Do you have a child who is resisting flossing his or her teeth? For many children, flossing can be unpleasant and even downright scary. However, it's important that they work past their fear and discomfort and get in the habit of flossing on a regular basis. Flossing is one of the most effective ways to remove plaque and bacteria. If your child doesn't floss, he or she could suffer a number of serious issues, including tooth and enamel decay and gum problems. Here are a few tips to help you get your child to floss regularly:
Make it fun. If your child is like most, he or she probably loves silly games or songs. Come up with a flossing song and dance that you do while he or she is flossing. The longer they floss, the longer you have to do your silly song and dance. Or come up with a story about how the bacteria are evil bad guys and the floss is the only thing that can stop them. Flossing doesn't have to be a chore to be dreaded. Make it fun and your child will likely be less resistant.
Get them their own tools. The traditional way of flossing is to wrap the floss around your fingers. However, for many children, that's difficult to manage. Instead, get them their own flossing stick. It comes with two prongs at the end to hold the floss. That way, they simply have to put the end of the flossing stick in between their teeth, which they'll probably find to be a much simpler task.
Also, many children's flossing sticks come in fun designs with popular children's characters. Ask your pediatric dentist if they carry a stick that your child may like.
Let them watch you. The most effective step may be to let your child watch you floss. That will take some of the mystery out of it and will show them that there's nothing to be afraid of. You can even sit down and let them look in your mouth so they can see that it's not damaging your teeth or causing pain. Plus, it will also keep you on task with your own flossing.
Get a prize chart. Many pediatric dentists offer charts that you can use to encourage brushing and flossing. Simply put a sticker on the chart every time your child does one of those activities. When they have enough stickers, give them a non-monetary prize, like a later bedtime or a trip to their favorite park. By tying the flossing to a positive reward, you'll help your child build a healthy habit.
For more information, talk to a pediatric dentist like those at Advanced Dental Professionals. They can help you with other tips to get your child to floss.