How to Floss Teeth

Children can learn how to floss teeth in five simple steps. Flossing helps keep teeth clean and prevents gingivitis and other infections. Although kids may make excuses for not flossing their teeth, it is a simple habit to fit into their morning or evening routine.

Keep reading to learn the proper ways to floss your teeth.

Five Steps to Proper Flossing

Follow these steps for the perfect flossing technique:

  1. Break off about 18 inches of floss—Wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand, and wind most of the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Leave a couple of inches between the two hands to work with. 
  2. Pinch the floss between thumbs and index fingers, and slide it in between two teeth—Start from the front center teeth or the back teeth, and progress in order so you can keep track of which teeth need flossing. 
  3. Slide the floss back and forth, working your way down to the base of the tooth—When the floss reaches the gum line, curve the floss around the bottom of the tooth and slide it back and forth between the gum and the tooth.
  4. Continue sliding the floss back and forth—Work your way up the side of the tooth until the floss is free.   
  5. Wind the used floss around one of your middle fingers as you release fresh floss from the other side—Repeat this flossing motion on the next tooth until all spaces between teeth have been flossed. 

Proper flossing only takes a few extra minutes and should be done at least once a day. It can be done before or after your child brushes, or anytime in between. 

Tools for Flossing Teeth

Most people choose to use dental floss to floss their teeth. There are two types of floss that you can choose from:

  • Nylon (several strands bond together): available in waxed or unwaxed.
  • PTFE (single strand): costs a bit more but will not shred as easily as nylon can.

If you find that handling strings of floss is too difficult for your child’s small hands, he or she can use other tools to floss teeth:

  • Plastic, pre-loaded Y-shaped flossers
  • Small round brushes
  • Soft rubber pics
  • Wooden or plastic pics

Whichever tool your child uses, make sure flossing becomes a regular part of his or her daily routine.

Schedule an Appointment at Kool Smiles

If you would like a demonstration of flossing technique, the family-friendly dental professionals at Kool Smiles will be happy to show you and your children how to floss teeth. Contact Kool Smiles to schedule an appointment today.

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Sources:

Mouth Healthy: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics

Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/article/how-to-floss 

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/flossing-excuses