Brushing is what keeps the surfaces of teeth clean. But it's flossing that gets the bacteria and other stuff that sometimes gets into the gaps between teeth. Even if you've reached a point where your child is in the habit of brushing regularly, it's not always easy for them to embrace flossing. Make it a less stressful task by considering some of the following fun ways to get your child to floss.
Make Flossing a Game
Turn flossing into a game by creating a friendly competition between either you and your child or among siblings. It can be as simple as awarding gold stars or points on a board or colorful chart every time someone flosses. Whoever keeps up with their daily flossing gets bragging rights for accumulating the most stars or points.
Award Small Prizes
Reward your good little flosser with a small prize that's meaningful to them, such as getting to be the one to pick the movie for movie night or staying up a little later than usual on non-school nights. If you have more than one child, give each one a prize if they meet their flossing goals for the week. This way everyone has an incentive to floss.
Let Them Pick Their Floss
Next time you need dental floss, let your kids pick it out. They may be more likely to floss if it's mint flavored or in a container with a cartoon character on it. Floss also comes in different colors that may appeal more to your child than standard white. Consider accessories like a handheld floss holder if your kids have trouble properly gripping floss.
According to the American Dental Association, flossing should be done at least once a day. Cleaning the gaps between teeth can reduce the risk of gum disease and other dental problems. Bacteria in plaque feeds on food in these gaps and releases a type of acid that can damage the surface of teeth and cause cavities to form. Further ensure your child's good oral health by scheduling regular dental visits.
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