Regular tooth brushing and flossing are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The best way to insure that your child maintains good oral health through adulthood is to establish their oral hygiene routine early.
You can start teaching your child to floss when they are 2 or 3 years old. They will require supervision and assistance until they are about 8 years old, but establishing regular flossing habits will put them ahead of the dental health game as they grow up.
Flossing is important for removing the dental plaque trapped between teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush cannot usually reach. Flossing should be performed at least once a day and should take about two minutes. Speak to your child's dentist for specific suggestions about how and when to begin teaching your child to floss.
Floss comes in many colors and flavors, so it is a good idea to let your child pick one that they like. By making flossing something exciting to look forward to, you will increase the chance that your child will maintain the habit.
Three Easy Steps to Help Your Child Floss
Step One. To begin flossing, have your child cut off a piece of floss approximately 18 inches long.
Step Two. Have them wrap the ends around their middle or index fingers on both hands.
Step Three. Next, have them gently guide the floss between their teeth, carefully moving the floss around the tooth and under the gum line. Make sure they floss between the gum line and the side of each tooth.
Your dentist may also suggest that you use a prethreaded flosser or floss holder to make it easier for your child to maneuver floss around teeth. If you have any questions about your child's dental care habits, talk to your dentist today.