When basic brushing can be difficult to get kids to do, it’s understandable for parents to dismiss flossing entirely. However, while it may be easier in the short term not to fight with them, your child is missing out on lifelong healthy habits if you don’t enforce them. Before you wash your hands of flossing, try these tips first.
1. Do It with Them
Younger kids love to do things with adults. When it can seem like their world is so different from yours, it can be a nice change when you’re both engaging in the same activity. There’s no need to make it into an elaborate event every night, but you can make flossing extra special if you put on a song you both enjoy.
2. Turn It Into a Game
Your kid likely loves to win, so why not make the whole thing into a fun challenge. If they’re able to floss every night for five nights in a row, they can push their bedtime out an extra hour on the weekend. Or if they floss during commercials, they can watch what they like. Just make sure that whatever you choose, it’s an incentive that your child will be motivated to get.
3. Make Up a Tale
Maybe the little particles of food hiding between their teeth are space rocks. Maybe the floss is an undercover spy going for a secret mission. Stories like these help connect with children and give them a reason to use their imaginations while they floss. It’s a neat trick that can have them rethinking dental habits for many years to come.
The goal with all of these tips is to give your child positive memories of dental care. Flossing regularly can help them avoid anything from gum disease to tooth loss, and it’s unfortunately all too easy to neglect as you get older. Instead of standing at a sink wishing they were doing anything else but staring in the mirror at their teeth, these tips give the whole activity very different connotations, ones they might remember later on. It can also help them have more successful trips to the dentist with less fear and more successful pediatric checkups.