Teaching a child to properly floss their teeth can be tough.
It can be challenging for children to get the hang of the see-saw motion required for effective flossing.
Other times, it can be difficult to get between two teeth.
In fact, many parents overlook the importance of flossing when teaching their kids about oral health – which is a big mistake.
That’s why General Floss and the Brushalot Buddies have compiled these four simple tips to help you teach your child to floss:
1. Empower Your Child
First, take your child shopping to let them select a few different floss options. Then, when ready to floss at night, let them choose which one to use.
Giving your little one a sense of control and decision-making power will make them feel empowered and associates the act of flossing with positive feelings.
Remember to commend them on making excellent choices.
2. Monkey see, Monkey do!
Fun fact – even monkey's floss their teeth. They may use a long strand of their hair and not the dental floss we pick up at our run-of-the-mill pharmacy, but the principle is all the same!
To normalize conversations about flossing and get your child thinking about the activity, why not turn to the internet and watch a video of a monkey flossing their teeth?
Your child’s interest and curiosity are likely to be instantly piqued. Chat with them about what the monkey is doing and why, and remind them of your conversation when it’s time to floss their own teeth.
3. Establish a goal, earn a reward!
Just like grown-ups, kids respond to incentives.
Set a flossing goal for your child to achieve and praise them along the way. Encourage them to keep up the good work by promising a fun reward when they achieve their flossing goal.
You may also want to turn it into a competition, something a lot of kids enjoy! Challenge your child to see who can floss the longest – you or them. The thrill of besting Mom or Dad in a robust competition is sure to inspire your child to floss as long as it takes to win, and helps normalize the activity.
4. Set a good example.
Often times, parents don’t brush and floss until after their little ones have gone to sleep. To teach your kid good flossing habits, consider switching it up and flossing in the early evening or even during the day.
Remember, children aspire to emulate their parents. If they see you flossing as part of your regular routine – without making a fuss – it will only be a matter of time before they want to do it themselves – just like Mom and Dad!
When teaching your child to floss, patience is the most important thing. It won’t always be easy and sometimes, when it becomes challenging, your child may become frustrated or want to give up. When that happens, remember to be supportive and encourage them to keep at it.
And always remind them that General Floss and the Brushalot buddies believe in them!
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