Even adults take years of dental visits and encounters of gingivitis and cavities to learn that flossing is important. Making flossing a daily habit in early childhood has a long lasting impact including lower dental expenses, less pain and emergencies, and positive oral health consequences. Kids may be reluctant to take up this healthy habit but here are some tips to jump start your child’s understanding that flossing can be fun!
Play a Game to Understand the Importance of Flossing
To get your child excited about the idea of flossing, set up a fun game or activity to understand the importance of flossing. Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry suggests a peanut butter flossing activity. Put on a rubber glove and allow your child to spread peanut butter between your fingers. Explain how the peanut butter resembles plaque and food found between our teeth when we do not floss. Give your child a piece of floss and instruct him/her to try and scrape off all of the peanut butter.
This activity, or something similar, can be a great way to entice your child into trying to floss more often.
Encourage Daily or Nightly Big-Kid Teeth Inspections
Losing baby teeth and growing ‘big-kid teeth’ is an exciting time for most children. Not only does the tooth fairy pay a visit, but watching permanent teeth emerge is just as fun. Encourage your children to inspect their big-kid teeth areas each night by using floss to ‘make room’ or ‘clear the way’ for strong teeth to come in.
Make it a Family Affair
Improve your entire family’s hygiene habits by making flossing a family activity. Seeing a parent or sibling flossing provides a great role model for kids and encourages them to be part of the family night time routine. Start tonight by gathering around a mirror, humming a song together, and flossing! Get creative and imagine your floss is a musical instrument or pick a weekly flossing song with your kids!
Use Floss Sticks
It can be challenging for kids to use dental floss as they are slowly developing fine motor skills. Luckily, floss sticks are available as an easy to grip alternative. These disposable tools come in dozens of bright colors/shapes as well as flavors. Even though these colorful sticks may motivate your young flosser to floss themselves, remember that children under 7 years old still need assistance and supervision from an adult.
In addition, make sure your little ones see the dentist every six months. A pediatric dentist like Dr. Audrey Sheu at Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry will be able to answer any questions you have about their teeth and examine their mouths to make sure they’re free of cavities and tooth decay.
So don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at 626-507-9982 to schedule a consultation in Hacienda Heights, Walnut, Diamond Bar and Whittier, today, and make sure your child’s teeth are healthy and strong.