Mom and young son flossing

How to Encourage Good Flossing Habits

You may not know, but children should floss their teeth just as often as adults, as long as they are old enough to start flossing. Like brushing their teeth, flossing helps to keep teeth clean, gums healthy, and plaque at bay. Plus, encouraging early flossing habits can help to keep your child flossing well into his or her adult life. So, how can you encourage your child to floss every day? And when should you start your child on a flossing regimen? We have those answers and more in today’s article! As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child — we’re conveniently located in Montrose and cater to children of all ages.

Baby smiling

When to Start Flossing

Parents often ask us when they should start flossing their child’s teeth. That answer depends on when and how a child’s teeth erupt. The general rule is that parents should floss their child’s teeth as soon as there are any close gaps. Simply start flossing between these gaps as they appear. Take note, you’ll have to floss for your child for some time, since flossing presents a choking hazard. Floss your child’s teeth until the ages of eight and 10, when a child may be mature enough to floss on their own. At this point, you should monitor your child until you are certain they can floss safely on their own.

How to Encourage Good Habits

We recommend that parents continue to monitor or floss with their children throughout childhood, or until they are certain that flossing is habitual. You can encourage your child to floss twice daily by rewarding them for good behavior. You can also keep a calendar and set an alarm to better encourage your child to floss every day, twice per day. Simply have them mark off on the calendar every time they floss. You can also set alarms on your phone to remind your child to floss, until they remember to do so on their own.

Young girl flossing

How to Floss With Your Child

As your child ages, the techniques for flossing will change. As we mentioned, you should floss for your child as soon as they have teeth that create a gap next to one another. Be sure to take about two feet of floss, wrap it around the fingers, ending by pinching the floss between the thumbs and forefingers of each hand. Use this floss to gently work between the gaps of teeth, working the floss back and forth at the height of the gumline. Do not press into the gums, which can cause bleeding and discomfort. Clear away debris from all teeth, then help your child to brush. As your children grow old enough to floss for themselves, teach them the same technique to hold their floss. Be sure not to let your child press into their gums, nor wrap the floss too tightly around their fingers!

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Have questions about flossing or regular cleaning habits for your child? Whether you just have questions or you need to schedule a regular cleaning for your child, you can always count on My Pediatric Dentist. If you would like to learn more about the dental services that we offer, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment, then please contact us today. We’re conveniently located in Montrose, and we’ll do our utmost to ensure that your child is comfortable throughout their visit!

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