Flossing is a vital part of your oral hygiene routine because it’s the only way to remove plaque from between the teeth! Kids should start flossing once their teeth begin to touch. When your children are toddlers, you’ll have to brush and floss their teeth for them, but as they get older, they’ll need to be taught how to floss on their own!
Teaching Kids to Floss
Below are a few ways to help your child learn to floss alone:
Before you start, consider using floss made for sensitive gums. This floss has a coating on it that makes it gentler on the gum tissue. Using sensitive-gum floss allows your kids to avoid the pain and bleeding that may sometimes accompany flossing.
Your child only needs 16-18 inches of floss each time. This length can be measured by the distance between your elbow and your fingertips.
Show your child how to wrap most of the floss around a finger. Wind the rest of the floss around the same finger on the other hand. This second finger is the one that collects the used floss.
Don’t wrap the floss so tight that the tips of the fingers turn purple! Dental floss should be held taut, but not tight enough to cause discoloration or pain.
Teach kids to glide the floss between each tooth in a back-and-forth motion. Slide the floss against the side of each tooth before moving on to the next tooth.
When it’s time to move to the next tooth, slide the floss to the second hand to make sure you’re using a clean portion of floss for each tooth.