Q&A: How can I teach my toddler to floss?
How can I best teach my toddler to floss? It's important, right?
Teaching your child how to take good care of his teeth is an important part of keeping him healthy. Tooth brushing can start as soon as first teeth begin to appear. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that flossing begin when any of your child’s teeth are touching or have grown in next to each other. They also recommend that by the time your child is about 2 to 2 1/2 that flossing should be done at a minimum of twice a week, or daily if you prefer.
How to Floss
You can use a floss holder, which may make it easier for your child to start trying herself. If you are flossing her teeth for her instead, wrap the floss around yostour fingers and gently clean between her teeth—up and down and side to side. If you are doing it for her, be careful not to force the floss between teeth if they are very close together and tightly spaced. If the floss is forced and then hurts her gums, it may cause bleeding, which will hurt and make her less likely to sit still for it. After flossing it is a good idea to rinse with cold water.
As with many activities, making this one fun will go a long way in gaining your child’s cooperation. Also, by showing her that flossing is something you do routinely, you’re helping to reinforce its importance. Brush your teeth together and make it fun.
Your dentist is a great resource for tips and advice with regards to your family’s oral health. Also, check out these articles and pointers.