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April 18, 2019

What Age Should My Child Start Flossing?

Caring for your child’s teeth from a young age will ensure healthy, happy smiles, and also sets the stage for a lifetime of oral health. While most parents understand the importance of flossing, many wonder what age to start.

 

When To Start Flossing

You will need to begin flossing daily once the teeth start to fit closely together, usually between the ages of two and six. To tell whether your child is ready to floss, try to slide a piece of floss between two teeth. If it sticks a little, you’ll know that the teeth are touching and it’s time to floss. 

 

Why Floss?

While your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, keeping them healthy is an important aspect of ensuring healthy permanent teeth. Baby teeth hold the space and serve as guides for the adult teeth that will come in. They also help with the healthy development of the jaws and muscles.

 

Flossing removes bacteria and plaque buildup between teeth that can potentially lead to inflammation and gum disease over time. Having healthy teeth will enable your child to bite and chew, allowing for proper nutrition, and will also help with speech development. Losing primary teeth early due to poor oral health can be harmful to your child’s oral health. Neighboring teeth may begin shifting into gaps, resulting in crooked permanent teeth that will likely need orthodontic treatment down the road.

 

Baby teeth can get cavities, so regular flossing and brushing are essential practices. The earlier you start developing a proper oral hygiene routine, the more likely it is to continue into adulthood.

 

Helping Your Child Floss

You’ll need to floss your children’s teeth until they are able to do it themselves. Most children are ready to floss on their own around second or third grade.

 

Choose floss that is soft and flexible to avoid hurting your child’s teeth and gums. Gently slide the dental floss between your child’s teeth, and be careful not to snap it down on the gums. Curve the floss around each tooth and carefully move it up and down the sides. Use a fresh part of the floss as you move from one tooth to the next.

 

It is common for gums to bleed at first. After a few days of flossing, bleeding should subside as the gums become healthier. If the bleeding continues, make sure to schedule an appointment at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

 

Once your child can floss independently, make sure to observe carefully to ensure proper flossing and that all the back teeth are included. Better yet, join the fun and floss alongside your child. Children love doing what their parents do, so be a role model and motivate your child to practice good oral hygiene practices.

 

About Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

We, at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, are passionate about helping our young patients establish proper dental hygiene practices. We are here to offer tips and advice on how to care for your child’s oral health. We look forward to working alongside you to ensure your child’s smile is off to a great start!