Teach Children How To Floss Their Teeth

By Christine Cox, Choosy Kids Contributor

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Did you know that only about 50% of Americans actually floss their teeth daily, according to the American Dental Association? That leaves only half of the population to teach their children the importance of flossing and how to do it properly. Now is the time to make a change..

When Can A Child Floss?

As soon as your child has two teeth beside each other, start a flossing routine. I personally have found the floss sticks to be a great help as they are easy to get in between teeth. After speaking with my dentist, he said they are wonderful, as long as you are moving them around once between the teeth. That got me thinking…how can I teach my children how to floss their own teeth?

Get Creative!

Hands-on learning is one of the many ways children can learn. By creating hands-on learning experiences and experiments at home, children can analyze, problem solve, understand, and  retain what they have learned, and transfer that awareness to other experiences. I looked around my living room trying to think of a way to teach my daughter how to floss and then it came to me! Mega blocks and Legos!

In this example, I used the Mega Blocks to represent her teeth and put playdough in the space between to represent the plaque that can get stuck in between and on our teeth. I gave her the exact floss stick that I have always used to floss her teeth and explained to her the representation of teeth and plaque. 

After a quick lesson of how to properly insert the floss stick between the “teeth”, she went straight to trying it on the Mega Block. She learned quickly to move the floss stick up and down on the Mega Block to make sure she got all of the playdough out. I was so pleased with this activity and she really grasped a good understanding of how to floss her own teeth.

Not Just For Kids

Everyone should floss their teeth at least once a day. Daily flossing helps remove plaque from in between and on the teeth where it can easily create cavities. If your child is still drinking from a bottle, and has two teeth beside each other, flossing is even more important to make sure you get all of the excess milk off of the teeth. At the same time, removing plaque helps reduce the risk of gum disease or gingivitis which can result in bleeding and inflamed gums.

A great resource for additional information about keeping children's teeth health is from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Do your children floss with your help?? At what age did you introduce it?


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