Embedding oral hygiene practices in children such as flossing sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth. From the moment their first tooth pushes through, infants can be cradled and gently brushed to create a foundational experience. Once teeth have emerged next to each other, you can start incorporating flossing into the routine. It’s imperative that flossing becomes as regular as brushing to instill its full value because food, bacteria, and plaque can settle between teeth at any age.
Parents are wise to ease daily flossing responsibilities over to children between the age of eight and 10. If they can efficiently tie their own shoes, then they are probably able to floss on their own as well. Plastic flossers are terrific instruments to start children out with because they are easy to handle and resemble toothbrushes.
Show them how to work them in between the gaps and the proper C-turning method of cleaning the top of the gums and sawing motion along the inside of the teeth. Don’t hesitate to make flossing into little games, such as ice cream scooping the gums or tree-sawing the teeth. Sing-alongs can also boost flossing interest. When teaching youngsters, anything fun is Number One!
Educating About Flossing
The fun and games will eventually get stale. Children tend to learn, participate and continue important practices when they understand why they’re being asked to do them. There are two sides of flossing knowledge that can make this a lifelong policy, the pros, and cons.
Pros: Talk about the importance of a beautiful smile and healthy mouth.
Cons: Bleeding gums, bad breath and the dentist having to drill and fill the dark patches between teeth.
Impart information and examples of good and bad oral hygiene in ways that are easily understood by children. Simple, basic ideas and examples should carry the day.
The earlier that children learn and comprehend the importance of daily oral hygiene, the more likely they are to continue those practices into adulthood and enjoy oral hygiene excellence.