Helping parents to get kids to floss

smiling family flossing together

Most parents do a good job of teaching their children how to brush properly, but flossing is more challenging. Here are a few tips you can give parents to help them raise a flosser.

Start the learning process early

Children can typically begin flossing their own teeth from the age of seven, but the time to start teaching this skill is as soon as they have two teeth side by side. Toddlers will need to have mom or dad do most of the work, but letting kids get their hands on floss as young as possible is an important aspect of building strong oral health habits.

Let kids pick their own floss

Let children choose their own floss from the dozens of brands, colors, flavors and styles available. Be sure to put their selection aside as “their floss” and emphasize it being different from any siblings’.

Consider dental floss picks

While dental floss picks are not quite as effective as traditional dental floss, they’re much better than not flossing at all. Many children prefer dental floss picks, especially if they struggle to floss properly with traditional floss.

Make flossing fun

Make flossing a fun event.

  • Make silly faces in the mirror while you floss
  • Choose a special “flossing” song and play it every time you floss together
  • Choreograph a flossing dance to go along with the music

Set up a reward chart

Putting up a flossing chart is a good way to encourage children to floss daily. Consider a small reward for every three or four consecutive days of flossing and a larger prize for long-term success.

Don’t give up

Being a parent can be exhausting, but it’s vital that all parents understand how important building a flossing habit is for their children.