Is Flossing for Children?

Brushing and flossing, flossing and brushing — it is so important for good dental health, that our Placerville dentists and hygienists usually say them together. At what age, however, should parents start flossing their children’s teeth? Is it ever too young to start flossing?

When to Start Flossing

The answer is yes, it can be too young to start flossing. Flossing is designed to remove plaque between the teeth. When babies first get their teeth, and for some time after, their teeth have wide gaps between them. So all they need at the start is this: once or twice a day gently rub their teeth with a soft cloth. When children start getting more teeth, twice daily brushing becomes necessary. It is a lot to expect young children to take care of this important task all on their own, so help from an adult is advised. Anything that can make this an enjoyable experience should be tried – action figure toothbrushes, battery-operated toothbrushes, brightly colored toothpastes, sticker boards to track a job well done – parents should choose the approach that fits their child.
Once a child’s teeth are closer together, a child should start flossing daily. This can vary anywhere from age two to six depending on the child. If a child needed help learning how to brush properly, they will really need some assistance learning how to floss. It is important for parents to do this for them until they are mature enough or coordinated enough to do it for themselves. While it may seem like one more thing to add to impossibly busy days and nights for time-strapped parents, building it into a family’s routine will help create lifelong habits of good dental care. Can you imagine your little one sitting in the dental chair being quizzed on his or her dental routine? Can you imagine the giant pat you’ll give yourself on the back when your child announces “I brush and floss!” Go order yourself a Parent of the Year Award, because at that point you’ve earned it!


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