Flossing your child’s teeth might be a different type of adventure. It is difficult enough to brush their teeth, you imagine a fiddling 4-5-year-old running around the bathroom and you trying to brush and floss. We are here to tell you that flossing can be fun and easy to make it a habit. So where do you start?
Understanding why flossing matters so much.
As an adult, you understand the benefits and necessity of flossing. With brushing, we can remove only 40-50% of plaque. Flossing removes the food collected from between your teeth as well as helps you clean the gums. All is clear but how to explain it to a child?
Children are visual creatures, use the following games to make them understand why we floss:
- The fake teeth game Use some cartoon eggs or similar on a construction paper to imitate teeth and to create a fake mouth. Use 10-12 eggs. Use non-toxic playdough to recreate the food and plaque between the “teeth” and let your child experiment to remove it first using a toothbrush and then with the floss. This “hands-on” experiment will help their understanding and the importance of flossing.
- Flossing your fingers We recommend using these 2 games in this sequence. Once the kids understand the importance of flossing, all they need to learn now is technique. Wrap gently the dental floss around their middle finger and encourage them to floss your fingers. Keep your hand straight and upright with your fingers pressed against each other. Let your child practice flossing between your fingers, the main thing is to teach them how much pressure to apply. Flossing using too much pressure can possibly damage their gums. Practice the game and they will remember the right amount of pressure they should apply.
Creating the habit as early as possible in your child’s life will help them adopt it as an indispensable part of their morning and evening routine.
When to start flossing your child’s teeth?
Your child will probably be able to floss independently around 5-6 years of age. Before this, you should start flossing their teeth around toddler age. When you see that they have teeth that are growing close together, this is a good time to start flossing. Set the stage for success, you can play some music or sing to your child while flossing. Do it regularly, every evening to start, consistency is very important.
How to floss with your child?
- Begin early.
If you start flossing your baby’s teeth while they are 2 years old, flossing will become a habit and when their dexterity is at the level that they can floss themselves, they will be eager to do it independently.
- Lead by example.Floss your own teeth in the presence of your child, make it look like fun! Your kid will tend to follow what you do, not what you say should be done.
- Be clear about the steps of flossing.Teach your child the steps of flossing: How to pull the floss and the amount of floss they need per “session”, it is usually about 30-40 cm. Wrap the thread loosely around their middle fingers.
- Alternatives to dental floss
Observe how they insert the floss between their teeth, the main thing is the correct the amount of pressure, if applied too much they can damage their gum and result in a painful experience.Teach them to move the floss or tape along to ensure a clean piece of string is used for each tooth.Don’t forget to show them how to clean their gums by using C shaped movements.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months
Proper brushing and flossing are great, but some stubborn plaque can hide in hardly accessible places in a child’s mouth. Book your bi-annually visits at Versailles Dental Clinic and our dentists will perform a checkup and see if the flossing is done efficiently.At the clinic the dentists have professional equipment to do a pediatric cleaning and polishing, just to give your child a “boost” cleaning.We are also happy to teach your child our tricks and secrets, don’t hesitate to book a dental appointment anytime.