When Should My Child Start Flossing Their Teeth?
Dental health is crucial to achieving a good overall health and appearance. As parents, we must know that fighting against oral problems does not have to be laborious and boring – it can also be fun. For instance, let them listen to fun songs while brushing to make the experience an enjoyable one. This is an essential lesson that children must learn at an early age so they can get the most out of their daily oral health routine.
In our offices we love to educate children about the importance of caring for teeth and gums. We explain to them that good oral care will prevent cavities and gum diseases, which are both painful and can cause permanent tooth loss. But bear in mind that nothing works better than being a good example to your kids by practicing proper oral care. The real learning happens at home in your everyday routines.
Aside from brushing, flossing is also critically important. If you are among those parents asking, “When should my child start flossing?”, as passionate pediatric dentists we thought we could share some insights here for you.
When to Start Flossing Your Child’s Teeth
We recommend that you start flossing your child’s teeth even while they have only their baby teeth. If their teeth start to fit closely together by the age of 2-6 years old, you can start getting them in the habit of flossing every day. Help your surfsiders learn to properly floss as they develop dexterity. Often, they will develop the ability to floss on their own once they reach the age of 10.
With floss that is flexible and soft, do it for them until they can do it themselves. By doing so, you help them develop a habit of flossing while they have their baby teeth. So if their permanent teeth erupt, they already have routine flossing worked into their day-to-day oral care regimen. If the floss you are using is uncomfortable or difficult for your child to use, ask your pediatric dentist for the best options.
Basic Flossing Tips for Kids
- Take at least 18 inches of floss. Loosely wrap most of it in each of your middle fingers, leaving about 1-1.5 inches of floss in between.
- With your thumb and index fingers, slide it down between your child’s teeth. Avoid snapping it down on the gums.
- In a “C” shape, curve the floss around every tooth and move it up and down the sides of every tooth and under the gum line. As you move from one tooth to another, unroll a new section of the floss.
Have your child follow these steps if they can floss on their own already. If your child’s gums bleed at first, don’t worry because this is common, but the bleeding must stop after several days of flossing. If bleeding persists, visit one of our Surfside Kids Dental offices right away.