Why You Should Encourage Flossing in Your Child’s Dental Routine

young girl with pigtails pulls out a long strand of dental floss

Everyone needs to brush and floss to maintain good oral health, including kids! While many kids develop good dental habits at a young age, you may be less strict about getting them to floss. Why should you encourage flossing in a child’s daily dental routine?

Why Does Flossing Matter?

A toothbrush can clean most of a tooth’s surface, but the bristles can’t get in the small spaces between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so important! The thin string removes plaque and food debris from between the teeth and along the gum line. If a child neglects to floss, they can develop gum disease and cavities even if they’re brushing really well.

At What Age Should Kids Start to Floss?

Flossing should start as soon as a child has two teeth that touch each other. That typically happens around 2-3 years old, so you’ll need to floss your child’s teeth for them. As they develop more flexibility in their hands, they can start learning to floss themselves. Kids can usually floss without help at 8-10 years old.

Is There a Right Way to Floss?

Like teeth brushing, there’s a right and wrong way to floss! If you’re using regular floss, you should start with a piece that’s about 20 inches long. Wrap each side of the floss around your middle fingers and hold the middle piece with your index fingers and thumbs. Guide the floss between your teeth, being careful not to snap or saw the string against your gums. Make sure the floss rubs against the sides of each tooth, so it properly removes all plaque. As you floss, wrap the floss around one of your middle fingers, so you get a clean piece of floss for each tooth!

Children’s Dentistry at Growing Smiles Pediatric and Family Dentistry in Voorhees & Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Flossing is an important part of a child’s dental routine, and while it can be challenging to encourage them, they’ll thank you later! Dr. Sekhon and the team are also happy to help with any questions or concerns. Please contact us today to schedule a cleaning or another one of our services!

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