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How to help develop your child’s good flossing habits

children-playingStarting a new school year means getting back into daily routines. Your daily routine should include developing your child’s good flossing habits to prevent bacteria and build up that could lead to gum disease over time.

When should my child start flossing?

Flossing is necessary once a child’s teeth begin to fit closely together. This usually occurs between the ages of two and six. At first, you should assist your child, since the dexterity to hold a piece of floss will prove difficult. Usually by the age of 10 children are able to floss on their own. Even at this age though, it is important to check that your child is flossing daily and reaching all of their teeth.

How can I teach my child how to floss properly?

When introducing your child to flossing, use floss that is soft and flexible to prevent pain in between the gums.

  1. Take about 18 inches of floss and tie it into small circles on both ends of the strand so that your child’s fingers can easily slip into the holes. This technique helps children form a solid grip on the floss before they can comfortably hold both ends on their own. If your child does not need the circles at either end then loosely wrap the ends around your child’s pointer fingers.
  2. Gently slide the floss between your child’s teeth, making sure not to apply too much pressure.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape and slide it up and down along the sides of the tooth and under the gumline.
  4. A new section of floss should be used as you move from tooth to tooth.

Daily flossing helps to prevent plaque build up and infection that can lead to inflammation and gum disease. Proper brushing and flossing technique is important for child’s oral hygiene, along with regular visits to the dentist. To ensure that your child has healthy teeth, make an appointment with your Longmeadow dental professional today.