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Teaching Your Young Child to Floss

Teaching Your Young Child to Floss

By teaching your child to floss early in life you can help them to develop oral hygiene habits that will help them to maintain good oral health throughout their lifetime. Below, our Langley children's dentists share a few ways to encourage your child to floss daily.

Teach Flossing Early

To make flossing a regular part of your child's oral hygiene routine, we recommend that you begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as they have two teeth side by side. We know this may seem very young to start, but this early introduction will help to make flossing a normal experience for your child as they get older. Not only that, by starting a flossing routine early in life you are helping your child to prevent tooth decay and other dental health issues later in childhood.

Age Appropriate Flossing Techniques

Of course, while your child is very young you will need to floss their teeth for them, but as your child gets older and their manual dexterity improves they will enjoy flossing for themselves. If your child is keen to start flossing their own teeth but isn't ready for regular dental floss, child appropriate flossers in a variety of shapes, colours and flavours are available online or at most well-stocked pharmacies. 

For older children who have developed the manual dexterity to floss with regular dental floss, there are a variety of dental floss options available. Find a dental floss that your child will enjoy using such as child friendly grape and berry flavoured flosses.

Let Your Child Pick Their Own Toothbrush & Floss

Let your child have fun shopping for oral hygiene equipment. Toothbrushes and other dental tools are available in multiple shapes and sizes. Help your child to choose tools that are age appropriate but that they will enjoy using. Kids feel very grownup when making decisions for themselves and will be more likely to use items that they choose for themselves. Most well stocked pharmacies have a range of toothbrushes and flossers in colours and shapes that your child will find fun, and will be excited to use twice a day.

Have Fun with Oral Hygiene

Spending time brushing and flossing as a family can be a fun way to encourage your children to floss. By caring for your oral health together, you're able to set a good example and spend some quality time teaching your child about the importance of caring for their oral health. To make the experience even more fun put on one of the many toothbrushing songs readily available online, or hum as you brush, then follow up with some family flossing. 

Reward You Child for Flossing

Try some positive reinforcement if your child is still reluctant to floss. Create or buy a calendar and add a star (or tooth sticker) for each day that your child flosses. Once your child has flossed for the predetermined number of days in a row, reward your child with a small treat. Age appropriate rewards could include stickers, crayons, or even a family trip to the movies or a new book.

If you'd like more information on how to encourage your child to adopt good oral hygiene habits contact our Langley children's dentists today. Your child's smile is our passion!

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