How to Encourage Children to Floss
Any West Edmonton dentist will tell you that one of the easiest ways to secure a lifetime of good oral health for your child is to encourage them to floss. It is up to you to floss your child's teeth for them as soon as they have two teeth that touch, but you can slowly start teaching your child to floss their own teeth when they are around seven or eight years old. Here is a handy guide from the Edmonton children's dentists at Westmount Dental Centre for helping your child see flossing as a simple, straightforward, and even an enjoyable task.
Teaching Your Child How to Floss
Your Edmonton pediatric dentist will likely recommend that you start letting your child try flossing their own teeth once they have the strength and dexterity to tie their own shoes. Make sure you supervise closely as they are learning.
To make it easier for your child to handle the floss, tie a loop on either end that they can fit their middle fingers through. Teach them to use their thumb and index finger to gently slide the floss between their teeth and to hold it around each tooth in a "C" shape. Explain to your child that they need to move the floss up and down the side of each tooth two or three times and to use a new section of floss on each tooth.
As an easier alternative to traditional floss, you may want to try child-friendly flossing sticks. Because they are easier to use, flossing sticks can help your child pick up the habit of flossing.
Getting Your Child to Floss on a Regular Basis
It's one thing to teach your child how to floss and quite another to make sure that they pick up and stick to the habit. The best way to help your child see flossing as a simple and regular occurrence is to diligently floss their teeth for them until they are able to do it themselves. This way, they will already be used to flossing their teeth every day and all that will change is that they are now doing it themselves.
Children's dentists in Edmonton also often advise parents to floss their teeth alongside their children in order to make flossing a fun and shared activity. Another way you might want to try motivating your child is to put up a flossing chart in the bathroom where your child can place stickers or check off every day that they have flossed. At the end of a successful week of flossing, they can earn a small prize.
Need Some More Pointers? Your Edmonton Family Dentist Can Help
If you have any more questions about teaching your child how to floss or about children's dental health in general, don't hesitate to visit Westmount Dental Centre, an Edmonton family dentist. Our experienced children's dentists will be more than happy to offer you personalized tips and pointers for getting your child comfortable with flossing their own teeth.
To schedule an appointment with one of our Edmonton dentists, just contact Westmount Dental Centre today.