Establishing an oral hygiene routine for your child can sometimes be challenging. Many parents tend to overlook important steps in their own oral care routine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes flossing as a crucial part of maintaining oral hygiene to prevent the buildup of excess food and plaque, which can lead to cavities. It’s never too early to start incorporating flossing into your child’s routine. According to the American Dental Association, you can begin flossing once your child’s teeth start touching. Just as you assist your child with brushing their teeth, helping them with flossing is vital for both parent and child to ensure that flossing becomes a natural habit with time and practice.
How To Make Flossing Part of Your Child’s Daily Oral Hygiene Routine
Start Flossing Early
Once your child has two adjacent teeth, it is important to start a regular flossing routine. Introducing this habit early on will help both you and your child establish a consistent dental care regimen. Initially, parents may need to assist their child with brushing and flossing until they are capable of doing it independently. We recommend continuing to help your child floss until they reach the ages of 7 to 10 years old. By this time, most children will have developed the skills to floss on their own.
Make Flossing Fun for Kids
Regardless of age, flossing may not always be an enjoyable task. However, incorporating games, challenges, or competitions into your child’s brushing and flossing routine can bring much-needed excitement. As a parent, you know your child best and can discover what motivates them to complete tasks or chores. Consider implementing a reward system for consecutive days of flossing, playing interactive games, or allowing them to choose a favorite song to play while flossing. Remember to praise and reward them for cultivating good oral health habits!
Let Them Pick Out The Floss
Children love the autonomy of making their own choices. Often, decisions are made for them, leaving little room for independence. When it comes to flossing, empower them to take charge by allowing them to select their own supplies. During a shopping trip, take them to the oral health aisle where they can explore the various tools necessary for maintaining clean teeth. Introduce them to different toothbrushes, floss picks, toothpaste, and any other accessories that capture their attention. Within reasonable limits, let them curate their own oral health kit, igniting excitement for brushing and flossing. This can be a regular activity every three months when it’s time to replace toothbrushes and replenish floss.
Set a Regular Time for Brushing and Flossing
When incorporating a new habit into your daily routine, it’s important to hold yourself accountable by setting a consistent time. For example, when it comes to flossing, consider adding it to your child’s morning or bedtime routine. By integrating flossing during times when your child already follows an established routine, it becomes easier to make it a regular practice. Remember, what matters most is that you’re flossing regularly, rather than striving for perfection every time. If you’re looking for easy flossing technique tips, you can explore various methods to make the process more convenient and enjoyable for both you and your child.
Incentivise Good Oral Health Habits
Everyone enjoys being rewarded for their good behavior, and this holds true for adults as well! When it comes to children, why not consider creating an incentive chart to encourage good oral health habits? By consistently brushing and flossing their teeth each day for a week, they can earn a prize of your choosing. You can offer rewards as simple as an extra 30 minutes of electronic time or even a sleepover with friends. The key is to find rewards that will capture their attention and motivate them to continue practicing good oral hygiene.
Pediatric Dentistry by Southern Dental Associates
Preventing cavities through regular flossing and brushing is just one aspect of maintaining your child’s oral health. Regular dental check-ups are also crucial in identifying any potential issues early on. At Southern Dental Associates, our team offers a wide range of services to help promote good oral hygiene habits for children. From cleaning and exams to Invisalign and preventative care, we are dedicated to helping your child develop a lifelong habit of prioritizing their oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and ensure your child’s dental health is in good hands! Remember, it’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth – so why not begin making flossing a part of their daily routine today?