An important step in your kid’s dental hygiene routine is flossing. But flossing can be a bit tricky for kids, so we have written this blog to help you teach your child the right way to floss. We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to floss, and tips and tricks to make it a bit easier.
Why Flossing Is Important
Daily flossing removes food debris from between teeth that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. This helps prevent plaque buildup on teeth and reduces the risk of gum disease, cavities, bad breath, and tooth decay. Flossing also helps keep gums healthy by removing plaque from the gum line that can cause irritation and inflammation.
You should start flossing your kid’s teeth as soon as two teeth touch each other. This may seem too early, but the earlier you start flossing their teeth, the more likely it will be that they floss as they get older, as they will already have good flossing habits. Continue flossing their teeth for them until they are able to do it themselves. They should be able to start flossing on their own around the second or third grade.
Be a Good Example
Flossing can be tricky for kids, but you can make it easier by doing a few simple things. Start with a demonstration. Show them the proper flossing technique by flossing your teeth alongside them. Show them how much floss to use and how to wrap it around their fingers. If you have already been flossing their teeth, they should already have a good idea of how it feels. Show them how to make the C shape around each tooth and make sure they are moving down the length of the floss and using a clean bit of floss for each tooth.
If your child is resistant to flossing, try coming up with incentives to make it seem more appealing. For younger kids, tell them that flossing is for big kids. This will motivate them to try hard to master the skill of flossing. For older kids, explain that regular flossing means less time in the dentist’s chair.
If your child is old enough to understand the value of money, you could also explain that cavity treatments like fillings, dental crowns, or dental caps are expensive and are a big expense for mom and dad. Cavities aren’t always 100% preventable, but good oral hygiene habits will give them the best chance of being cavity-free.
Encourage Good Habits
Flossing is an important part of your child’s oral hygiene routine and it should be done regularly. Encourage good habits by setting a schedule for flossing, such as flossing before brushing or at bedtime. Remind them to floss when you see them eating something sticky like candy or chewy granola bars – these can easily get stuck in between their teeth.
In addition to flossing, you should also encourage your child to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste. It may be helpful to have them use an egg timer or play music so they know when they are done brushing. If you struggle to get your kid to brush and floss their teeth, read the blog 7 Tips for a Healthy Smile.
How to Floss
1. Cut a piece of dental floss that is around 18 inches long and wrap it around both middle fingers, leaving a 2-3 inch gap in between.
2. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth with your thumbs and index fingers.
3. Make the shape of a C and slide the floss gently between each tooth, making sure to get all sides of the teeth including behind the last molars.
4. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth, as bacteria can remain on used floss.
5. When you reach the gum line, make sure to use a gentle back and forth motion. Don’t press too hard as this can irritate the gums.
6. Finally, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to get rid of any remaining food particles.
Let Us Help You With Your Beautiful Smile
At Youth Dental and Vision, we understand how important it is to start good oral hygiene habits early. We are a kid-centered dental practice with a team of pediatric dentists dedicated to providing exceptional dental and vision care for your children. We have locations in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, and Hampden and we accept a variety of insurance plans, including Medicaid and Denver Health.
If you are searching for a kids dentist near me, contact Youth Dental & Vision at (720) 575-1250 or complete the online booking form. Visit us in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, and Hampden. We look forward to helping your kids maintain their healthy smile!