Flossing is an important habit that should be part of every child’s personal hygiene routine. After all, a dental floss can get into the gaps and areas between and around teeth that a toothbrush can’t. This ensures complete and total removal of any remaining bits of food after a meal or snack, which then prevents the development of oral conditions such as dental cavities and gum disease.
Flossing, along with regular brushing and visiting your trusted dentist in Anaheim twice every year can go a long way towards protecting your child’s teeth and gums from tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral conditions.
That being said, some kids may find flossing difficult and tedious, and as such, find it hard to develop it into a habit. This is understandable, as flossing needs a lot more care, attention, and time than just brushing one’s teeth. It doesn’t make it any less important, however. As such, to help you get your kids into flossing, here are some tips that could make it less of a chore and more of a fun activity for them.
Incentivize regular flossing
Kids are easily distracted and bored. The fact that flossing tends to be more challenging and takes longer than brushing may cause them to dislike the activity and skip it altogether. Instead of scolding them about not flossing, what about giving them a reward for doing it regularly? For example, you can give them a stamp card that they can fill up with one stamp every time you see them flossing. They can then turn in their filled-up stamp card for a reward of their choosing, such as a day out at the mall, an exciting gift, or being able to stay up late for the weekend.
Show them what happens to kids who skip flossing
If you’re finding it difficult to convince your kids about why it’s necessary to floss, you can also do a bit of reverse psychology—that is, show them what happens when someone skips flossing. Before you go to Google and search for something that could end up freaking your kids out, however, you can instead just look up kid-friendly videos that can show the exact same thing, but in a more appropriate way. You can also ask your dentist on your next visit to illustrate to your kids the consequences of non-flossing.
Use floss sticks instead
Floss sticks are basically small, toothpick-like sticks that have a piece of floss stretched between their fork tines. These make flossing an easier and faster affair, allowing you to do it one-handed without having to wrap floss around your fingers. If your kids are finding themselves easily discouraged by regular flossing, try having them use floss sticks instead. Just make sure to buy the kid-sized versions, as the adult ones are bigger and much harder to handle. Also teach them to throw away their floss stick after using it, since like regular floss, used floss sticks should never be reused.
Make flossing a family activity
It’s a known fact that children always imitate their parents, so take advantage of this by also keeping up with your own flossing habit. Make sure they’re around to see you do it, or if you like, turn it into a family activity that all of you can enjoy at the same time. This prevents flossing from being perceived as some sort of chore or punishment, and instead makes it a pleasant time with entire family to partake together.
Flossing is a healthy habit worth developing early in life
Children need to be taught healthy oral care habits such as flossing at an early age. By doing so, you will help them ward off the many preventable oral diseases and conditions that they may develop later in life. If you’re finding it hard to get your kids into the flossing habit, then try the tips we listed above, and see if they work out. With enough perseverance and luck, you might just succeed, and your kids’ smiles will be well protected for the foreseeable future.