At What Age Should My Child Start Flossing?
March 8th, 2021
Much like brushing, flossing is an essential component of your child’s oral hygiene routine. The question is, how do you know when it’s time to start? Your trusted team at Avalon Dental Care is here to offer tips on maintaining clean and healthy smiles.
When Should Children Start Flossing?
While flossing may sound pretty grown-up, dental professionals encourage parents to start as soon as a child has two teeth that touch, usually around ages 2-3. Even though younger infants and toddlers have multiple teeth, it takes some time for them to start fitting closely together.
The earlier kids start flossing, the more likely they are to stick with it. As a parent, make sure to supervise and help with flossing, especially when it comes to younger kids. Even when your child can floss independently, it’s best to supervise until around age 10, when you can be sure that all the hard-to-reach areas between the teeth are cleaned well.
How Should Your Child Floss?
Make sure your child flosses at least once a day. You’ll have to floss your child’s teeth during the early years until those little fingers can hold the floss on their own. Here’s how to floss just right:
- Get a piece of floss about 18 to 20 inches long and wrap each end around your middle fingers.
- Gently slide and glide the floss between the teeth using your index fingers and thumbs to keep the floss tight.
- Use an up and down, not side-to-side motion, and make sure to avoid “snapping” the floss into the space between teeth to prevent damage to the gums.
- Bend the floss to make a “C” shape on each tooth and guide it below the gum line.
- As you move from tooth to tooth, use a fresh piece of floss.
Special Flossing Considerations
Any type of floss will work for your child. However, some parents find it easier to use wider, flatter floss to help clean between those tiny, spaced-out teeth. If you struggle to reach the smaller areas in your child’s mouth, floss picks can help. Keep in mind that some bleeding when you start flossing is normal. However, if the bleeding persists, make sure to contact Avalon Dental Care for an evaluation.
Quality Preventative Care Near Me
Visit Avalon Dental Care in the El Segundo and Lomita areas to learn more about maintaining your little one’s clean and healthy smile. We are proud to offer tips for oral hygiene practices along with quality preventative services to keep dental disease at bay. We look forward to caring for your child’s oral health. Call us and schedule your appointment today!