Teaching Kids to Floss The Right Way!
Flossing is a very tricky part of oral hygiene routines. In fact, even adults tend to fail to do it properly (or at all), so it’s pretty understandable if children struggle with it, too.
However, if you want your kid to learn how to floss properly so he can really have, healthy teeth and gums, here are some tips for introducing flossing to your child.
- Show him how it’s done. Kids look up to their parents and are fascinated by what they do – be a good example to your child and show him that you floss regularly.
- Practice flossing using play. One “game” that pediatric dentists recommend in order to introduce and teach flossing to little kids is to create an egg carton mouth. You will need an egg carton (which you’ll have to paint white to resemble teeth), some play dough, and floss (or yarn if you don’t want to waste real floss for a game). Place chunks of play dough in between the “teeth” and ask your child to use the floss to remove the play dough completely. It’s a fun activity that will teach your child the significance of flossing and how to go about it properly. Another game that will teach flossing to your kid is the “Peanut Butter-Rubber Gloves” game. It’s very similar to the egg carton game — the gloves serve as teeth, and the peanut butter represents the food debris stuck between teeth.
- Create a fun flossing song. Just change the lyrics of your child’s favorite nursery rhymes to teach flossing or simply to make the activity enjoyable for the little one. A good song that a lot of dentists recommend is “Floss, Floss, Floss Your Teeth” which is sung to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” But, if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can create a completely original song. Your kid will feel mighty special to have his own flossing song.
- Buy cute flosses. There are so many of these created by dental hygiene companies; they come in fun colors and shapes. These will surely get your child excited about flossing.
- Provide a thorough explanation to your kid about the importance of flossing – you can use a YouTube video or show pictures online – to make him understand why it needs to be done. And then, create a reward program for him that will encourage him to floss. This will encourage him to be consistent with flossing, but eventually, this form of reinforcement will just fully establish flossing as part of the oral care routine, such that your child will do it even if there’s no reward.
Last but not least, talk to your pediatric dentist about which teeth might need special attention. This will reinforce your child’s good flossing habits.