Published on October 2, 2021, Updated on December 2, 2021
As grownups, we know how crucial regular flossing is in addition to brushing our teeth every day. This is also critical for the well-being of our children. Trying to instill the habit of flossing in youngsters is just as important as educating them to brush their teeth, as brushing alone does not eliminate dental plaque and the harmful bacteria contained within. On the other hand, flossing removes food particles and plaque that become trapped between the teeth and can result in periodontal diseases such as gum disease, foul breath, and dental cavities. Establishing a habit of flossing early on will help your kids maintain better dental health in the future, which can result in significant financial savings, reduce dental pain, and prevent the development of other oral health concerns. Now, how are you going to get your child to floss when they would much prefer to be doing something else? Here are some suggestions for teaching your child that flossing can be enjoyable as well!
Explain the Importance of Flossing to your child
Brushing teeth correctly and regularly aids in the removal of most dental plaque. Brushing alone, on the other hand, is unsuccessful at eliminating plaque that has been trapped in regions that the toothbrush cannot reach. This consists of the crevices between the teeth and under the gums. Flossing plays an important role in this. Flossing assists in the removal of food debris that has become stuck between the teeth. This particle provides breeding sites for germs and adds to plaque formation. Remind your child of the potential consequences of not flossing, which include the following:
- Bad Breath or Foul Breath (Halitosis)
- More Plaque Formation and Dental Cavities
- Gum Disease
- Bleeding Gums
Talk about the significance of flossing with your child in avoiding these dental issues. If dental plaque is not removed, it can wreak havoc on not only the teeth but also on the gum tissue, resulting in major problems in the future. As per the American Academy of Periodontology (which concentrates on gum health), brushing and flossing at least twice each day is the most efficient strategy for preventing gum disease, although less than 15% of Americans floss routinely. It is about time to boost those statistics by initiating children on the right path.
Flossing, as most dentists believe, is just as necessary as brushing. It is, however, a more challenging habit to cultivate, in part because many parents have a negative perception of flossing. Your child’s primary teeth, like your permanent teeth, should be brushed and flossed routinely. Not only can an excellent dental hygiene routine help maintain your child’s teeth healthy and free from cavities, but it can also help prevent your child from developing gum disease or another periodontal disease. Educate your children on proper oral care to avoid dental caries and toothaches. Flossing is pretty much a pleasant habit once you’ve formed it and it’s critical to explain this to your kids.
Furthermore, you can suggest that the dentist explains to your child the significance of flossing during one of your child’s regular dental visits. Pediatric dentists are proficient at relaying complex concepts to children and are likely to do a greater job than most parents.
How to make flossing fun?
While flossing is not always fun, it also does not have to be considered a duty! Making flossing entertaining for your youngster will aid in their habit formation. With time, patience, and determination, you may encourage your child in creating lifelong dental hygiene practices. The following are some suggestions and techniques for convincing your child to floss regularly:
Floss Together with Your Child or as a Family – You can’t assume your child to acquire excellent dental hygiene if they are unaware of the procedures involved. If you want to instill in your child an enthusiasm for flossing, floss with them. It’s always more fun and encouraging to complete challenging tasks with another individual, especially if that person is a close family member. You can establish a family routine of brushing and flossing twice daily. Also, this will guarantee that your own flossing regimen is maintained.
Make Flossing into a Game to Establish Understanding – You can make a simple and fun game with a mixture of facts about the benefits of flossing to ignite your child’s interest in flossing. Regardless of whether your kids compete against each other, a father or mother, or even against time, turning tedious routines into entertaining games helps make them more bearable. Keep track of your child’s progress and award points or add a fun song or pleasant story into every flossing routine. Whatever you choose to make this session more exciting, don’t forget to give a reward to your child for a job well done. Read a good bedtime story for your child or if your kid is older, allow him or her to watch an episode of their favorite television show prior to bedtime. Create a chart where you may reward your youngster with a star for flossing. The more stars they acquire, the more rewards they will receive. As the stars accumulate, raise the value of the treats. Simply make periodic changes to the rewards to retain your kid’s interest.
Create a Flossing Chart – Making an engaging flossing chart and placing it near the bathroom sink is one of the most unique and interesting ways to urge your child to floss everyday. This increases the enjoyment of flossing because you’ll be able to:
- Offer non-monetary rewards for completing a task.
- Track the progress of their development with entertaining stickers or colorful markers.
- Build a precious family custom that your kids will cherish for the coming years.
Allow Your Child to Pick the Flossing Tool – It may be difficult for your youngster to use regular dental floss with string. They may not relish the experience of putting the string around their fingers or inserting the floss between their teeth. Allowing youngsters to select their own floss sticks or water flosser solves this problem. Floss sticks come in a variety of bright colors, flavors, and designs. Kids might even come across their favorite cartoon character or superhero among the brands sold in the market. If you want to minimize waste and prevent using replaceable floss altogether, a water flosser may be more cost-effective. They last years and are frequently viewed as a more practical and comfortable flossing tool than conventional methods. Moreover, water flossers allow your child to customize them using decorations.
Suggest Daily or Nightly Inspections for their ‘Big-Kid Teeth’ – The phase of losing child teeth and erupting ‘big-kid teeth’ is thrilling for a baby. Not just because the tooth fairy will make a visit, but seeing those new dazzling pearly whites arise out of nothing can seem miraculous to a child. Encourage your children to check their big-kid teeth spots each night to ‘make space’ for the eruption of healthy permanent teeth. Turn their own mouths into an exploration zone on par with the dinosaur bone dig exhibition at the local museum.
When Flossing Becomes an Issue
When your child first begins flossing his or her teeth, bleeding gums are extremely frequent. It is normally not a problem as long as the bleeding ceases instantly. Some children may have a particularly sensitive mouth or an intense gag reflex, which makes flossing difficult. To help alleviate this concern, explain to your child that it is fine for them to pause flossing and take a break if they grow irritated or fearful. Letting them take a few slow breaths can help them relax. If your kid has autism or an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, they are more than likely to have oral health problems, including difficulties in flossing. You may consult a pediatric dentist who is experienced in treating young patients with particular needs.
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