Teaching Kids to Learn How to Floss
Flossing is a vitally important part of everyone’s oral healthcare routine. This is because using floss is the only way to clean the vulnerable areas between the teeth, which are prone to plaque and food debris buildup. Your toothbrush cannot reach these areas and if you skip the floss, you’re risking tooth decay and dental cavities in between the teeth.
Many kids don’t particularly enjoy caring for their teeth, but it’s vital for parents to teach children how to properly care for their oral health and why it’s so important.
Teaching Kids to Floss
Below are a few tips to use when teaching your children how and why to floss their teeth:
- When you first begin to teach your children to floss, make sure they know that only 16-18 inches of floss is needed each time. This is the average length between the fingertips and the elbows.
- Let your child start flossing with special floss made for sensitive gums. This type of floss has a special coating that makes it gentler on children’s gums.
- Teach your child to wrap most of the length of the floss around only one finger. The rest of the floss can be wound around the same finger of the other hand. As your child flosses, this is the finger that will collect the used floss.
- Make sure your children know that the floss should not be wound too tightly around the fingers. This can cause pain or discoloration in the fingertips.
- Show your child how to glide the floss between each tooth in a back-and-forth motion. The side of each tooth should be rubbed with the floss before moving on to the next tooth.
- When it’s time to floss the next tooth, unwind clean floss from one finger and collect used floss on the other finger. This will allow each tooth to have a sanitary portion of floss with which to be cleaned.
While flossing is great for keeping your teeth healthy, it’s also a very important part of gum health as well. For more information about keeping your gum tissue healthy and avoiding gum disease, please contact Coastal Periodontics. Our gum specialist is located here in beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire.