If you’re like most of our patients, you do a great job brushing your teeth. When it comes to flossing, though, you’re not quite so consistent.

We find this is especially true for pediatric patients, who need a little extra help to floss regularly. So we’re offering up some tips on how to make flossing fun for the whole family!

Make flossing a family event – Kids always look up to their parents, so seeing you floss is super important. Set a time to brush and floss together as a family, perhaps before the kids go to bed. You can have races to see who can be done first. You can take turns checking each other’s teeth. Or create goofy activities – like challenging each other to the funniest mirror face – that make flossing an enjoyable time for your children.

Keep everyone accountable – Many of our patients use charts or even mobile phone apps to keep track of their children’s chores, including brushing and flossing. But it’s great to show kids that you are doing all those things, too! Make each parent a spot on the chart as well, and give yourself a sticker each time you brush or floss. It’s a visual way to remind kids that you are taking care of your teeth, too!

Have the proper equipment – Using loose floss can be hard for adults, let alone kids. Consider getting each child a flossing tool, or purchase a large bag of single-use flossers. Having a handle to hold makes flossing much easier for children and allows them to better reach between each tooth.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – The complaint we hear most often about flossing is that it hurts. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Our staff is happy to work with you and your children on proper flossing techniques. Just ask at your next check-up!

We know we go on and on about flossing, but it’s really important. Without flossing, you are leaving behind about 40 percent of the bacteria in your mouth, according to the American Dental Association. So give flossing a second chance. And if you do it as a family, it can even be fun!

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