We get it. Bedtime routines can be exhausting as a parent. By the time you’ve managed the bath, pajamas, story time and teeth brushing, you may be tempted to forgo the task (and battle) of flossing your child’s teeth. However, the truth is that flossing is a vital component of good dental hygiene. Flossing is responsible for cleaning up to 35% of a tooth’s surface! Flossing prevents tooth decay, gum disease and even bad breath. By making flossing a part of your child’s daily routine, he or she will likely grow up to keep the habit as an adult. Don’t let flossing be an “optional chore” in your household.
Here are some ideas on how to make flossing fun and motivational for your child and not a battle for the parent:
- Use A Chart
- Depending on the age of your child, you may let them create and decorate their own flossing chart. Kids like to see visible representation of their success. You can offer to reward your child at the end of the week or month, which can be an excellent way to motivate small children. (Try to use a non-candy reward so that you are not sabotaging your efforts).
- Entertain Them
- It is amazing what kids will do if you let down and get silly with them. Sing a song or play a game while flossing their teeth to make the job more fun and go by faster. This kind of creativity also creates a positive association with flossing for your child.
- Buy a New Gadget
- Go shopping for a new, kid-friendly flossing tool to make flossing a more attractive task. There are colorful handheld flossers that are easy for kids to use.
- Be a Good Example
- Last but certainly not least, make sure you are being a good role model by flossing yourself. When a child sees a parent being diligent about dental care, it can be one of the strongest influences for showing them the importance of a healthy mouth.
Please remember that if your child is unable to tie his or her own shoe, they are not yet ready to floss on their own. Flossing requires a certain level of dexterity and coordination, so be sure to tackle the job for them until they can do it effectively. At Avalon Dental Group, we invite parents to consider ways they can make flossing more fun, interactive and motivating for their child. It may involve some planning and extra forethought, but your child’s smile is certainly worth it.