Flossing. It’s the bane of all the oral health chores we do day-in and day-out. While it’s often overlooked, we are reminded each and every time we go to the dentist as our dentist asks us, “do you floss regularly?” Maybe you’re great at it and can give an answer with confidence. Or maybe you’re like many of us who feel we can do better. It can be hard to remember, but it only takes an extra two minutes out of the day to complete.
I think you can see the value in your own flossing. Now it’s time to turn our attention to helping our kids floss. You can make it fun, and help them establish a foundation for oral health by forming this very necessary habit.
The Importance of Flossing
Flossing is essential to maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Flossing is perhaps even more important than brushing because it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing. Tartar is what eventually causes the damage that leads to decay and tooth.
Make Flossing Fun
We all know it- flossing isn’t the funnest thing in the world, and it feels weird! But we can make it so kids want to floss. Let’s make it fun! Here are a few ideas:
Brush Like a Superhero!
Turns out, when superheroes aren’t out fighting crime and saving lives, they’re at home brushing and flossing. True story! And we have a way for your kids to imitate brushing like a hero. Follow the instructions at the link for awesome superhero cutouts that you can tape to the bathroom mirror. Your kids will have so much fun brushing and flossing!
The Peanut Butter Rubber Gloves Game!
This is an idea from Kool Smiles! It’s an awesome way to teach your kids the value of flossing while showing them an example of how flossing works with peanut butter and rubber gloves.
What you will need:
- a rubber glove
- peanut butter
- a toothbrush
- a friend (you can be that friend!)
This activity is pretty simple.
First, put a rubber glove on (you).
Second, have your child cover the glove in peanut butter, including in between fingers. Make sure to keep your fingers tightly closed together after.
Third, have your child take the toothbrush and brush the peanut putter off the glove. Continue to keep your fingers tight. Your child will notice that it’s hard to get in between the fingers.
Fourth, suggest that they try using the floss run between the fingers to get the extra peanut butter. As they slide the floss down each finger, just like they would when flossing.
As the peanut butter is removed, share with your child that this is just like flossing, and that flossing removes the “peanut butter” between our teeth and keeps our gums and teeth healthy!
We hope you use these activities to help your kids learn why flossing is important! Take the time to teach your kids the value of flossing so they can build this habit for the future.
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