Our children’s health is the most important to us, and making them comfortable around medical treatments and cooperating when we need to intervene makes it much easier to check on their development and keep them healthy.
Oral hygiene is one of the things parents can struggle with, as children might be reluctant when asked to do things a certain way, or to follow a routine. At the same time, this is exactly how you build up good oral hygiene habits: by consistency and persistence.
So, how do you teach a child to floss? Here are some tips.
Children should be able to floss on their own at the age of 7 or 8. Until then, parents should do it for them, as the little ones lack the fine motor skills required to do it thoroughly. Flossing should be introduced as early as brushing, as it complements brushing by reaching those hard-to-get places.
You can start flossing your child’s teeth once you have already established a brushing routine, and involve them in it.
The best way of teaching your child how to floss is through leading by example. Make sure you are following a thorough, healthy oral health routine. Brush and floss at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Show your child how you do it and allow them to observe every movement. Every time you floss their teeth, explain in simple steps what you are doing, and what flossing does for your oral health.
You can also use videos and tutorials to show a better perspective on flossing. Educational videos that discuss the whole decay process and show 3D digital models of teeth can be helpful, but also fun content that presents the subject in a playful way.
If your child is old enough to start flossing on their own, start encouraging them to do it by themselves. Give them the floss and show them how to hold it, and supervise as they go slow the first few times.
The best way to teach children something is through play and positive reinforcement. Invent a little song or rhyme, have a ritual connected to oral hygiene, make funny sounds or pretend you are having a battle with bacteria and plaque.
Rewards can also be effective when introducing a new habit. Just make sure you are not rewarding your kid for flossing with candy.
If you want to check your child’s dental health or need a little help introducing a healthy routine, don’t hesitate to contact the Willow Pediatric Dentistry in Rancho Santa Margarita. Dr. Sam Alzayat and his incredible team will treat any pediatric dental challenge with a friendly and gentle approach.
Contact us now to book your appointment .