Want to ensure a good dental routine for your kids? Make sure to include flossing.
You may have several questions about this, like how early they should start flossing, how to properly floss, and how you can motivate the kids to floss. Check out the article below to help take care of your child’s dental health.
Once your child’s teeth begin to fit closely together, you should help them start flossing. This usually happens when they’re two to six years old. Once they reach the age of 10, they’ll more likely be able to floss by themselves.
You can teach your child to floss using the loop method or the spool method. With the loop or circle method, you’ll use around an 18-inch piece of floss and tie it to form a circle. Except for your thumb, insert your fingers into the loop. Afterward, let your index finger guide the floss along and between the lower teeth. Then, let your thumbs push the floss through the upper teeth. Cover the gum line with a C motion to remove any food particles or bacteria.
For the spool or finger wrap method, use a piece of floss that’s 18 to 20 inches long. Slowly wrap the floss string’s ends around your middle fingers. Guide the floss up, down, and between the teeth using your thumb and index fingers. Make the C motion too when going below the gum line to get rid of any plaque and bacteria.
First, you should be a good role model to your child. Floss daily with them for two to three minutes. Seeing you do it should encourage them to want to join in.
Allow your child to choose their preferred floss type. They can use dental floss picks if they’re having a hard time with string floss. They’ll love the different flavors and colors. Or to make things a bit more high tech, they can choose a water flosser.
Remind your child to floss gently, so they won’t hurt their gums or get infections. One great way to motivate them to floss is to play or sing their favorite song while you floss together. You can also make their dental routine more exciting by letting them claim prizes depending on the number of dental hygiene stickers they’ve collected.
Your kids can take advantage of new tools to make flossing easier and more fun for them. For example, floss picks let them floss using just one hand. There’s no need to wrap it around the fingers. Another tool is a water flosser, which utilizes a strong stream of water rather than dental floss to clean the teeth. It’s perfect for kids with poor dexterity or braces. You can also use an interdental brush that has thin bristles for cleaning in between the teeth.
If a flossing routine is not adopted, plaque can easily build up between your child’s gums and teeth. This can result in cavities and gingivitis or gum disease. The buildup of bacteria can also cause bad breath. That’s why you should guide them to incorporate flossing into their dental routine.
Flossing indeed plays a vital role in protecting your kid’s dental health. Early and regular visits to a pediatric dentist should also be prioritized. At Bay Area Kids Dentist, our board-certified pediatric dentists have the skills, tools, and experience to help your child follow a dental care routine that includes regular and proper flossing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.