Your Kids Don’t Like Brushing or Flossing? You’re Not Alone

Dentistry Today


Kids just don’t want to brush and floss. According to a national survey by Delta Dental, parents are more likely to say that getting their child to floss regularly (45%) or brush their teeth (37%) is challenging than they are about getting their child to make the bed (30%) or do homework on time (25%).

The Children’s Oral Health Survey indicates that many kids don’t brush for two minutes twice a day or floss once a day, potentially leading to oral health problems. Also, 78% of parents say their child’s oral health isn’t as good as it could be, with 64% saying their child currently has oral health issues, including cavities (31%). 

Yet more parents worry about their child’s oral health (39%) daily than school performance (25%) or physical activity (24%). In fact, parents are more likely to say their child’s oral health (73%) is extremely important than they are about their child’s diet or nutrition (66%) or even their own oral health (61%).

“In the national survey from Delta Dental, parents share that their child’s oral health is a priority over their own,” said Joe Dill, DDS. MBA, Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of dental science. “Let’s turn that concern inward. By showing our children we value our own healthy smile, we can help them to develop positive attitudes toward preventive oral care practices that can impact a lifetime.” 

Dill also notes that, as the new school year approaches, several states mandate dental screening certificates before children can be enrolled in school. According to the survey, 29% of parents with children in school said their child has missed at least some school in the previous 12 months due to an oral health issue. 

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