Brush, Floss, Swish – 3 to 5 Years
Supplies and Preparation
- Floss and or white yarn
For Extending the Learning:
- Egg carton (cut in half and place upside down to represent a row of teeth)
- Plastic or cut outs of food pieces or wrappers
- Scarf or yarn
- Flossing is Fun!
- Toothbrushing and Flossing Chart
Starting the Conversation
- Does your child have teeth that touch? If yes, how do you clean in between the teeth?
- Have you tried flossing your child’s teeth?
- How does your child respond when you floss his teeth? What’s working well?
- What can I help you do?
- It is recommended that we all floss our teeth at least once a day that includes adults and children!
Parent and Child Activities
1. Demonstrate How to Floss a Child’s Teeth
- Demonstrate how to floss a child’s teeth by using the parent’s hand (each finger represents a tooth). Use floss or white yarn and the flossing instructions on the “How to Floss” handout, page 101.
2. Practice Flossing the Child’s Teeth
- Show the parent the different types of floss/ flossers and let her choose the one she likes best.
- Coach the parent as she flosses her child’s teeth. Model how to encourage the child to open his mouth. For example, tell the child to open wide like an alligator.
- Remind the parent that flossing takes practice, and it will become easier over time.
HOW TO FLOSS
- Wrap the floss around your middle or index fingers to get a firm grip.
- Hold between your thumbs and fingers.
- Gently slide the floss between two teeth. Then wrap the floss toward one tooth, hugging it as you gently slide it up, back, forth, and down.
- Repeat this process on all teeth. Remember to hug that back tooth even though it is the last one in line.
Extending the Learning
A. Let the child paint or color teeth on an egg carton
- Once the carton is painted, the child can practice flossing in between the teeth with white yarn.
B. Bring some teeth cuts outs and hide them around the room
- Let the child find them while you’re talking with the parent!
C. Flossing dance
- Turn on some music and give child a piece of white string, yarn or scarf and let her dance and wiggle the “floss” up and down her side to the music.
- What might make flossing fun for you and your child?
- What can you try so that flossing becomes a regular part of your child’s daily routine? What time of day would work best?