We all know it’s essential that children brush their teeth twice a day but it’s just as important that we teach them to floss at least once a day. Bacteria, plaque, and food can become stuck in between teeth, potentially leading to gum inflammation/disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
When Should They Start Flossing?
Flossing should be done even if your child only has baby teeth. The habit of flossing daily should be introduced to your child when their tooth surfaces are next to one another or touching.
As they develop dexterity, you can help them learn to floss on their own, which usually occurs at around the age of 10. Teaching the correct brushing and flossing techniques at a young age means that your child is more likely to continue life-long good oral hygiene habits.
Don’t worry if your child’s gums bleed a little at first, this is quite common. This should discontinue after a few days of flossing as the gums become healthier. But if persistent, check in with your dental professional.
What Type Of Floss?
Make sure to choose floss that is soft and flexible, or use floss picks, so that it does not hurt their teeth and is gentle on the gums.
How To Floss
Step 1: Hold a short length of floss between the thumb and index finger, twining it around one finger at each end to gain better control. Floss picks can be used instead to make it easier. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when inserting the floss between the child’s teeth.
Step 2: Adjust the floss into a ‘C’ shape curve around each tooth and slide it up and down gently along the side of the tooth and under the gumline.
Step 3: Use a new section of floss, or rinse/ wipe the floss pick for each tooth to avoid reinsertion of food and plaque.
Step 4: An interdental brush can be used to clean between tooth surfaces that have space.