Tips to Get Kids to Floss
Anyone who has young kids knows that it is not always easy getting them to floss their teeth. Like any part of dental care, it can be hard to motivate kids to take that important step in flossing. For very young kids getting into a flossing routine is great to encourage long term dental health, so begin preparing kids early for complete dental hygiene. The best thing to do is make the event a positive one. Kids are very perceptive and they respond easily to encouragement and rewards. After brushing, try to emphasize the importance of flossing and make the experience a positive and rewarding one.
Make the Experience Positive
Children, even young ones, often pick up on concepts faster than adults imagine. Explaining to your kids the importance of taking care of their teeth and how flossing helps them do that can instill a sense of importance and respect for their teeth that may help them overcome reluctance to floss. In other words, putting the experience in context to personal health and well being can help kids see their daily brushing and flossing in a more positive way. This requires constantly encouraging good brushing habits and consistency in flossing. When kids understand why dental care is important, they’ll understand that flossing is benefiting them and keeping their teeth and gums healthy.
Reward Good Flossing
In addition to this approach, you can also reward kids for good brushing and consistent flossing. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a reward of food; it can be related to something else. In fact, rewarding kids with sweets after brushing and flossing may not always be the most effective way to encourage good dental health. As long as the kids understand the effect sugar has on their teeth and can still practice good oral care, this type of reward is fine. You just have to make sure it doesn’t become problematic and begin to affect their oral health.
Rewards can also take the form of doing something your kids want to do–like taking them to a movie, a sports game, etc. The important part is not to condition them for elaborate rewards every time they floss, but keep the practice positive to reinforce that flossing is not a punishment or something to be avoided. With your encouragement and a little effort, your kids might even come to enjoy flossing. Their long term dental health will certainly improve.