Brushing cleans off plaque and polishes the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing gets between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first teeth come in. Begin flossing as soon as they have two teeth that are next to each other.
When Should Children Start Flossing?
Plaque can build up between teeth as soon as two teeth touch each other. A toothbrush can’t clean in this small space, which means it’s time to floss. Most kids will get two teeth that touch around 2 to 3 years old. Flossing is trickier than brushing, so kids may need help until they’re about 6 to 10 years old.
What’s the Proper Way to Floss?
Get a piece of floss that’s 18-20 inches long. Wrap most of the floss around the index and middle fingers of one hand with the rest around the other hand’s fingers. Using your thumb to maneuver and help hold the floss in place, move between each set of teeth. Move the used floss to wrap around the other hand’s fingers. This way, you’re using a clean part of floss for each space. You can also use a water flosser, floss picks, or a combination of multiple flossing tools.
What Happens If Kids Don’t Floss?
We understand it can be challenging to get kids to brush and floss every day! But if you don’t floss, bacteria builds up between the teeth and under the gums. This can lead to tooth decay and gum inflammation called gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. If your child establishes a daily flossing habit now, they will be much less likely to develop dental disease during their life.
Preventive Dental Care for Kids at Storybook Smiles
We invite children to start visiting our office when they get their first tooth or by the time they turn one. In addition to daily cleaning their teeth at home, bring them to visit our office every six months for professional cleanings and exams. Please contact us today with any questions or to book their appointment!