Do your children love eating sweets? Did their last visit to the dentist indicate early signs of tooth decay? Then you need to take their dental health more seriously.
Though tooth decay in children is more common among the nation’s poorest families, it doesn’t mean that kids from well-off families are safe. Without proper dental care, tooth decay can develop in any child, regardless of his family’s socio-economic status.
And apart from brushing, you should start teaching your children how to floss. But what if flossing teeth is something that your kids hate? Is there a way to develop your kids’ love for flossing?
Continue reading below as we teach you nine effective ways to make flossing more enjoyable and exciting for your children.
How to Make Flossing Teeth Fun for Your Child
1. Flossing Teeth Early
There is a saying that a child’s mind is like a sponge. It will easily absorb anything and everything that you teach. Thus, you need to introduce flossing early to your kids.
Starting them young comes with many benefits. But aside from these advantages, introducing them early to flossing will help establish the foundations for a lifelong habit.
But when is the earliest time to floss your kids’ teeth? As soon as they reach 2 or 2 ½ years old, you may examine their teeth if they are ready for flossing. If you see two of their teeth touching, then you can start them with flossing.
Generally, a toddler’s last two molars are the ones that will likely touch together. That becomes an area that their toothbrush can no longer reach.
The younger you start, the more they will find flossing enjoyable as they grow more teeth.
2. Use the Egg Carton Mouth
Another way of making flossing exciting is through demonstration. But not with your teeth; instead, use an egg carton mouth.
Take one of your empty egg cartons and prepare some playdough, white paint, and dental floss. Paint the entire carton white and fold it in half. You want to arrange it in the shape of your top and bottom teeth.
Take some of the playdough and fill up the spaces in-between the teeth. Take some of the floss and guide your child in flossing the teeth to remove the clay. Make sure to explain what the clay represents and why you need to remove them.
3. Turn it Into a Game
If you don’t have an egg carton at home, turn floss time into game time. You can play some make-believe where your kids can be superheroes fighting off bad guys. This time around, the bad guys are the cavities.
Tell them that by flossing, they are fighting off those evil cavities that are out to destroy their teeth.
4. Join Them
Though cavity protection is a personal matter, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t make it a family affair. Bring the excitement level up by flossing together with your kids.
One of the secrets to developing the habit among kids is letting them see their parents floss. By joining them, they will learn the proper way of flossing teeth. Moreover, you can correct their mistakes early.
And much like riding a bike, flossing together helps make the task more engaging.
5. Let Them Choose
Since you want to make flossing more engaging, involve your kids further by letting them choose the dental floss. There are many types of flosses for kids. They come in colorful containers, as well as styles and flavors.
There are also water flossers and floss sticks that come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they even come with the kids’ favorite superheroes and cartoon characters.
If your children are old enough to pick, take them to the grocery and let them choose their floss.
6. Turn Up the Volume
Since children love singing songs, play some of their favorite tunes while flossing. Go to YouTube and search for flossing songs that you and your kids can dance to. Go for fast and upbeat songs that will keep the excitement level high.
At the end of your flossing session, make sure to celebrate by shouting “hooray!”
7. Establish a Reward System
If you’re struggling to convince your kids to floss, introduce a reward system for motivation. Start by showering them with praises every time they finish flossing. Thereafter, you can give them a treat like reading their favorite bedtime story.
You may also buy some stickers, which you can give as a reward. To make things more interesting, give your rewards every week. This will motivate your kids to floss throughout the week in exchange for a prize.
The prize can be a book, a small toy, or anything that will encourage your children to continue the habit.
8. Encourage Them
Speaking of encouragement, cheer on your kids as they go through the flossing motion. Shower them with words of encouragement especially when they’re struggling.
If they are wearing braces, increase your encouragement. Flossing with braces is tougher than you think, so you need to give all the support your kids need. After every session, praise them for a job well done.
Tell them how clean and shiny their teeth are.
9. Try Some Apps
Last but not least, you may download some dental apps. Some apps like “brushDJ” play music that encourages brushing and flossing. There are others like “Toothsavers” that tell stories that aim to give kids incentives if they brush and floss.
You may also try “Chomper Chums” that make brushing and flossing a game. The app gives your kids digital coins that they earn from brushing and flossing. In turn, they can use these digital coins to buy food for the app’s different animal pets.
Protect Your Child’s Teeth, Today!
Aside from avoiding some of the most common tooth brushing mistakes, flossing teeth boosts your children’s battle against cavities. And to complete your kids’ dental hygiene, they need to visit the dentist at least twice a year.
If you’re searching for a family dentist you can trust, our practice will be more than happy to take care of your children’s teeth. Connect with us today and request an appointment. Let’s keep those cavities at bay through our quality family dentistry.