We all know that getting your kids to brush their teeth on a twice-daily basis is a feat in itself, but what about the added task of flossing? Many children, and even adults, skip flossing because it seems unnecessary and can be time consuming. Flossing, however, is just as important to dental health as regular tooth brushing is, and children should start flossing at as young as two years old as teeth may begin growing closer together. Here are some ways to help your kids enjoy flossing if they make a regular habit of skipping it during the dental care routine.
Floss with them.
Your children will, foremost, learn by your example. So if flossing isn’t quite a regular habit for you, make it one for the sake of instilling strong habits of good dental care in your children. Just as brushing your teeth with your kids can encourage them to brush those pearly whites, flossing directly after with them will help them to see flossing as a central—rather than optional—part of a good dental care routine.
Let them choose a fun floss flavor.
Take your kids with you to the dental care aisle in the grocery store so that they can choose their very own flavors of floss. So many dental care products are geared towards children these days, and when your kids see flavors like grape, orange, and mixed berry, they’ll become more excited at the prospect of flossing on a daily basis. And when you let your kids choose their own dental care products, they’re more likely to take ownership of their own dental care.
Explore floss alternatives.
Some children might find using traditional floss too cumbersome at such a young age. If this is the case, don’t push them to use it. Instead, look at flossing alternatives such as the increasingly popular disposable plastic flosser. These come in a variety of flavors as well, and flossers made for children generally come in a wide range of colors to make them more fun to pick out and use.
Create a progress calendar.
Many children respond well to goal setting when it is accompanied with a visual chart for achievement. If you’ve set a goal with your child to floss every day for one month, consider creating a chart that you can add a sticker to each day that your child successfully flosses his or her teeth. You can even make creating the chart a fun activity by having your child color in artwork surround the chart and picking out dental care themed stickers to put on the chart.