Encourage Your Kids to Floss: Tips That Work
- July 2nd, 2018
- Pediatric Dental Care Tips
We’ve come up with some tips to help your children practice good oral hygiene. Our advice is meant for kids of all ages, so give them a go next time they’re fighting the floss.
- Get kid-friendly floss
There are tons of flossing products out there that make it fun for little ones. Consider getting a water flosser with lots of settings that your child can learn to adjust. They’ll be so enamoured with the vibrating motor and all the sounds a water flosser makes, it might even encourage them to open their mouths and give this fun gadget a shot. Another idea is to get some fruity children’s floss that come in flavours like strawberry and mango. There are even dental flossers that come in fun colourful shapes like dinosaurs and dragons. Your child is guaranteed to have a grand old time picking his teeth with those!
- Let kids choose their own dental products
Shopping around for all those kid-friendly dental products is half the fun. So next time you’re at the store, let them pick out the colour of their toothbrush or whatever crazy floss they’d like to try. Kids dental products also comes in various patterns, like jungle or flower themes. Let them get excited about their oral hygiene and chances are they’ll enjoy the task that much more.
Because children love imitating adults, it’s important to set a good example. Show your kids how you brush and floss your own teeth, and don’t forget to emphasize how to do it correctly. They’ll do these things better when you demonstrate how to do a good job. Make brushing sessions a fun show-and-tell activity that everyone can enjoy together first thing in the morning and before bed.
- Explain why flossing is important
Another way to encourage your child to floss regularly is by explaining what happens if they don’t. Although we don’t want to use scare tactics, there are many kid-friendly videos that show images of periodontal disease. These videos also explain what cavities are and how to identify gum disease. Next time your child is at his/her checkup, you can also ask the dentist to explain why it’s important to floss. Pediatric dentists are very effective at speaking to children about good oral health.
- Get an early start
Brushing and flossing isn’t such a battle if you get your kids started early. By instilling this habit early on, it’ll be built into their daily routines and they’ll think nothing of it as they get older. As soon as your child can mimic the motions, give him a toothbrush and let him learn. You may have to sit behind your child and help him hold the brush and floss correctly but by age 6, most children should be able to do these tasks on their own.
- Create a chart & set goals
Shop around online for a flossing chart that you can tape to the bathroom. The chart helps children remember the last time they flossed by putting a checkmark next to the date and time. When your child has successfully completed a week of regular flossing, you can reward him/her with a treat. These rewards can include a trip to the ice cream shop or a promised outing to the zoo. Setting goals and incentives will encourage your child to continue those good flossing habits in the years ahead.
- Make oral hygiene fun
One of the reasons kids hate flossing and brushing so much is because it’s boring. They’re hard-wired to live in the moment and focus on having fun. Heading to the bathroom to floss and brush doesn’t have to feel like going to prison. Since children love anything that involves play, make the task a treat for your little one. Consider purchasing a themed toothbrush that plays music and alerts the child when his two minutes of brushing time is up. You can even add dance and storytelling to really make it a fun bedtime ritual.
You don’t need to brush and floss at the bathroom sink. Walk around with the toothbrush; do it where ever is comfortable, easy and repeatable. Floss laying down. Sometimes it’s difficult to get between your teeth. To avoid that sudden snap of the floss and hurting the gums or your teeth, have your child lie on the floor, couch, or bed while flossing.
To book your little one’s next appointment, call Smile Town today at (877) 749-9981 or contact us here.