When Does My Child Need to Start Flossing?

Every child begins to grow their teeth at a unique time, and once those first teeth begin arriving, it’s important to start brushing them with an appropriately sized, soft brush. However, as more teeth arrive and begin growing closing together, it’s time to think about flossing.

Once a child has baby teeth that are touching, it’s time to begin flossing between them to prevent food from getting stuck between those teeth.

Teach Children With Their Primary Teeth

Teaching children to floss as soon as they have primary teeth that touch together will start a good habit while they are young. However, since young children may not have very advanced motor skills, parents will need to help their children with flossing. Taking the time to help them floss their teeth each day until they are able to do it alone will help them develop a healthy habit that will last a lifetime, preventing many dental problems.

floss pediatric dentist MedicaidSometimes it’s difficult to teach a small child how to floss, since it’s a foreign concept to them. You’ll need to be patient with your child. Follow these important steps to ensure your child learns to floss his teeth properly:

  1. Begin with a strand of floss that is 12-18 inches long
  2. Tie the ends in a knot with a loop that their little fingers are able to fit in, wrapping the floss around the fingers gently until just an inch of the floss is left between the fingers
  3. Have your child begin to slowly, gently slide floss between the teeth, moving slowly back and forth while keeping a good grip on the floss

If the floss touches your child’s gums, the gums may begin bleeding, which is normal. While it may startle your child, you can let them know that this will go away as they keep flossing. Children have tender gums, but after several days of flossing, the gums will toughen enough to be able to handling flossing without a problem.

Of course, if you have any questions about when it’s time to floss or how to help your child floss properly, you can always talk to your child’s dentist for more information.

Contact Jamboree Dentistry at our north Houston or our south Houston office for more questions. We’re a pediatric dentist accepting Medicaid, and we serve the Greater Houston area.