Many people wonder when their child should start flossing. Typically, your child should start flossing between age 2 and 3. This should only happen under the direction of you and/or your child’s dentist. Children’s teeth can be sensitive so it is best to consult an expert before flossing. It’s not necessary to floss before the age of 2 or 3. That being said, kids still usually need help with flossing until they are 8 to 10 years old.
Why Is Flossing Important?
Brushing your child’s teeth properly and on a consistent basis will help remove plaque, but simply brushing will not remove all of the hidden plaque in between teeth. It is particularly difficult to get to plaque in between your child’s teeth. In addition to getting rid of plaque, flossing also will also help:
- Remove food and other gunk that that sticks to teeth and gums
- It helps maintain a sparkling smile and polishes the surfaces of teeth
- Helps to control bad breath by ridding the mouth of food particles
Flossing should be done at least once a day for a few minutes for the highest impact.
What Kind of Floss Should I Use for my Child?
Since regular flossing of your child’s teeth is one of the beast weapons against plaque, you need to make sure you have the right weapon for the fight.
There are several different types of floss, including the following:
- Waxed and unwaxed floss
- Flavored and unflavored
- Wide and regular
- Textured and smooth
Discuss which type of floss is best with your dentist.
What is the Best Method to Floss my Child’s Teeth?
The dentist or other oral healthcare provider is the best person to consult regarding the best flossing techniques. Some of the flossing techniques include the following:
The Spool Method
This is probably the most common method of flossing and is pretty straight-forward. Simply cut off an 18 to a 20-inch-long piece of floss, and then wrap each side of the floss around each of the middle fingers. Next, move the floss between the teeth in an up and down motion.
Loop method (also called the circle method)
Another great technique is to cut off an 18-inch-long piece of floss and then tie it in a circle. Next, place all of the fingers within the loop. Then simply use your index fingers to help guide the floss through the teeth.
Conclusion: Floss Daily, Not Weekly!
No matter which flossing technique your child uses, make sure that it is done on a consistent daily basis. This will help prevent cavities and money down the road. The number one goal is for your child to have a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.
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