While 45% of parents say getting their child to floss is challenging, we’ve got a few tricks and tips to help you keep their pearly whites safe from plaque.
Giving them the right tools is key to making flossing fun. Then you can apply your expert flossing techniques for them while encouraging them to observe and try.
Let’s go over the best way to floss and what flossing tools are safe to use on little smiles.
What age should you start to floss your child’s teeth?
You may have heard that children should start flossing when two teeth begin to touch. But the truth is that children don’t have the dexterity to properly floss at this age. That’s where you – the parents come in!
But what exactly does “two teeth touching” mean? Should you be flossing your 8 month old’s teeth?
The answer is no, you shouldn’t be flossing your infant’s teeth! Flossing should start between the ages of 2 and 3. You’ll know it’s time to start flossing your toddler’s teeth once their baby teeth begin to close the gaps between them and the sides touch.
5 best floss sticks for children
Floss sticks are a great tool to use to get your child excited about flossing! They’re colorful and the perfect size for little hands and mouths. Some are silly shapes like swirls or animals, others have flavored floss, and most have fluoride-coated floss thread. You can choose whichever one you feel your child will be comfortable with or try out a few different ones to find the perfect fit!
To help narrow down your choices, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best floss sticks for kids:
- DenTek Kids Fun Flossers. These floss sticks are the first and only ADA-approved flossing tools for kids! They effectively remove plaque from your child’s teeth, are colorful, and have a fruit flavor.
- GUM-897 Crayola Kids’ Flossers. These offer a wide sturdy grip, a fluoride-coating, a variety of flavors, and have cool, colorful designs.
- Plackers Kids Dual Grip Flossers. This one checks all the boxes too! From the makers of the first dental flossers, Plackers flossers for kids offer shred-proof floss and a comfortable dual-grip handle.
- EcoFrenzy Kids Floss Picks. These strawberry-flavored, giraffe-shaped flossers are also great for establishing healthy dental habits. Bonus – these are dentist recommended and safe for the environment!
- Firefly Kids Flossers. This brand offers bright-colored flossers that are fluoride and flavor-free.
If you find another brand that you think your child will like, give it a try! Fun and comfort are the strongest motivators to help your toddler learn healthy oral habits.
How to floss a toddler’s teeth
The two most important things to remember when flossing your child’s teeth is to be firm, but gentle as you hug their tooth with floss and be aware of how far beneath their gum line you go.
Here’s how to floss a toddler’s teeth:
- Get in a comfortable position for you and your child.
- Grab one of your child’s floss sticks and fit the floss thread between the back top or back bottom teeth.
- Gently turn the floss stick until it forms the letter ‘C’.
- Gently move the floss back and forth, slowly rising down to tuck just under the curve of your child’s gum and back up to the crown. (You’ll know how deep to go beneath the gum line once the ‘C’ touches the crown of your child’s tooth.)
- Repeat on the next tooth, taking care to remove any food particles with a clean paper towel or washcloth.
- Continue until the sides of all your child’s teeth have been cleaned.
Having your child hold a mirror while you floss their teeth, setting up a visual timer, or playing their favorite song also helps them stay calm, interested, and makes flossing fun!
Once your child is used to floss sticks (about age 5 or 6), it’s time to introduce traditional children’s floss into their routine once a week. You can start off by letting them watch you floss, encouraging your child to notice the differences and similarities between traditional floss and floss sticks, and letting them explore with a sample piece while you floss in front of them.
Start great oral health habits with floss sticks!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time!
We want to empower parents with the right information to help their littles care for their growing smiles. Using floss sticks can help you and your child build a strong oral hygiene routine together while making flossing fun.
Dr. Sierra, Dr. Kwon, Dr. Patel, and our team are here to help guide you and your child. We offer kinder, gentler dentistry for kids and teens. It is our goal that your child develops and maintains a positive association with dental care and we do everything we can to create a pleasant, supportive, and fun environment for our little patients.