Sadly, tooth decay is a growing epidemic among American children. Today, it is five times more common than asthma and occurs four times more often than early-childhood obesity. Believe it or not, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly one out of every five children has untreated cavities, including 19.5% of kids between two and five, and 22.9% of kids between six and 19.
Getting kids to practice good dental hygiene at home is sort of like getting them to eat their veggies and whole grains — it is a never-ending battle. Fortunately, there are some great strategies out there for getting those stubborn kids to brush and floss without a fight.
We all know that kids learn best through play. That is why introducing your child to good dental practices through educational activities is so effective. Here are a few great activities that will help your kids learn about flossing and get them excited about their oral health.
Fun Flossing Activities
- Sing a song!
Have you ever met a kid that doesn’t love a catchy tune? Try singing this easy song to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat:”
Floss, floss, floss your teeth
Each and every day,
Softly, softly, softly, softly
Cleaning plaque away.
Of course, you are welcome (and encouraged) to make up your own song that will get your child excited about flossing!
- Egg carton teeth
Here is what you will need: an egg carton, playdough, and floss. Fold the egg carton in half, arranging it to look like a mouth with top and bottom rows of teeth. Put some chunks of playdough between the “teeth” and let your child remove the playdough/plaque with the floss.
- Peanut butter gloves
This cute game challenges children to remove peanut butter from a rubber glove with floss and a toothbrush. The game teaches kids that it is much easier to get rid of sticky plaque with floss than with a toothbrush.
When only 22% of adults can honestly say that they floss every day, it is hard to imagine getting kids to care enough about their oral health to commit to flossing. However, it is entirely possible when the best methods of brushing and flossing are made to be fun.