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Flossing for kids revisited

A few weeks ago we blogged about tips to encourage your children to begin flossing and we received a lot of positive feedback. So much so, that we decided to dedicate another weekly blog towards this topic.

Children should start flossing as soon as their teeth begin to sit next to one another. It gets rid of food and bacterial plaque that sit between the teeth and lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath—but all that is hard for a child to parse. Here are some tricks to make it fun… and to help make it a lifelong habit.

Sing along

Choose a short book or a song to floss to. This make daily flossing more entertaining, and it gives your flossing session a definitive duration. If the kids know the activity ends when the music ends, they’re more likely to want to participate.

Compete

You and your child can floss together and see who gets more gross stuff out of their teeth. Disgusting… but effective.

Use an app

Chomper Chums is an app that gamifies brushing, flossing and rinsing using a horse, a lion and an alligator. It’s fun, unique, fairly brilliant and very effective.

Just add water

Ideal for kids with braces, or those who have trouble flossing, oral irrigators like this are effective and easy to use.

Give a reward

Put a sticker on a calendar for every successful teeth-cleaning session. When your child has thirty consecutive stickers, let them claim a small gift. Yes, that’s bribery but it works.

Consider flossing sticks

Some kids don’t like wrapping string floss around their fingers, and some have a hard time getting the string between their teeth. Think about letting them choose floss sticks, which come in exciting colours and flavours. The downside to this is more plastic usage and it is not as effective, so please consider the switch with care.

Establish a consistent routine

Kids are more likely to follow (and less likely to reject) an established routine. Getting the flossing habit started early is important!

Let us help you them

When your child goes in for a checkup, your dental team will reinforce the need for brushing and flossing, help them with their technique, and send them away with a brand new toothbrush as incentive to keep practicing optimal dental hygiene.