Flossing Tips for Kids

Posted on February 19, 2020 | Hot Topics

Flossing Tips for Kids

We know there are so many things you have to juggle as a parent. Why should teaching your kids to floss be one of them? Because flossing sets your child up for long-term, healthy oral hygiene habits. Flossing cleans between the teeth, removing plaque that has settled in places that are hard to reach with a tooth brush. It can also help prevent bad breath! Flossing is important, but teaching your child to floss can feel like a feat. That’s why we’re offering some tips and tricks to make your job easier:

  1. Know when to start. Your child should begin flossing when two or more teeth begin to touch. For some, that happens at age two and others meet this mark at age five. Focus your flossing on the touching teeth, then add other teeth into the routine as they begin to touch. The goal is for your child to floss independently by age seven, or whenever they can demonstrate proper technique on their own.
  2. Find a flavor. Some children find it easier to use traditional floss string while others prefer floss picks. While we always encourage products that reduce plastic waste, you should use the product that’s best for your child. Many stores have flavored floss, which may add some excitement for your little one.
  3. Know the technique. If using traditional dental floss, begin by using an 18-inch length of string. Show your child how to wrap the ends of the string around each index finger to reduce slipping on saliva. Make sure they use the floss to clean all the way to the bottom of each tooth, cleaning off the floss in between teeth so as not to spread plaque from one tooth to the next. 
  4. Do it together. Make flossing a family activity. Your child will be more willing to learn when they watch you floss, too. Make the most out of their desire to imitate interesting things and challenge them to imitate your flossing technique.
  5. Offer incentives. Consider offering tangible incentives when your child flosses properly, such as a sticker or small toy. 

Flossing can be fun, and we love giving parents the tools they need to succeed. As they learn to floss, your child will add another method to help keep their teeth strong and healthy. Teaching your kids healthy oral hygiene habits will provide long-term care for their little teeth. If you need extra support, our hygienists are always happy to work with families to develop a flossing routine that works for you.

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