How to Floss Your Teeth
Did you know that without flossing you are missing 50% of each tooth’s surface? Brushing alone will not keep your child’s teeth clean. The American Dental Association recommends using an interdental cleaner, such as dental floss, twice daily to help remove a sticky film called plaque. Removing this film helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Plaque that is not removed hardens into a rough substance called tartar, which only a dentist can remove.
5 Steps to Child-Friendly Flossing:
- Ask your dentist for dental floss recommendations. Waxed floss generally slides a little easier and “flossers” (floss attached to plastic stick) are great in helping children to stay consistent .
- Loosely wrap 18 inches of dental floss around your middle fingers until you have about 2 inches left between your fingers.
- Hold the floss firmly between your thumbs and index fingers. Gently slide the floss in a C-shape up and down between your child’s teeth, working it beneath the gum line on both sides.
- Move to a clean section of floss and repeat until you have cleaned around each tooth.
- Have your child rinse their mouth with water.
Don’t forget, while it is important to encourage independent oral care, kids are usually not able to do the job thoroughly until around age 10. Younger children do not have the manual dexterity needed to floss well, and without causing gum damage. We recommend providing helping your child in their dental hygiene routine until they can adequately care for their teeth alone.
Need support? We’re here to help! We are happy to provide oral care training for your child so they can have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.