You already know the importance of brushing your teeth. Flossing is also just as important. The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once every single day. Did you know that flossing is just as important for your child as well? Just like you, your child should be flossing at least once a day. Getting your child to brush their teeth is enough of a struggle. Adding in flossing can make these essential habits seem impossible. At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the difficulties of getting your child to floss and have compiled a list of tips to help.
Make it Fun
Flossing is not exactly a fun activity for adults. For kids, it can be downright boring. However, you can make it fun. Turn flossing into a game. Set siblings against one another. Children can compete against parents. Make up a story. Turn flossing into a tale about evil bacteria and mighty floss. When you make flossing fun, you take the tediousness out of the task.
Reward Their Efforts
Flossing can be a difficult task to stick to long-term, especially for children. You can provide a little extra motivation by rewarding their efforts. Sticker charts can be a great way to do this. Every time your child successfully flosses their teeth, they can place a sticker on the chart. At the end of the week, you can reward your child with an extra book at bedtime or allow them to choose a movie to watch. You can also reward longer-term efforts, such as a month of flossing, with a bigger prize, such as a trip to the zoo or museum.
Show Them the Effects of Skipping Flossing
For some children, showing them the effects of skipping flossing can be an effective tool that motivates them to floss every day. You do not have to show them anything too graphic. There are plenty of kid-friendly videos that can help to explain the damage that can be caused by forgoing flossing. Alternately, we can also help to explain the importance to your child. We have plenty of experience explaining the concepts in ways that children understand.
Children learn by watching their parents. Set an example by flossing every day yourself. You can also floss with your child. Show them the proper technique. Flossing together can often make the task much less of a fight. Moreover, as a bonus, the extra flossing sessions will only help to improve your oral health.
Kid Friendly Floss
For adults, it is recommended that you use an 18-inch piece of floss wound between your middle fingers. Winding this length of floss between smaller fingers can be a bit more difficult, and your child may have difficulty maneuvering the floss properly. Thankfully, there are more kid-friendly options available. You can invest in floss picks for kids. These picks are available in a wide array of colors and cartoon characters. Let your child pick their own. Floss picks designed for kids are much easier for small hands to handle. Helping your child to develop good flossing habits now will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Contact Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry today at (316) 202-9629 if you have any questions or concerns.