So your kid keeps getting cavities due to lack of flossing…

Let’s face it: trying to convince your child to floss regularly can be a daunting task.  Unfortunately for you, the parent, a child’s resistance to flossing can cause more stress and eventually a higher cost in dental care.  However, with a little understanding and some help along the way, your children should be able to become expert flossers in no time!  Here is a short, simple, and effective list of tips for encouraging your youngsters to floss!

  • Lead by example.  This is a no-brainer as children imitate what they see, especially when it’s the behavior of a parent.  A good way to implement this is to have parent/child flossing times daily.
  • Teach the tricks.  Not only is learning to floss an uncomfortable experience for the most part, it can be difficult to learn proper technique without proper instruction.  Take the opportunity to show your child tips and tricks to achieve better results.
  • Start them early.  Dental experts agree that optimal dental hygiene should be introduced even prior to a child’s teeth coming in.  Since this list is specific to flossing, teeth will need to be in place.  However, once the pattern and feel are set in their young years, making the switch to flossing on their own will be easier for them to make.
  • Make it fun.  There are literally thousands of kid-friendly dental accessories widely available.  Purchase some silly floss, cartoon toothbrushes, bubblegum toothpaste, and light up brushing timers.  These types of accessories will lend a fun feel to an otherwise mundane task.
  • Track their progress.  Set weekly or monthly tracking papers for your child to fill in whenever they finish flossing each day.  This will allow them to have a visual aid and reminder to floss daily and provide you with a sense of relief, knowing they are properly maintaining their teeth.
  • Offer exam incentives.  If your child has been bugging you for a new toy that you would not buy otherwise, offer it as an incentive after their next dental visit.  Reiterate the point that proper flossing contributes to no cavities and without cavities they can earn their new toy.