Teaching your child good oral habits begin early, but how early should you let them begin to self-care without your assistance? Early habits will set them up for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles, so let's look at how every parent should make sure that they're teaching their child how to care for those pearly whites!
The Importance of Flossing
While your child may see flossing their teeth as little more than an inconvenience, it's a crucial part of good oral care. Flossing removes food particles and plaque that have accumulated between the teeth in places where normal brushing simply cannot reach. Not only does it clean out the plaque and food debris, it polishes the sides of the teeth and prevents tartar build up as well.
Flossing should become part of your child's daily oral health habits as soon as they have two teeth that touch. This means that when those first lower incisors peek through, you should begin flossing in between them. As your child grows, you can teach them the proper flossing technique. How long of a piece of floss they will need, how to gently hold it between the thumb and forefinger and wrap it around the forefinger to reduce the chances of slippage.
Learning how to gently ease the floss in between the teeth and slide below the gum line is a skill that your child will begin to master around age 6 or 7. Prior to that, while you can work together with your child, you should be the one doing the flossing. We suggest that if a child is showing signs of independence that you 'take turns' flossing their teeth. That way, you can make sure that it's getting done effectively, and your child can practice self-care on their own.
Remember that we are always happy to visit with you and your child about the importance of proper brushing and flossing! Give us a call today and schedule your next checkup!