Most parents know that their children need to start cleaning their teeth as soon as they come in. However, deciding when to begin flossing can be more of a challenge. Below is some information to help you decide whether it is time to help your kids learn to floss.
Why is flossing important?
Flossing is an important part of your dental care routine because it removes food particles from between your teeth. When these particles are not removed, they can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
When should children start flossing?
Establishing good flossing habits early in life is important for many reasons. When children learn to floss early, they are more likely to continue this behavior throughout their lives. In addition, establishing good flossing habits at an early age ensures that teeth and gums remain as healthy as possible.
In general, it is best to begin flossing as soon as your child’s teeth start to fit closely together. This usually happens between the ages of two and six. If you aren’t sure whether it is time for your child to begin flossing, talk to your child’s dentist.
How to teach children to floss
When you have decided it is time for your child to start flossing, you will need to do it for them at first. Most children will be able to floss on their own without help by the time they are 10 years old. Be sure to purchase a flexible, soft floss to prevent injuries to the gums while your child is still learning. Continue to supervise and assist your child with flossing each day until the habit is established and he or she can floss without help.
Most children will experience some bleeding during the first few flossing sessions, which is normal. However, if bleeding continues for more than a week, be sure to mention the issue to your child’s dentist.
Getting help from the dentist
One of the best ways to make sure that your child is engaging in the appropriate dental care habits is to ask your child’s dentist for guidance. In general, children should be visiting the dentist once every six months for a cleaning and a check-up. During this visit, you can ask the dentist or another member of the staff to discuss flossing and other important dental care habits with your child.
If your child needs to see a dentist for a check-up or cleaning, please contact Dentistry for Children today. You can also request an appointment online.