The best way to ensure that kids make flossing a part of their day is to teach them how! Here are a few tips parents should bear in mind when teaching their children how to floss.
The answer is yes. Just because baby teeth are temporary, that doesn’t mean we can treat them like freebies. Kids can practice brushing and flossing with baby teeth so that they’re masters of good oral health habits by the time their permanent teeth arrive. It’s also important to keep baby teeth healthy because of the roles they perform in chewing, learning how to talk, and guiding incoming permanent teeth into place.
As soon as kids have teeth that touch, we should start flossing. Small children don’t have the kind of hand-eye coordination or dexterity needed to floss effectively, so it is something parents must do for them at first. By getting them used to daily flossing when they’re little (making sure to be gentle), we’re preparing them for continuing daily flossing on their own. The most important factor is consistency, but also make sure to set an example by flossing your teeth too!
Okay, we’ve covered why flossing is important and when to start, but the people who really need convincing are the kids!
If you’re sticking with regular floss, the technique you teach your kids matters. Show them how to pull out the correct amount of floss (they shouldn’t need more than a foot and a half) and secure it around their middle fingers without pulling too tight, leaving an inch or two in between. Demonstrate how to curve the floss around each side of every tooth in a C-shape, and how to gently wiggle back and forth without pulling straight down to the gums.
The right technique is great for cleaning, but it’s also gentle! Finally, show them how to slide the floss back out and rotate to a clean section of floss for the next tooth so that they will actually clean their teeth instead of moving the plaque around!
Hopefully this has been a useful resource to help you get started with teaching your child good flossing habits, but if you still have questions, we’re happy to answer them! Flossing is just one of the aspects of pediatric dental health we’re the experts on!