Kids often dislike flossing, unless you’re one of those rare parents who got your kids used to it from an early age.
How early can you start flossing your children’s teeth anyway? As early as two years old in most cases, but the rule of thumb is that their teeth need to be touching.
Even if you do start them flossing at a later age, flossing can still become an effortless oral care activity for your child. You may even have them try different types of dental floss and let them use their favorite.
There are a few tricks that can be implemented to make flossing as enjoyable as possible, but you first have to choose the right dental floss to optimize their comfort.
Using Each Type of Dental Floss
Say goodbye to regular string dental floss, which can be difficult to floss your kids’ teeth with. It’s especially tricky when you try to reach the back of the mouth.
But perhaps you’re one those parents who are used to the frequent winding of dental floss, always avoiding the use of the same piece of string because you’re concerned that it could be detrimental to your child’s oral health. Don’t worry. There’s no harm in it. If you notice food particles and plaque on the floss pick, just give it a rinse and continue.
Type of Dental Floss Material
Not all floss picks contain the same kind of dental floss. There is unwaxed thin nylon floss, which feels like sewing thread. This type of floss makes children’s gums uncomfortable as they feel that sharp pressure from the thread. And besides, some tend to shred and possibly deposit fibers between the teeth.
If it’s waxed nylon floss,shedding or breakage is less likely, but the floss could be too thick to fit into tight spaces.
Below are some other types of dental floss that you might want to consider for your child depending on the condition of their teeth and gums:
- Dental tape is more delicate on the gums then the above types and they come waxed and unwaxed. They’re usually more appropriate for children with more space between the teeth.
- Polytetrafluorethylene floss is sort of what you get if you combine the sliding factor of the dental tape with the rigidity of nylon floss. This material is at once comfortable and effective.
Make sure to pick a flavored floss pick, which come in a variety of fun flavors such as bubble gum or grape.
Teach Your Kids About The Effects of Not Flossing
By educating your kids about all the bad health effects related to not flossing, such as receding gum lines and gum disease, you could effectively motivate them to keep on flossing. You don’t want to overdo it, but a healthy dosage of reality can be the reminder they need to keep up the good work!
Parenting By Example
Try having your young children in the bathroom with you while you brush, and let them see you use different types of dental floss so they can see how it’s used. Kids pick up on the habits they see whether we’re trying to teach them or not. Show them that brushing and flossing aren’t just a chore for them, but something that everyone does every day, including their parents.
Turn Flossing into a Game
Children and adolescents love being rewarded. You can track the number of days they’ve flossed, and tie it to a reward they’ll enjoy, like going to the movies or their favorite place to eat if they manage to properly brush and floss for an entire month without missing a day. By making it a game, your child might even look forward to flossing.
As parents, it is incumbent on you to not only educate your children and make oral care at home fun, but also to create a perception in your kids’ minds that the dentist and everything oral care-related is a good thing. Studies have shown that positive well-being in children has ripple effects into adulthood.
Think about it? How many adults do you know who are scared of the dentist? It’s entirely too common, and you have the chance to guide them to a healthy relationship to oral care. By introducing your child to different types of dental floss, you’re setting them up for a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.
Take Your Child to a Pleasant Child-Friendly Dentist
At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas we offer a fun, child-centered environment of lively colors and kind staff. Our focus is to keep your child as comfortable as possible from the time they come through the door. Our sedation dentistry adds to the overall comfort of your child’s experience.
Contact us today to book your appointment so that we can care for their specific dental needs.