth-brushing time.
- Let your child select a special, fun timer to use only for toothbrush time. Dentists recommend two minutes of brushing.
- If you haven’t introduced your child to the dentist, do so on your next visit. When a child see’s a parent experiencing a good checkup, they are more apt to have a good dental experience themselves.