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Flossing is essential for removing food debris and plaque that brushing misses. In doing so, it helps reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. In turn, clean, healthy teeth positively impact your child’s life, their overall health, development, even their academic performance.

So when should kids start flossing? Once teeth start to touch — yes, we’re talking as early as baby teeth — it’s time to bring out the dental floss. But as your Missouri City pediatric dentist, we know that getting kids into a daily flossing habit isn’t always easy. So, how can you encourage your kids to floss daily?

Check out these seven strategies from your team at The Beach House Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics to help you make flossing a fun habit for your kids.

1. Choose the Right Floss

Start with choosing the right floss. As your board-certified pediatric dentists, Dr. Parker and Dr. Nasir know that traditional string floss can be challenging for little hands to handle, so the best floss for kids is one that’s easy to use. For kids who are old enough to handle them, try kids’ dental floss picks or a water flosser. If you have really wee ones, we recommend flossing their teeth for them until they’ve got the dexterity to handle it themselves.

Flavor is also a big deal. Let your kids choose a floss flavor that appeals to them; maybe a yummy, fruit- or candy-like flavor that’s way more kid-friendly than boring old mint.

And if your child recently got braces? We know flossing with braces can be a challenge at first, which is why our orthodontist, Dr. Shadow, recommends getting a floss threader to help thread floss between the braces and teeth. You can also stock up on interdental brushes for easy flossing on the go.

2. Lead by Example

As any parent knows, behavior modeling can go a long way in building any habit. Flossing is no exception! Ensure you floss daily to show your kids how important it is for everyone’s oral health. Be sure to emphasize gentle yet thorough flossing techniques.

3. Gamify Your Flossing Education

Use kid-friendly videos or apps that gamify at-home oral hygiene and teach kids how to floss. The Brush DJ app lets you add music to your kids’ oral hygiene routine and has reminders for flossing and brushing.

4. Create a Routine That Includes Flossing

What should your kids’ flossing habit look like? The American Association of Orthodontists suggests flossing once a day before brushing so your child can dislodge food particles and plaque first, then brush and rinse it away. And when should kids floss? We recommend that kids floss at night to clear out food particles and plaque that have accumulated throughout the day.

5. Reward Progress

Create a reward or sticker chart to track your kids’ daily flossing. Of course, the number of days they floss to receive their reward is up to you. Younger kids might be more motivated with shorter periods and smaller rewards, while bigger kids can appreciate longer periods and bigger payoffs.

6. Tips on Flossing for Tot Teeth

Should you floss your toddlers’ teeth? Absolutely! As we mentioned earlier, kids should start flossing as soon as their teeth touch, which can happen as early as two or three years old. You’ll likely have to floss your kids’ teeth during their toddler years, then transition to independent flossing when they have the dexterity. Use colorful floss picks or interdental brushes to make flossing extra fun for toddlers.

7. Make it Interactive

Make flossing fun with interactivity and imagination. Maybe it’s pretending that floss is a “tiny toothbrush” for each tooth. Or, if your kids love music, try playing or singing a favorite song while they floss.

Get More Kids Flossing Tips From Your Missouri City Pediatric Dentist

At The Beach House Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we’re all about providing exceptional pediatric dental care at every visit and encouraging lifelong oral health at home. So, if you need more tips for establishing your kids’ flossing routine, let us know!

Schedule an appointment for a check-up and cleaning at our Missouri City, TX, office and we’ll chat about how to make flossing a new habit. Let’s work together to achieve sunny smiles for your kids!