Ever wondered how to get your young child to start flossing? Many questions arise, like, what’s the best age to start flossing? Do they start with traditional floss or floss sticks? How frequently should they floss? What’s the best technique to teach them to floss so they don’t become fearful or turned off by this new habit? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This article will cover the dos and don’ts of flossing for young children, all the right tips to get you started on teaching your young one how to do it, and what the right tools are to get started. Let’s dive right in!
What’s the Right Age to Start Flossing?
Like brushing, flossing at a young age is crucial to maintaining your child’s oral health and preventing unwarranted tooth discomfort brought on by plaque and cavities.
As soon as a child has many baby teeth, parents and kids can begin the habit of brushing their teeth. However, it is not necessary to start flossing until their teeth begin to fit closely together. Most kids can begin flossing between the ages of two and six, but as more teeth erupt, keep a close check on your child’s mouth to determine when you should start doing it frequently. You will need to floss for your child if they are younger than this age range until they are old enough to learn how to do it on their own with your assistance. You should continue to observe and assist your child until they are about 10 years old, even after they are physically able to floss their own teeth. This way, you can make sure they are always flossing fully and getting the spaces between each tooth.
Bleeding Gums When Flossing?
If you’re a first-time parent, you could become alarmed if you see your child’s gums bleeding during the flossing process. It’s completely common to experience some bleeding when starting a flossing practice, so don’t be alarmed! Adults who begin flossing their teeth on a regular basis for the first time may also experience this. After you’ve been flossing for your child every day for a few days, your child’s gums should stop bleeding as their gums become stronger and healthier.
Turn It Into a Family Affair and Make It Fun!
Making flossing a nightly ritual will improve your family’s overall hygiene practices. By incorporating this into daily routines, parents may set a positive example for their children by practicing good oral hygiene. Tonight, start by getting everyone together, humming a song, and flossing. You could play a fun video for your kids on flossing, or use reward systems like prize boards with fun stickers to motivate your child. There are a ton of great games and ideas online to find ways to motivate your child and get them excited about flossing.
Don’t Be Reluctant to Let Children Choose Their Own Floss
Just like we appreciate having options as adults, so do children. Not every person is the same or likes the same things, and the same goes for children. Some kids may prefer starting with dental floss, while others may prefer floss sticks. Children who feel like they have some control over their regular flossing routine are more likely to like it. Children’s favorite themes are now used to create kid-friendly dental flossers, so don’t be hesitant to choose one of the entertaining options that are sold in stores.
Making the purchase of their first floss part of a memorable day will help your children connect flossing with fun. For young children, choosing the floss they want to use the most can be an empowering option. Make sure to commend your children for making the right choice.
Avoid Getting Caught Up With the Timing of Children’s Flossing
Setting certain criteria for flossing is a wonderful idea, but don’t go overboard. For instance, it doesn’t really matter if your children floss their teeth before or after brushing their teeth. Whether it’s ideal to floss at the beginning, middle, or end of your daily dental care regimen is a question that experts are still debating. Therefore, listen to your children and allow them to make decisions.
It doesn’t really matter if your kids floss in the morning or right before bed, either. They only need to floss once each day, and consistency in the time of day is the best approach. No matter if your children prefer to floss in the morning or in the evening, flossing is still helpful.
What’s the Best Technique?
If your child chooses to floss by hand, cut off a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long and have them wrap the majority of it around one finger, usually the pointer on the left or right hand. The remaining floss will be wound around one finger on the opposite hand by the person (but be careful not to wind it too tightly!). The finger with the most floss will release the most between each tooth, and the other finger will pick up the floss that has been utilized. You could also consider tying tiny circles at each end to make it easier for children to grasp the floss. Give them flexible, soft floss that will be gentle on their gums and teeth.
Have your youngster move the floss along the gum line of both the top and bottom teeth, going up one side of the tooth and down the other (show them how to softly slide the floss between their teeth rather than snapping it against their gums). Repeat this between each set of teeth.
Many kids (and even many adults) prefer floss sticks. Although they are simpler, conventional floss still outperforms them in terms of effectiveness. While picks are still an excellent alternative for children who struggle with traditional floss, we would advise using traditional floss for adults.
Floss picks come in harp or Y shapes. Like with regular floss, just move the floss up and down the teeth. When the floss appears worn, rinse it off between the teeth and replace the pick.
We hope this article was informative in helping you decide when and how to introduce your child to flossing!