You can’t always win your battles. Getting your child to floss regularly can be a particularly tiring one. Flossing, in general, can be a chore regardless of age. We learned, however, that using floss is beneficial to reducing your oral plaque and preventing build-up between your teeth. Starting your child early down this path, then, doesn’t just make it easier for them to build the habit. It also sets them up for a better start in their dental health journey. Fortunately, there are flossing tips for kids that can make the task much more manageable.
If you’re a parent who wants to teach their child how to floss, remember that it’s easier to explain something you already know and embody. If your dental health is in trouble, however, you might want to back off the platitudes until you’re back on track. If all is well on the dental front, however, chances are you’ll be much more successful in building a flossing habit in your kids.
That said, how can you turn flossing from a tiring chore to second nature? Here are some flossing tips for kids you might want to try out:
- Listen to their needs
There’s a lot of reasons why your child could be averse to the idea of flossing. It might be tedious for their young muscles to reach the crevices of their back molars. Navigating the floss between their teeth might be another source of the difficulty. And it can be scary to have a piece of floss caught between their gums. While you’re teaching them how to floss, then, be sure you’re receptive to their needs, as this can color their experience. If they have a hard time flossing until their back molars, look for ways to make it easier for them. If the floss is the problem, consider a thinner, waxed version that can easily slip through your little one’s teeth.
- Let your children participate
Gone are the days when drilling the motions were the only way to teach young children anything. Over the years, we’ve discovered that the more participation a child has in the learning process, the more likely they were to retain what they’d learned.
The same goes for teaching them how to floss. Whether this means letting your kids pick out their floss of choice or trying out the techniques themselves, giving them a level of participation can make flossing a fun endeavor.
- Be the example they need
Children often learn faster when they have someone to follow. Toddlers, in particular, tend to imitate the people around them to learn more about the world they inhabit. That said, you can use this as an opportunity to get them interested in flossing. Bring your child along whenever you do floss. And if they do show an interest in learning how to, let them follow. Not only can you help them out when they encounter a snag, but the quality time spent while you floss together can turn it into a pleasurable moment for them.