When Should My Kiddo Start Flossing?

When Should My Kiddo Start Flossing?

When Should My Kiddo Start Flossing?

Flossing?! Isn’t that for grown-ups? 
I’m afraid of them cutting their little fingers with the floss. 
Doesn’t it just end up as a pile of string on the floor?
Are they really doing anything back there? 
I can’t hold them down to floss! Yikes! 

Does this sound like you? These are just a sample of the things we hear from our pediatric dentistry parents about flossing. At Quince Orchard Dental Care, we’re all about oral health for our littlest patients so let’s get down to the facts, and the tips to help you out. 

Yes. Your little one should start flossing. When? As soon as they have two teeth that touch. It’s important to keep those crevices clean and plaque-free. Not only will flossing help them avoid stinky breath, but it will also help them avoid cavities. And trust us, those little ones in the back are hard to get at for fillings. 

How do you get them to do it? Grown-ups often use a regular old string of dental floss. Pull it out, and wind it around your fingers. Go to town. Right? But that’s actually pretty tricky for our kiddos - that’s why we recommend flossers! There are a few different brands that you can go with (Quip even makes a refillable one for those of you that are concerned about the environmental impact of the extra plastic involved). Just be sure that whatever you purchase is kid-sized for their little mouths. 

What to do / Our tips:

  • Give them some choices to make it interesting. Would they like to floss before or after they brush their teeth? Is it a blue flosser day or a green one? What flavor floss? When kids are in control of part of the process, they feel invested and are excited about participating. 
  • Back to front or front to back? Another choice! Just don’t forget tops AND bottoms...another choice ;-)
  • Small Spaces Tip: Sometimes biting down on the flosser helps with teeth that are super close together. 
  • Think Cs: Remind them that they should pull the flosser against the back side of the space and the front, making a C shape around the bottom of their tooth. It’s likely that this won’t happen super well, but just remember that you’re instilling good habits now! 

There will definitely be days when your kiddo wants to floss themselves and other days when they want you to do it. Enjoy the variety. 

If you’re not sure about flossing or if your child is ready, contact us! We’d love to meet them, take a look at those cute chompers and let you know if the time has come to start flossing. 

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