Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

Teach Kids to Floss in 5 Easy Steps

Teach Kids to Floss in 5 Easy Steps

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene for both children and adults. While it may seem like a daunting task to teach kids to floss, it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach, you can make flossing a fun and comfortable experience for your child.

In this blog post, we’ll answer this burning frequently asked question: When should kids start flossing? We will also share some tips and tricks to help you teach your children how to floss and maintain their oral health.

Start Early

It’s never too early to introduce flossing to your child. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that parents should start cleaning between their children’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch. By introducing flossing into their daily routine at an early age, you are setting up a lifetime habit that will ultimately help protect their teeth and prevent dental issues.

Choose the Right Kids Floss

There are various types of floss products available on the market, so choose the one that best suits your child’s needs. Options include:

  • Traditional string dental floss
  • Dental floss picks
  • Pre-threaded flossers
  • Water flossers

Each of these options has its benefits and drawbacks. Experiment with different types of floss and let your child choose the one they find most comfortable and easy to use.

Demonstrate and Share 

One of the best ways to teach your child how to floss is by showing them how it’s done. You can demonstrate the proper flossing technique by flossing your teeth first. Explain each step clearly and encourage your child to ask questions. By involving them in the process, you’ll make the task more engaging and approachable.

Break It into Steps 

Teaching kids to floss can seem overwhelming, but breaking it down into smaller steps can make the process much more manageable:

  1. Take a generous length of floss (around 18 inches of floss) and wrap it around the middle fingers of both hands.
  2. Pinch the piece of floss between your thumbs and index fingers and make sure to leave a length of 1-2 inches to use. 
  3. Gently slide the floss between the teeth, being careful not to snap it against the gums.
  4. Gently form the floss into a C shape around each tooth and carefully move it up and down along the tooth’s surface, ensuring that you reach below the gum line.
  5. Repeat the process for all teeth, using a clean section of floss as you move from one tooth to another. 

Make It Fun 

To keep your child engaged and motivated to floss regularly, try incorporating fun elements into the process. Create a reward system, use kids’ flossers in fun shapes and colors, or play their favorite music while they floss. By making it enjoyable, your child will be more likely to maintain good oral hygiene habits. 

Be Patient and Supportive 

Remember that learning to floss takes time and patience. Be supportive and understanding as your child practices this new skill. Offer guidance and assistance as needed, but also give them the space they need to learn and develop their technique. 

Big Apple – Your Kids Dentist in Phoenix 

Teaching kids to floss is an essential part of instilling good oral hygiene habits. With the right approach and the tips mentioned above, you can make flossing enjoyable and set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For more information about caring for your child’s teeth and oral health, read Caring For Baby Teeth

To book an appointment for a dental check-up or teeth cleaning at Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form. We look forward to helping your child have a healthy smile 😁

FAQs About Flossing

What Can I Do To Help My Kids Improve Their Flossing Technique?

Encourage them to floss each and every tooth, not just some of them, and remind them to take their time while doing so.

Is It Normal for My Kid’s Gums To Bleed When Flossing?

Seeing blood while flossing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re flossing too hard. It actually indicates inflammation of the gums and suggests you need to floss more regularly. You may also need to floss deeper. If you experience bleeding due to flossing too hard, it will heal with time.

How Often Should My Child Floss?

The American Dental Association recommends that both children and adults floss at least once a day. If your child is younger, you can help them establish a good oral hygiene habit by setting an example and helping them to floss each night before bed.

What Other Oral Hygiene Habits Should My Child Be Following?

It is important for children to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing once a day. In addition, they should limit their sugar intake and visit the dentist every six months for routine checkups. Other good habits include rinsing with mouthwash to help reduce plaque and brushing their tongue, which can reduce bad breath.

What Should I Do if My Child Has Trouble Flossing?

If your child is having difficulty learning how to floss properly, there are a few things you can do to help make it easier. You can use special tools such as pre-threaded flossers or water flossers which can make the process simpler. You can also try using flavored dental floss to make it more enjoyable, or you can use a fun reward system like stickers or points. Finally, be sure to provide plenty of encouragement and support as your child learns this new skill.