Teaching Good Daily Flossing Habits

HAVING HEALTHY SMILES isn’t just about brushing twice a day. It’s also about flossing, and the best time to build a lifelong daily flossing habit is in childhood. This is where parents come in, but where we as pediatric dentists come in is to give parents a few tips to keep in mind when teaching kids how to floss.

Why Floss Baby Teeth?

Many parents mistakenly think that because baby teeth are only there for a few years, it’s not important to try very hard to keep them cavity-free. Yes, baby teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth, but healthy baby teeth are better for chewing, talking, and guiding the permanent teeth into place than cavity-filled baby teeth. It takes brushing AND flossing to keep baby teeth healthy.

When Is the Right Time to Start Flossing?

Kids take a while to develop the dexterity and hand-eye coordination they need to be able to floss their own teeth, but we shouldn’t wait until then to teach them or set an example. Parents demonstrating good brushing and flossing habits is an essential part of kids growing up with those habits. Another is to floss their teeth for them, and age two and a half is generally a good time to start.

More than anything else, consistency is key. Children who are comfortable with the idea of flossing as part of their day are much more likely to keep it up once they’re doing it for themselves.

Flossing Tips and Tricks

When teaching kids how to floss, there are a few things you can do to help get them engaged and motivated.

Good Flossing Technique

For parents who stick to traditional floss, technique is key. You’ll want to show your child how to pull out the right amount of floss (about a foot and a half) and loosely secure it around their middle fingers with just an inch or two to slide between the teeth. Take that inch or two and carefully curve it around a tooth in a C-shape and wiggle back and forth instead of pulling straight down to the gums, which can be dangerous.

After gently cleaning in both directions between two teeth, slide the floss back out and shift to a clean section of floss for the next spot. It’s important to use clean floss each time, or you’re basically just moving plaque from one area to another instead of getting rid of it!

The Dentist Can Help!

If you have any questions about good flossing technique or how to pass a daily flossing habit on to your kids, just let us know! We’re experts in children’s dental health, and that includes flossing and helping kids become experts in taking care of their own teeth as they get older.

We look forward to seeing your smile again!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Top 7 Not-So-Obvious Signs of An Abscessed Tooth

Some of the most obvious signs of a dental abscess are tooth pain, combined with temperature and pressure sensitivity. However, some symptoms aren’t as easy to pinpoint and can make you think something else is going on.

Using A Water Flosser vs. Traditional Floss

Using traditional flossing string to clean between your teeth is a very simple, yet highly effective method that works. A water flosser from our Encino, California dentist, is an oral irrigation system that flushes debris out from between your teeth.

Making the Most of Your Dental Insurance

Right now is a great time to safely see the dentist. Plus, your dental insurance covers most preventative care services at 100%. By taking advantage of your included benefits, you can schedule your exam and cleaning to intercept common dental issues early.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Oral Health?

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a condition in which excess tissue in the back of your throat blocks your airway during sleep, causing you to stop breathing. This condition has many side-effects.

How to Avoid the Dreaded Bottle Rot

AS PEDIATRIC DENTAL care experts, our top priority is good dental health in our young patients. Today, we want to focus on protecting kids’ teeth from something called “bottle rot.”