Being a parent is rarely easy, but it certainly can be rewarding. You have to teach your children about cleaning up their messes, as well as cleaning their mouths after meals. As you know, flossing is a crucial part of an effective hygiene routine, and it’s going to really benefit your little one to understand that as well. Teaching kids how to floss effectively might not seem simple, but a pediatric dentist in Scottsdale is here to offer some simple tips to help them develop this dental cleanliness skill.
Help Your Child Find the Fun in Flossing
Does your child avoid caring for their teeth because they find it boring? Well, you can foster their excitement by making the experience fun. For example, you could make brushing and flossing a family activity.
Gather everyone in your household into the bathroom and floss at the same time. It’s a great way to instill the importance of flossing! You can also play your child’s favorite song and allow them to dance while they clean their teeth, showing them how amusing it can be.
Create a Flossing Routine
Your child should start flossing as soon as their teeth touch one another. After teaching them how to floss, make sure you remind them to do it at least once a day (ideally right before bed).
It’s worth noting that most children will need assistance with this oral hygiene step until they’re at least 6-7 years old. However, practice makes perfect! Keep encouraging them and offering tips until they become a master at it.
Make Use of Visual Instruction
If you hand a child some dental floss, they’re not going to automatically know what to do with it. That’s why using visuals is a great tool for teaching children how to floss! One way of showing them the proper technique is by conducting a demonstration.
For example, have your child watch you eat chocolate. Once you’re done, thoroughly floss your teeth to show how well it removes leftover food particles. You can give your little one a floss pick to practice on their teeth.
Offer Rewards for Their Flossing Efforts
Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage children to complete tasks. You can create a chart and give your child a gold star each day she flosses. If they are consistent and floss every day, you can reward them at the end of the week with a prize or a fun activity. Over time, it’ll help them turn flossing into a solid habit.
Are you searching for answers when it comes to teaching kids how to floss? Follow the tips outlined above. If needed, you can always ask a pediatric dentist in Scottsdale for more ways to make flossing fun for children.
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Martinez earned her dental doctorate from Marquette University. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and maintains an Arizona state sedation license. A board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Martinez will be happy to further discuss your child learning to floss during their next checkup and cleaning. Schedule one on her website or call (480) 282-6746.