Flossing is just as important as teeth brushing, especially for children. By getting your kids to floss, you are helping them have healthier teeth. Flossing helps remove the food debris and accumulated plaque around the teeth and gums, something that typical toothbrushing activity cannot reach and remove. Establishing the habit of flossing after brushing at a young age also helps your kids have a better daily dental routine as they grow. As a parent, it will also help you save time, tears and tantrums along the way.
To get your children to floss, your dentists at Kidsmile gathered some tips and ideas to make them excited about flossing.
Reward System: Make A Progress Chart
Everybody likes rewards, especially kids. You can take advantage of this and be creative in rewarding your child. Prepare a colorful progress chart of your child’s daily dental routine. Identify some rewards or prizes that you will give, as your child accomplishes his or her tasks along the way. Hang the chart in your child’s bathroom and let him or her put a star or a sticker every time he or she flosses. At the end of the week or the month, you can award the promised prize. Simple rewards like a toy, a favorite food, or a movie or game night will make your child excited for sure.
Follow The Leader: Make it A Family Activity
Make flossing a family activity. Lead by example and be a role model by flossing your teeth too in front of your child. When your child sees that flossing is also a part of your own dental routine, he or she will be encouraged to do the same. By flossing in front of your child, you are teaching him or her the importance of practicing good dental habits as they grow.
You can make flossing a regular activity before going to bed. You can all floss at the same time while perhaps humming a song together to make it more fun. After flossing, you can also check your child’s teeth by making it a treasure hunt activity. You can check for any erupting tooth while making sure that your child flossed properly.
Make it Child-Friendly
When flossing, we usually use around 18 inches of floss string to properly clean the teeth and gums. But for our kids, it may be harder for them to maneuver around the teeth and gums. There are floss products available in the market that are specifically designed to fit our kids’ smaller hands. There are pre-threaded flossers, floss holders for better grip, and floss sticks. They are all available in varying colors and flavors so you can let your child pick what he or she likes. These floss alternatives are very enticing as they sometimes come in different shapes so it will surely be attractive to our young ones.
Another option that you can try with your child is a water flosser. It is a small machine with a water reservoir and a small pick that shoots out water in between teeth and gums to remove food particles and plaque buildup. Although it may be quite an investment for a dental tool, it will help to get your child to floss effectively every night.
Play Time: Learning and Fun Exercise
Daily flossing can be transformed into a fun-filled activity for your child. Let your child’s imagination run wild with your stories about the ‘bacteria villain’ and the ‘fearless floss hero’ that is to the rescue. There are also some fun toys that your child can play with and be a pretend dentist as he or she learns the proper way to floss. Some parents even come up with a floss dance that they perform every night before the routine.
You may also have some bright ideas to get your child to floss. Start now to make it a part of his or her daily dental habit. Whatever style you choose, just be patient. Remember that mastering the art of flossing takes time, especially for little kids.
For more flossing tips, you can consult with your child’s dentist at your next appointment.
Children’s Dental Care: Flossing, Colgate https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/childrens-dental-care-flossing-1112
How to Get Your Kids to Floss, Intermountain HealthCare https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/pediatrics/2019/10/do-your-kids-floss/
When To Start Flossing, OralB https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/solutions/floss/when-to-start-flossing