When it comes to your child and flossing there are two things that we get asked about the most often. The first is “When should I begin flossing my child’s teeth?” And the second is, “When should I begin teaching my child how to floss on their own?”
WHEN TO START FLOSSING
Believe it or not, the time to start flossing is when your child has two teeth that touch. That means that around 6 months of age when your child’s lower incisors erupt, you should begin flossing in between those wee little pearly whites! This removes plaque from in between the teeth where normal brushing doesn’t always reach. It also keeps plaque from eating away at the enamel on the teeth just below the gum line. As your child grows and gets more teeth, it’s important that a caregiver is the one doing the flossing.
Children begin to want to do things on their own, and this is fine, but before your child can effectively floss independently, try ‘taking turns’ when it comes to flossing. Before your child brushes their teeth, floss in between every tooth, and then let your child have a go at it. They’ll begin to learn how to do it on their own a little at a time.
WHEN CAN THEY FLOSS ON THEIR OWN?
Children under the age of 6 generally lack the fine motor skills to brush and floss their own teeth effectively without assistance. Take the time to teach your child the proper technique, the correct length of floss and how to wrap it gently around their index finger.
When they begin to master this skill, continue to supervise them as they floss until you’re confident that they are effectively getting in between all of the teeth. Don’t forget to make your child’s checkups part of their normal oral hygiene routine! Give us a call today and schedule your next cleaning.