Flossing for Kids

Flossing is a crucial part to proper oral hygiene

Teaching good, consistent dental care habits to your child early has its challenges. Early instruction can put your child in a proactive, preventative mode for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. Flossing is a crucial part to proper oral hygiene, and every parent should make sure that their child knows how to floss properly and why they are flossing.

The entire staff at Smile Time Kids LOVES children. We enjoy their budding personalities and their constant search for answers. We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us. Call us today at 765-373-3100 with any questions you have regarding your child or stop by Smile Time Kids at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN, 47374.

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing is extremely important for removing stubborn food particles and plaque that has accumulated between the teeth. The act of flossing will help to polish the sides of teeth and prevent tartar which will lead to tooth decay. Once the tooth gets to the point of being decayed, your child will need a filling or a crown. Flossing can also help with bad breath since it removes the odor-causing bacteria and food grime. Teach your child that although brushing cleans the front and backs of the teeth, flossing cleans the sides of the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Without flossing, the job is only half done.

Teaching Proper Flossing Technique

Children should begin flossing as soon as they have two teeth that touch one another. You should floss your child’s teeth until they are old enough to floss effectively on their own. We have found that children are usually able to begin flossing on their own by the time they are 6 or 7 years old.

It is worth it for you to take the time to teach your child how to floss properly. To make sure that your child remembers all the steps, work with your child every night to make sure that they understand how to floss. The technique that you use will depend on the type of dental floss that you and your child prefer.

  • Traditional Dental Floss- If using traditional dental floss, teach your child to grip a length of dental floss between their thumb and index finger on each hand. Show your child how to wrap the dental floss around their index finger to reduce slippage. Teach your child how to relax the floss into a “C” shape and gently glide it between their teeth. Explain that they should try to use a new section of floss when moving from tooth to tooth to prevent spreading germs. Make sure to clean both sides of each tooth, inside and outside and to continue down slightly under the gumline.
  • Dental Floss Picks- If your child is like most children, they might have a difficult time handling traditional dental floss at first. To make flossing easier, buy some children’s dental floss picks. They have small lengths of pre-strung floss spread between tines on a convenient plastic handle. Show your child how to push the floss between the teeth and how to tell when they need a new flosser.

Getting Your Child Excited About Flossing

Teaching your child to floss is one thing but getting them excited about flossing is another challenge altogether. Try some fun tactics to make flossing and dental care more enjoyable for your child.

  • Make Flossing a Family Activity- Children love a great example, which is why making dental care and flossing a family activity is a good idea. Brush your teeth alongside your child and let them watch you floss your teeth. They will love imitating you. For another fun variation, let them brush your teeth while you brush theirs.
  • Take Them Shopping- Allow your child to choose their own toothbrush, dental floss, toothpaste, and dental flossing picks. This can help them to personalize the activity and make it more interesting. After all, what child can turn down flossing with a princess dental floss pick or brushing with a toothbrush that has a car or a dog on the front?
  • Offer Incentives- Consider offering rewards for proper brushing and flossing, such as small toys or stickers. An immediate, tangible reward is best.

Make an Appointment for Your Child Today!

Smile Time Kids would like to share the recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They suggest bringing your child in for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by the time your child is one, whichever occurs first. We will work with your child and treat them like family. We love happy and healthy children. Afterwards, children should visit at normal intervals just like you would schedule your own dental checkups. Call 765-373-3100 today to make an appointment with Smile Time Kids. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us keep your child healthy together.