Anyone who has spent any time as a parent or a babysitter understands that getting kids to brush their teeth is hard. They won’t sit still, make a mess of the toothpaste, and never seem to brush long enough; however, this challenge doesn’t match the difficulty that caregivers have convincing children to floss. Many parents try to floss their children’s teeth but have trouble reaching the back from their position. Kids will squirm constantly and don’t like it when their gums bleed. If only there was a better way to encourage children to floss.
Let the Kids Select the Flossers
This is one of the tried and true tips that many parents have discovered. Instead of using the old-fashioned floss, there are many options out there that have flossers in the shape of animals, foods, cars, and other popular objects. It can be helpful to take the kids to the store and let them pick out their flosser of choice. If they select the product, parents will have a better chance of winning the flossing war. Who knows, the kids may even start to floss all by themselves!
Floss With the Kids
Some kids don’t like to floss because they feel it’s an unfair punishment when they never see their parents flossing. Instead, show the kids that even adults have to floss. Stand next to the child in the mirror with the floss in hand and show them how it’s done. Many kids want to be just like their parents. If they see that their parents are flossing, they are more likely to acquiesce to the challenges of flossing.
Incentivize Kids to Floss
Sometimes, it can be helpful to offer a reward to kids for flossing. Assign a certain number of points to each tooth and give the child points for every tooth that they floss. Then, give the child extra points if they floss every tooth multiple days in a row. At the end, tally up the points and reward the child with an extra episode of their favorite TV show, a new toy, a trip to the store, or whatever the parent sees fit. Making a game out of flossing with a prize at the end if a great way to reward the child for taking care of their teeth. This will also help to build a healthy habit that they can carry with them into the future.
If you are looking for a new dental home in Walla Walla or College Place, Dr. Patty Martin and her team at Stone Creek Dental Care would love to see you! Give us a call today at (509) 525-5902.