February 20, 2017
Kids Care Dental Pediatric Dentistry
If you have a difficult time remembering to floss, you’re not alone. A national study conducted in 2015 revealed that only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day, and 36 percent of those surveyed admitted that they’d rather do an unpleasant activity, such as cleaning the toilet or sitting in gridlock traffic, than floss. When so many adults have a problem flossing regularly, it’s no wonder that children floss even less frequently than their parents! However, we all want to instill good habits in our kids, and dental hygiene is no exception. So how do you get your child to floss when they would rather be doing anything else? Here are three tricks our pediatric dentists recommend to help make flossing easier for your children.
You can’t expect your child to develop good dental hygiene if they don’t know what that looks like. If you want them to see how important flossing is, make sure you floss with them. It’s always more fun and motivational to do difficult things alongside another person, so make brushing and flossing a family routine twice daily. Plus, this will make sure that you keep up with your own flossing – no more fibbing to the dentist about how often you floss!
Competition breeds success. Whether your children compete against one another, against a parent or even against the clock, tedious chores become less of a pain when you make them a game. Assign points and keep score between two siblings or a parent and child, or add a fun song or story to each flossing session. Whatever you choose to do to make this time more exciting, don’t forget to reward your child for a job well done. Create a flossing chart and hang it on the wall, adding a sticker for each time your child flosses. The more stickers they accumulate, the bigger the reward they receive. Maybe if they floss three days in a row, they get to stay up late, or perhaps they’ll earn a trip to the movie theater for two weeks of daily flossing. Just make sure to change up the rewards from time to time to keep your child interested in the incentives available.
Flossing with string may be difficult for your child. They may not like wrapping the string around their fingers, or they may find it challenging to maneuver the floss between their teeth. An easy way around this is to let them choose their own child-friendly floss sticks or a water flosser. Floss sticks come in a variety of bright colors, flavors and shapes, and they may even find their favorite superhero or cartoon character among the brands available in the store. If you want to reduce waste and avoid disposable floss altogether, a water flosser might be more efficient. They last for years and are generally considered an easier, more fun way to floss than conventional methods. As an added bonus, your child can decorate theirs with stickers and decals to make it their own.
Flossing isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t have to be a chore, either! With patience, time and persistence, you can help your child develop healthy dental hygiene habits that will stick with them throughout their lives. Along with their at-home care, don’t forget to bring your child to the dentist for regular cleanings. With 14 kid-friendly dental offices throughout Sacramento and Northern California, you can count on Kid’s Care Dental to help you and your child establish proper brushing and flossing routines to keep their smile healthy and bright.
Book your child’s appointment today at a Kid’s Care Dental office near you!
Having trouble getting your child to brush their teeth? Click here for tips to help encourage your child to actually enjoy their daily dental routine.Back