As a parent, it’s always your goal to teach your kids healthy habits from an early age. When we think about healthy habits, the first thing that comes to mind typically relates to how we eat and how we stay active. But health is about more than just food and exercise; hygiene is incredibly important for the health and wellness of our kids.
Children don’t naturally gravitate toward dental hygiene, and it’s typically a practice that needs to be taught and reinforced. When it comes to dental hygiene, one of the trickiest steps can be getting kids to floss. Kids should start flossing once they have two teeth adjacent to one another, so it typically starts quite early in age. Ideally, it’s a skill that they learn to do by themselves.
Flossing is incredibly important for removing particles of food and plaque that get stuck between the teeth. Regular flossing can help polish the sides of the teeth, and it also prevents tartar buildup.
Follow our guide to discover the best ways to make flossing a regular part of your kids’ routine, setting them up for a healthy future.
1. Lead by Example
Dental hygiene can be a family affair, and kids who floss are likely to have parents who floss. Make flossing an activity that you do with your child, and you’ll both enjoy the benefits.
The best way to achieve this is to make flossing a regular part of your daily routine, just like eating and bathing. You can take this a step further by making dental visits a routine activity, too. Many dentists, like those from Vellore Woods Dentistry, offer services for both pediatric and adult patients in the same location. By making dental hygiene part of your daily and yearly routine, you can help the whole family stay healthy.
2. Find the Right Floss
Kids have sensitive gums, so it’s important to find dental floss that suits their needs. Dental floss for kids should be soft and pliable so that their teeth and gums aren’t hurt in the process. Aim for about 45 centimeters of floss if you’re using a standard roll. Children’s dental floss often comes in different colors to make it more appealing. By letting your child select their favorite color, the process becomes more special and personalized.
If your child has a hard time holding the floss, there are other methods to explore. Children over the age of 6 are able to use a Waterpik to floss, and many of them will find this to be quite fun. Another approach is to use a floss stick, which can be the easiest option for a child to hold. A typical flossing session requires 1-2 floss sticks, which should be thrown away after use.
3. Make a Game Out of It
By making flossing fun, kids are more likely to make it a regular part of their day. The best way to make flossing fun is to make a game out of it.
Set up a flossing chart where the kids can earn stickers after they complete the task. It gives the kids something to look forward to, helps them visually set a goal, and adds an element of fun. When the chart is full of stickers, the kids can enjoy a small reward, like a toy or game.
Another way to make it fun is to add music. Let the kids pick a song they’d like to listen to while they floss in order to make the experience more enjoyable. With music, flossing feels less like a chore. Finish up with positive reinforcement, as it’ll help build the foundation for a lifetime of dental health.
With these tips in mind, your little one should be a flossing pro in no time. When you lead by example, let your kids have a say in the floss they want to use, and make a game of it, your child will soon be reaping the benefits of flossing.