Do What I Say, Not What I Do: Teaching Your Kids to Floss Properly
For some of us, the idea of teaching our kids to floss is laughable. How are we supposed to teach something that we also don’t do? Every time most of us go to the dentist, we are asked if we are flossing and we sheepishly look down and mumble an ashamed “no.” If this is you, you are probably wondering how you are going to tackle the task of teaching about flossing.
Think of It as a Learning Experience
Everything in life can be taken as an opportunity to grow and improve and this is no exception. If you really want your kids to take flossing seriously, show them that it is something you are committed to. The first step is to change yourself. Commit to flossing with your kids every day to show them an example, and you will start to make a major lifestyle change yourself!
Choose the Right Tools
There are many flosses out there that are soft and gentle. Some of them might even be designed specifically for kids in texture and flavor. Pick out a soft floss to start your child out on. In addition, there are many flossing tools out there, especially to help kids with their reach or to make flossing more fun. If it is a problem in your family, consider one of these extras to help you along.
How to Hold the Floss
The first thing you will want to teach your child is how to properly hold the dental floss. You don’t want them cutting off the circulation to their fingers, but you also don’t want them to be holding the floss too loosely to actually floss their teeth. Make sure they have a good foot and a half of floss and that they understand how to collect the used floss on their fingers.
It’s All in the Wrists
Every day, show your child how to maneuver the floss around and in between their teeth to clean all around, including right under the gum line. Practice with them until they have full control over the smooth and gentle motions. Don’t worry if they jab it down too hard at first and cut their gum. Soon your kid (and you) will be flossing like a pro!