How to Encourage Kids to Floss
You can brush your child’s teeth twice a day – but it’s not enough. To help prevent tooth decay and maintain a healthy mouth, your child should be flossing daily. Flossing is crucial to help remove food particles and bacteria from forming cavities. Without flossing, a child can easily develop gum disease and face other dental issues down the road. However, telling your child how important flossing is may not convince them to do it every day. Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry has tips to help parents encourage their children to floss daily.
5 Ways to Get Your Child to Floss
- Make it musical. Sing a song with your child while flossing their teeth. One song, to the tune of Row, Row Your Boat, “Floss, floss, floss your teeth, Every single day. Gently, gently, gently, gently, Whisking plaque away.”
- Give a visual. Most children, especially those that are younger, understand best when they can see how something works rather than being told. There are a few ways to visually show how flossing works, including the peanut butter method.
- Get colorful. Make flossing more fun with colored or flavored flosses that your child will enjoy picking out and using.
- Set a good example. One of the best ways a child learns is by seeing their parents do it first. Your child is more likely to want to floss when they see you flossing, too. Encourage your child to floss with you and make it a fun activity to do together.
- Reward progress. Use a sticker chart or something like it to track your child’s progress. Each time they floss, place a sticker on the chart. After so many stickers, reward them with something they consider an incentive, i.e. toy, activity, or snack.
Prevent Gum Disease
Gingivitis, or gum disease, is common in children due to a lack of flossing. It’s important that you start flossing your child’s teeth once they have teeth adjacent to each other. Using these fun methods to get your child to floss from the start will help ease them into a daily routine.
If you have more questions about how to floss your child’s teeth, contact Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry.