Forming a flossing habit in early childhood can go a long way in saving money, pain, and oral health consequences in the long run. But most kids are reluctant, and you might be having a hard time. Here are some tips to jumpstart your child’s understanding that flossing can be fun!
Play a game to establish understanding
To get your child excited about the idea of flossing, set up a simple game or activity to both provide entertainment and an understanding of the importance of flossing. A fun and messy activity like peanut butter flossing may provide just this! Put on a rubber glove and allow your child to spread peanut butter between your fingers. Explain how this resembles plaque and food getting stuck in between their teeth when they don’t floss. Then, giving your child a piece of floss, instruc him or her to try and scrape off all of the peanut butter. This activity, or something similar, can be a great way to entice your child into try to floss more often!
Encourage daily or nightly teeth inspections
Losing baby teeth and growing big kid teeth is an exciting time for a child. After introducing the tooth fairy, encourage children to inspect their teeth each night by using floss to “make room” or “clear the way” for big teeth to come in!
Make it a family affair
Improve your entire family’s hygiene habits by making flossing a nightly ritual. Seeing mom and dad floss sets healthy role modeling for kids. Start tonight by gathering around a mirror, humming a song together, and flossing up.
Use floss sticks
It can be challenging for kids to use dental floss as they are still developing their fine motor skills. Luckily, floss sticks are available and an easy to grip alternative. What’s morer, these disposable tools come in bright colors and flavors to entice kids to floss even more!
Invest in a water flosser
If your kids are resistant to both dental floss and floss sticks, water flossers/picks may be a good investment. These small machines are equipped with a water reservoir and a small pick that shoots water in between gums and teeth to remove plaque buildup. Kids tend to love them too, so it’s a win-win!
If you’re still struggling to get your kiddos to floss make sure to mention it at their next visit!