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4 Tips for Teaching Kids to Floss

Teaching your kids good brushing and flossing habits early on will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. A lot of kids need extra encouragement to floss daily. After all, flossing is a bit time consuming, and it's certainly not as entertaining as playing video games or trying out a new toy! Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways to make flossing more appealing to your little ones.

  • Make a flossing chart.

Create a chart that has an empty box for every day of the coming month. When your child flosses, let him or her put a sticker in that day's box. If your child flosses every day for a month (or misses two days or less, if you're feeling generous) reward him or her with a small gift. If you have more than one child, make it a competition to see who fills in the most boxes by the end of the month.

  • Play "The Flossing Game" on the way to school.

If you drive your kids to and from school, consider packing floss in the car. Then, play the flossing game -- which simply entails all passengers in the car flossing their teeth whenever you stop at a red light or a crosswalk. If you're always scrambling to get out the door in the morning, this game ensures flossing does not get overlooked.

  • Create your own flossing dance to a favorite song.

Gather the whole family in the bathroom, and then play a favorite tune. Work together to choreograph a dance that involves flossing and other fun motions. For example, you could do hip dance moves during the verses and floss during the chorus. Repeat the dance each night until you've perfected it, and then work on a new one!

  • Let them pick their own flossersScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.50.06 PM

Pre-threaded floss picks, or flossers as they are sometimes called, are great for promoting oral health for children. They're easier to use than regular floss, and they come in fun colors. Let your kids pick out their own flossers in the store, and they'll be more excited to use them.

Flossing is an essential component of oral health for children. At your child's next checkup, ask the dentist how your child is doing with flossing. We can let you know if there are areas they should focus on and show your children some helpful flossing techniques. Visit our Family Dentistry page for frequently asked questions about patients of all ages!