We all know that flossing is just as important as brushing, so getting even the youngest child with teeth to floss is important.
Some parents wonder if flossing is necessary when teeth don’t touch. We say “Definitely!” Flossing will not only help kids develop the habit, it really does help clean all surfaces of the teeth and the gum line.
Skipping flossing increases the chance for your child to develop cavities between their teeth. But with a little creativity, you can actually make flossing feel less like a chore and more like a daily adventure. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Start by making time to floss with your kids. Enlist older siblings as well, and make daily brushing and flossing part of family time.
- Kids can’t get enough of role-playing or acting things out so make flossing and brushing a battle between the evil, tooth destroying bacteria and themselves – the smile super-heroes!
- Teach by example. Let your kids watch you floss. Kids love mimicking their parents!
- Some parents find that beginning the tooth cleaning routine with flossing makes it easier to remember.
- Let your child choose a fun flosser or kid’s floss when choosing a toothbrush. Flavored floss can make the experience more appealing, and specially sized and colorful flossers are extra-easy for kids to handle and maneuver in their mouths.
- Ask us about letting your child use a water flosser. Kids get the hang of it pretty quickly, and it can be gentler on gums than string floss.
- Choose some fun music or a video to help lighten the mood and add to the feeling of celebration. Parents who are already using timed “tooth brushing” music or videos, find it helpful to add some upbeat music to their brushing playlist for flossing as well. It helps make flossing feel like a natural extension of brushing. Flossing in time to the music can make it much less tedious for easily bored kids.
- Post a flossing chart to keep track of how often your kids have flossed. Letting them choose stickers for the chart and offering a fun, non-monetary incentive can add to the appeal.
- Offer lots of praise and encouragement. Try to keep all interaction with your child affirmative while flossing to keep the habit feeling like something to look forward to.
If you have any questions about flossing, please call our Long Island pediatric dental office today so we can set up an appointment for Dr. Ehrenman or Dr. Khan to teach you and your child the best flossing methods. In the meantime, here is a informational video with flossing tips for parents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os0hlwVS2_Q.