How to Teach Kids to Floss
If you have children, you know how challenging it can be to teach them good oral hygiene habits. It can take several sessions at the bathroom sink helping them learn the proper way to brush their teeth. Getting kids to brush their teeth can be challenging, but flossing can be even more difficult. The good news is by using various activities; you can show children that flossing can be fun.
Make Fake Teeth
A fun way to teach kids about the importance of flossing is by giving them the opportunity to see what their “teeth” look like with food in between them and how flossing can remove it. To make a fake mouth, you will need either a large plastic construction block or an egg carton to create the fake teeth. If using an egg carton, fold it in half to look like a mouth with teeth. Place chunks of play dough between the “teeth” to simulate food and use actual floss or a piece of yarn to show kids how to remove the “food” from between the teeth. Teach them to gently scrape along the sides of the fake teeth to dislodge the “food.”
Choose short, fun songs to play while kids are flossing. Be sure to choose a song with a slow, but steady beat to encourage kids to move their hands and the floss in time to the music. Be sure kids understand the proper flossing technique beforehand and make sure they don’t floss back and forth too fast, which may damage their gums.
Use Peanut Butter
To play this teaching game, you will need a rubber glove, peanut butter, a toothbrush and floss. Put the rubber glove on and have kids spread the peanut butter on your gloved hand. Once the peanut butter is on the glove, put your fingers together to simulate how close together their teeth are and then ask the kids to use their toothbrush to remove the peanut butter. Ask them to notice how the peanut butter doesn’t come off from between your fingers. Be sure to keep your fingers together and have them remove the peanut butter using the floss. Make sure to point out how important it is to remove the food from between their teeth.
Flossing should begin as soon as kids have two teeth that touch, so you will need to start flossing them. As kids learn how to brush on their own, it is essential that you teach them to floss as well. Introducing good oral hygiene as early as possible will help to make learning about healthy oral habits fun and it will help protect your children’s teeth against tooth decay.
To learn more information about teaching kids healthy oral hygiene habits, contact us at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.