No matter how you imagined your summer going, chances are it’s going to be a little different this year. And while it’s tempting — and totally normal! — to let your kids relax a bit after a spring of homeschooling, being cooped up inside, and strict restrictions, there are certain things you don’t want to let slide. Like your family's oral health, for example.
Allowing extra screen time during the day or being a little more flexible with rules this summer is expected, but letting healthy habits slip can cause more harm than good. Fortunately, Romper partnered with Crest to round up a list of tips that will help you and your kids avoid the trap of developing the dreaded "Quaranteeth" (iykyk). Read on to learn how to help your family continue a healthy teeth-brushing routine — even if it has slid a bit further down on the list of priorities recently. (No shame!)
1. Make A Game Out Of Routine
Anyone who's experienced the bliss of summer vacation knows that once school is out of session, the first thing to go out the window is a structured routine. While you may have a hard time maintaining any sort of regimented schedule this summer, it is worth implementing and sticking to a loose morning and bedtime routine — especially one that encourages healthy oral habits and provides helpful cues to start and end the day.
Make teeth-brushing a part of a morning and nighttime game — like a scavenger hunt that leads them to their toothbrush and toothpaste at the bathroom sink. Adding a little bit of structure can help the habit feel like a more normal part of your kid's day. Plus, it eliminates the chances of having to drag your kids away from the TV at noon (or worse, out of bed at night) to brush their Quaranteeth — which isn’t fun for anyone.
2. Let Your Kids Have A Say
Remember the thrill of going to the store as a kid and being told you can pick out one special item for yourself? That feeling still rings true for kids today. Just take them down the dental care aisle, then tell them they can pick out any one of Crest's kid toothpastes. Giving them the freedom to pick one out for themselves is a simple and effective way to get them excited about brushing their teeth. Not only will they feel more in control, but they may even consider teeth-brushing to be their own idea!
Luckily, Crest offers a variety of toothpastes just for kids, with multiple fun flavors to choose from. Kid's Crest Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun Toothpaste features sparkles, bright colors, and a bubblegum flavor to make teeth-brushing actually fun. Your kids will get the cavity protection they need from the #1 toothpaste brand in America, and the sparkles and flavor they want.
3. Reward Good Behavior
Sparkles and fun flavors make teeth-brushing exciting, but some kids still need a little extra encouragement. Rewarding good behavior can help encourage and maintain a healthy teeth-brushing routine. Setting up a visual incentive (like a simple sticker chart with a clear finish line) that promises a movie night or other fun activity can be a great motivator. You can also follow Crest on Instagram for an upcoming Quaranteeth coloring activity you can do with your kids to keep track of their brushing for a week.
4. Take It Outside The Bathroom
It’s normal to want to indulge in extra sweets throughout the summer (ice cream, anyone?), but encouraging healthy oral habits outside of the bathroom — like eating low-sugar, wholesome snacks — can help your kids fight cavities all day long.
It’s also important for parents to brush their teeth regularly in front of their kids. Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope Outlast Toothpaste is the ultimate combination of cool and fresh. Not only will you be improving your own oral health, but you’ll be setting a good example for your kids that brushing your teeth is a healthy, life-long habit!
5. Make It Silly
A lot of kids drag their feet when it comes to brushing their teeth because they see it as a chore rather than taking care of themselves. To make teeth-brushing more fun, set a recurring alarm on your phone twice a day with a fun sound or song that calls your family to action. Dance your way to the bathroom in the silliest way possible, or make it a race to see who can load up their toothbrush with toothpaste first! Then, let your kids pick what they want to listen to or watch for at least two full minutes (the time it takes to get a complete brush).
By giving one (or all!) of these tips a try, soon enough your kids are sure to see brushing their teeth as something they get to do versus something they have to do — and what parent doesn't love that?
This post is sponsored by Crest.