To maintain healthy teeth and gums, your child will need to floss and brush his teeth on a regular basis. This also helps your child maintain good oral health in his adulthood. It is a good idea to teach your child how to floss when he is as young as two years old. However, you will need to provide him with assistance and supervision until he is at least eight.
When to Floss?
When your child’s tooth surfaces next to another tooth, it is time to begin flossing. She will need to floss at least once a day, usually at bedtime. Keep in mind that food and bacterial plaque can settle between the teeth and lead to halitosis, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Steps to Follow
Step 1: Hold a short length of floss between the index finger and the thumb. By twining the floss around one finger – at each end – your child will have better control during the flossing process. Do not apply too much pressure when flossing between the teeth.
Step 2: Adjust the floss into a “C” shape curve around each tooth. Next, slide the floss gently across the side of the tooth, and under the gum line, in an up and down motion.
Step 3: In order to avoid reinserting food and plaque into the teeth, your child should use a new section of floss for each tooth.
Step 4: To clean the surfaces between the teeth that have spaces, your child should use an interdental brush.
Tips to Remember When Flossing
Once your child learns how to master these flossing skills on their own, he or she will be able to keep their smile beautiful for decades to come. Here are six tips to help ensure your child flosses the right way.
- Select soft and pliable dental floss. This could prevent your child from hurting his teeth and gums when flossing.
- The length of the floss should be no more than 18 inches; this will vary from child-to-child. Ask your dentist for correct lengths.
- The majority of the floss will go on one finger. The finger on the opposite hand will hold the remaining floss, and it will collect any floss that is dirty or unused.
- The floss should be held taut, but not too tight. If your child’s hand turns purple or blue, she should stop flossing immediately.
- Teach your child how to glide the floss back and forth in a rubbing motion.
- Once the floss is close to the gum line, show her how to curve the floss and slide it beneath the gum in a “C” shape.
- Each time your child is ready to move to the next space, stress the importance of advancing the floss to a clean portion.
You want to make flossing as easy for your child as possible. You can speak with your dentist about a floss holder or pre-threaded flosser to make it simple for your child to maneuver the floss around his teeth. Do not rush your child when he is flossing. The process should be approached in a way that is fun and positive. Establishing good flossing habits now increases his odds of having a good oral hygiene routine early-on.