4 Tips on Making Flossing Easier for Your Kids

family dentist

Whenever you visit your family dentist, chances are high that you will be asked whether or not you and your family floss. The question is whether or not you’ll tell the truth! Too many people don’t floss as often as they should, and some don’t floss at all. But flossing is an important part of dental care and should be practiced regularly. There is a reason why your dentist emphasizes its importance, after all.

Flossing is used to remove the food and buildup that gets stuck between our teeth and is difficult to remove through brushing alone. Not only can this cause tooth decay; it can also inflame and eventually infect your gums, causing serious gum disease that results in bleeding and sometimes pain. It’s much easier to get into the routine of flossing when you’re a child, which is why many family dentists encourage parents to get their children used to flossing at a young age. But this can be quite challenging, which is why we’re giving you some of our top tips on getting children used to flossing.

1. Buy the Right Floss

For one thing, you need to think about the type of floss that you’re buying. If you’re not sure, you can always ask your family dentist for recommendations about high quality dental floss. You don’t want to buy floss that is overly harsh on your children’s gums, as this can make flossing painful and therefore difficult to convince them to repeat. Think about buying floss that is flavored. Cinnamon-flavored and bubblegum-flavored floss can be especially appealing to children and can make floss really fun.

Of course, you should also make sure that your children are using the correct length of floss, as the process can be a lot trickier if it’s too long or too short. Ideally, you should have them use waxed floss that is about 18 inches long.

2. Utilize Tools

If you’re introducing especially young children to flossing, they probably won’t be able to floss by themselves for a good while. You should ask your family dentist about the ideal tools that can help them transition to flossing independently.

Some of the tools that we would recommend would include a dental flosser, which is a kind of pick through which the floss can be threaded, and an interdental flosser. Interdental flossers are tools that are affixed with a kind of spoolie brush. This can be placed between the teeth, allowing for easy flossing. Most people don’t use these flossers permanently, but it can be a good tool to use until your child is old enough to floss by themselves.

3. Lead by Example

One of the best ways that you can convince your child of the importance of flossing is simply leading by example. It’s often difficult for children to understand how much they need to floss until they see their parents flossing regularly. Think about how often you brush your teeth alongside your young children.

You should floss after every meal, not just during the morning and the evening. The point of flossing is not to clean your teeth themselves, but to clean between your teeth. Furthermore, you may want to have your dentist introduce dental floss during your child’s very first dental visit. This will familiarize them with the concept and make flossing as normal a part of dental care as brushing your teeth.

4. Consider Reward Systems

Think about how often your children are rewarded after they visit the pediatric dentist for a visit. Family dentists often offer children the opportunity to choose a “treat” like fun toothbrushes or little toys when they leave the office. You may want to take a similar approach.

If it’s difficult to internally motivate your child to floss, you may want to externally motivate them. Think about making a chart and checking off daily flossing. Once your child reaches a certain goal, like a whole week or month of consistent flossing, you can offer a small reward. These rewards could include stickers, a small toy, or even an additional half hour of television time.

Flossing isn’t just about keeping your children’s teeth healthy but instilling healthy habits. Your dentist will thank you, and so will your kids!