Daily tooth-brushing can help parents teach their kids the value of healthy routines. And, now when we’re all spending more time at home, these everyday activities can bring a sense of normalcy during an uncertain time.outh.
Finding comfort in everyday activities
These days, we’re all having to make the most of our time at home. Our home is no longer just the place where we come together and relax after a day at work or school. It’s become the workplace, the classroom and the playground–all in one.
Parents especially have a lot to juggle right now. One minute, they’re chairing a video conference. The next, they’re playing personal chef to their kids – one peanut butter and grape jelly, crust off; one peanut butter and strawberry jelly, crust on; one triple-decker with peanut butter and both jellies. Then back to work to answer emails, before stepping into the classroom to help with schoolwork. All with the goal of providing some sense of stability during a time that’s filled with uncertainty.
Building your kids’ day around routines
It’s natural for kids to want to treat this period of staying home from school as a holiday. The reality is, just like their parents, they still have responsibilities – a list of things to get done – even though their normal school routine has been disrupted.
This provides a unique challenge for parents: How to create a new normal for their kids despite far-from-normal circumstances? The simplest way to restore normalcy is to reinforce routine. Starting your day in a consistent way creates a solid foundation that readies you for what lies ahead. At nighttime, routines help us unwind, leave the day behind and prepare us for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Brushing teeth: kids’ first self-care routine
Routines can positively impact our overall well-being, and that includes taking care of our bodies, inside and out. For kids, the simple act of brushing their teeth is one of the first personal hygiene routines they learn. From a young age, it becomes a staple in our day as one of the first things we do every morning, and one of the last things before bed. It’s also one of the most important. This short self-care practice has long-lasting effects. Brushing twice a day for two minutes is recommended to help eliminate bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
Making tooth-brushing fun
For parents, getting their kids to brush for the full two minutes can feel like an eternity. Make it a fun family activity by playing a favorite song for a couple minutes while you all brush together. Or, tell your kids a two-minute story that begins as soon as they start brushing. Maybe you and your kids can take turns drawing two-minute portraits of each other as you get every tooth clean. However you choose to encourage your kids to brush, by taking care of their teeth and gums now, children set the course for healthy teeth and gums in adulthood.
Keeping the a consistent, healthy routine of brushing teeth can help kids pave the way to expanding their daily routine in other ways, be it organizing their workspace before beginning virtual classes, washing their hands thoroughly before every meal–or maybe even making their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.