HAVING A HEALTHY SAWGRASS KIDS SMILE isn't only about brushing their teeth twice a day. It's also about flossing, and daily flossing habits are best built during childhood. This is where you come in as the parent, but where we as #pediatricdentists come in is to give parents a few tips to keep in mind when teaching #kids how to #floss.
Should I Floss Baby Teeth?
YES! Many parents mistakenly think that it's not important to try very hard to keep baby teeth cavity-free because they are only there for a few years. Baby teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth, but healthy baby teeth are better for chewing, talking, and guiding the permanent teeth into place than cavity-filled baby teeth. To keep those baby teeth healthy, it takes brushing AND flossing.
When Should Flossing Start?
Parents shouldn't wait until their child develops the dexterity and hand-eye coordination they need to be able to floss their own teeth. You could start by flossing their teeth for them while demonstrating good brushing and flossing habits. Age two to two and a half is generally a good time to start flossing.
Consistency is key, More than anything else. Children who are comfortable with the idea of flossing as part of their day are much more likely to keep it up once they're doing it for themselves.
Flossing Tips and Tricks
When teaching kids how to floss, there are a few things you can do to help get them engaged and motivated.
Explain why flossing is important. When kids know why flossing matters, they'll be more willing to do it.
Make sure they know that Big Kids floss. Children are eager for ways to prove how grown up they are, whether it's riding a bike without training wheels, tying their own shoes, or flossing!
If regular floss is too tricky, try flossers or floss picks.
Good Flossing Technique
For parents who stick to traditional floss, the technique is key. You'll want to show your child how to pull out the right amount of floss (about a foot and a half) and loosely secure it around their middle fingers with just an inch or two to slide between the teeth. Take that inch or two and carefully curve it around a tooth in a C-shape and wiggle back and forth instead of pulling straight down to the gums, which can be dangerous.
After gently cleaning in both directions between two teeth, slide the floss back out and shift to a clean section of floss for the next spot. It's important to use clean floss each time, or you're basically just moving plaque from one area to another instead of getting rid of it!
The Sawgrass Team Can Help!
If you have any questions about a good flossing technique or how to pass a daily flossing habit on to your kids, just let us know! We're experts in children's dental health, and that includes flossing and helping kids become experts in taking care of their own teeth as they get older.
We look forward to seeing your sawgrass smile again!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.