As a parent, you have many responsibilities, including helping your kids learn proper oral hygiene. As a part of their oral hygiene routine, kids have to learn how to brush and floss their teeth properly. However, this can be a challenge because, just like many other responsibilities, kids can be resistant to adopting a consistent routine.
If you approach flossing like a chore, kids will likely groan, and it will be difficult to get them to do it independently. It’s important to make positive connections between flossing and fun to help your kiddos carry strong oral hygiene habits into their adulthood. If you are struggling to get your kid to floss, consider a few of these tips and tricks.
Get your kid to floss by allowing them to choose the floss
There are some super fun floss options for kiddos nowadays. Crayola makes twistable flossers in a variety of fun colors and flavors! These fluoride covered flossers are specially made to fit tiny hands and come in three fun flavors and a rainbow of colors. There are also flossers shaped like animals, floss in a wide array of colors, and even cupcake flavored floss! Flossers are just as effective as traditional floss and offer a great solution for kids. Flossers are often easier to use than traditional floss and they look cute!
Have music time
Use the nightly brushing and flossing routine as an opportunity to have a mini concert in the bathroom. Let your kid pick the music and dance and make silly faces in the mirror when getting everything ready to brush and floss.
Use a reward system
Create a brushing and flossing chart and hang it up in the bathroom. Give your kids stickers each time they brush and floss. When they earn a certain number of stickers, give them a prize! The prize can be anything you want, from allowing them to choose the movie on family movie night to a new pack of floss, as long as it is something that will motivate them. As they earn rewards and receive positive feedback, it will reinforce good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
Read books about flossing
There are some wonderful books for kids on the topic of flossing. Keep on Flossing is a fun coloring book for kids that teaches them the importance of keeping their teeth strong and clean. Another good book to check out is Why Do I Need to Brush My Teeth, which is a fun story about a little girl who doesn’t like brushing her teeth, but reconsiders after learning sugar bugs live in her mouth.
Continue talking with your kids about brushing and flossing to remind them of good habits and proper techniques. And of course, make sure to bring your child to the dentist every six months to ensure a professional is regularly examining their teeth for any possible developments that will affect their oral health. Taking your child to see an orthodontist by age 7 can determine if early orthodontic treatment is needed to straighten or shift teeth to make brushing and flossing more effective and convenient.
If your child has not been seen by an orthodontist, contact Smith Orthodontics for a free orthodontic consultation.