NEXT TO BRUSHING, the best tool we have for preventing tooth decay and gum disease is daily flossing, which is why it’s important to help our kids understand the benefits of flossing and develop a flossing habit early on. Here are some great tips for parents with kids who are learning how to floss:
1. Explain the benefits of flossing and what flossing does for their teeth. They will be more motivated to floss if they understand why it’s important.
2. Help them see flossing as one of the coveted Big Kid skills, like tying their shoes or riding a bike without training wheels. They’ll be excited to prove how grown up they are by flossing.
3. If using traditional floss, demonstrate pulling out the right amount (about eighteen inches) and loosely wrapping it around their middle fingers, with just an inch or two left in the middle to slide between teeth.
4. Help them get the hang of good flossing technique. Use a back-and-forth motion and form a C-shape around a tooth to slide the floss down to the gums without snapping. Flossing should be gentle, not painful!
5. Show them how to move the floss along so they’re using clean floss for each tooth. The point is to get rid of plaque, not just move it around!
6. If traditional floss is too challenging, use floss picks or flossers instead.
- Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
- Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
- Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
- Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.
The content about the benefits of flossing on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.