We know that teaching a child to floss is an ongoing challenge. It’s hard to know whether or not they’re doing a good enough job, and sometimes, you might not even be sure if they’re doing it at all! From the time your child has enough teeth for them to touch and they’re eating solid food, it’s important to be sure that they’re flossing regularly. If you’re struggling to teach your child how to floss or wondering if they’re doing a good enough job when you aren’t there to keep an eye on them, make sure you’re trying these flossing tips for kids.
Tip #1: Let Them Pick the Floss
If you have a reluctant flosser, try letting your child choose the product they use for flossing. Some kids are perfectly fine with the same brand of dental floss you’ve used all your life, but others will get along better with floss picks or another product. If you want your child to look forward to flossing, or at least not skip it, allow them to choose the product that is comfortable and practical for them.
Tip #2: Floss Together
Do you get ready for bed at night at the same time your child does? If so, flossing together is a great way to set a good example and encourage proper dental hygiene. You’ll be right there on hand if your child has trouble or needs help, and they’ll see how you’re doing it and adjust their technique accordingly. Flossing together will also help give you a better gauge for whether or not your child is taking the time to do it right, rather than rushing through the process to get back to the things they would rather be doing.
Tip #3: Keep Teaching
Teaching your child proper dental hygiene isn’t a one time process. As kids get older, they can learn new things about flossing. Keeping the conversation fresh makes it more likely that they’ll remember important things like flossing behind their back teeth as well as improving their technique to make it easier to get food out of those spaces. Continuing the conversation about dental hygiene may also include showing kids pictures and examples of what can happen to their teeth if they don’t floss properly.
Tip #4: Show Them How
Denison Family Dentistry will always work with your child to ensure that they have a decent idea of how to floss, but that’s often done on a model and not in your child’s actual mouth. Sit down together in front of the mirror. You might floss the top teeth and let your child floss the bottom ones. If you have more time, take turns working your way across their teeth.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Take Over
Tooth care is one of those tasks that adults take for granted and children may struggle to learn how to do properly. If you see that your child isn’t properly brushing or flossing their teeth, don’t be afraid to step in and offer help! You may allow your child to brush their teeth first, then go back and finish up after them in order to maintain that sense of independence and keep teaching them at the same time.
Getting kids to brush and floss may seem like a lifelong task. Over time, however, you’ll find that your child has a better appreciation for oral hygiene as they grow–and thanks to your lessons and flossing tips when they’re young, they’ll have great dental habits and amazing smiles that will carry them throughout a lifetime. Don’t give up! Eventually, your child will learn how to brush and floss properly on their own, and in fact, they may even begin to look forward to it.
We at James River Family Dentistry are always willing to help your child learn the proper care techniques for their teeth. Contact us for your child’s next appointment and we will be happy to help give them structured and tailored flossing tips!