Your child can finally brush his or her teeth – congrats! All the hard work you put into teaching the proper brushing is finally paying off. Next up, it’s time to tackle teaching your child to floss. Though flossing can be tricky for little hands, it’s critical to teach your child to floss early so flossing becomes a regular part of their oral health routine – paving the way for a lifetime of healthy teeth!
If you’ve been wondering how to teach your child to floss, here are 5 tips that can help.
As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, they should start flossing. That means that you’ll be doing the flossing for the first couple years, but every time you do it, remember, you’re instilling the importance of flossing. Flossing should start between the ages of 2 and 3. By age 6 or 7, your child should be able to floss on their own.
Floss your teeth, too!
Kids love to mimic every little thing they see their parents doing. Let your child see you floss your teeth every morning, after lunch, or before bedtime. Not only will they learn the skills of flossing from watching you, but they’ll see that flossing is a regular part of dental hygiene. Kids are the best copycats on Earth. Use that to your advantage!
Getting floss into that adorable little mouth is gonna be a mouthful whether it’s you doing the flossing or your child. Flossers, also called dental floss picks, make it easy to reach teeth all the way in the back of your child’s mouth without over-stretching their lips or jaw. Yes, these are more expensive than regular floss, and not as environmentally friendly. However, in these precious early years of learning to floss, it is important to provide a pleasant flossing experience so that flossing ends up with a good connotation, not being associated with pain and discomfort.
Encourage the swerve.
Many children hurt their gums when they start flossing because they jam the floss straight down into their gum line. Teach your child to hold the floss tight against the tooth and to gently “swerve” the floss all the way down the tooth and slightly under the gemlike. Straight lines are bad! Swerving the floss to the shape of the tooth is good!
Let your child choose their tools.
Take your child shopping and let them pick out their own flossers, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and more. Treat it like a trip to get a toy – build the excitement and make it fun! Another good tip – don’t stock up too much in advance. Keep the excitement fresh by buying new flossers, brushes, and toothpaste often.
Want to set your child up for a lifetime of beautiful smiles?
Atlanta Orthodontic Specialists is the headquarters for beautiful smiles in and around Atlanta. Schedule your consultation today and find out why kids love AOS!