When Should Your Child Start Flossing?

Think you can wait until your child’s permanent teeth come in to start flossing? Think again.

It’s important to start a life-long habit of flossing from a very young age. That way, your child will develop good oral hygiene skills that last the rest of their lives.

When should my child start flossing?

It’s easy to determine when your child should start flossing. When two baby teeth (yes, baby teeth!) are close enough to touch, you should start flossing your child’s teeth. If you’re in doubt, slide a piece of floss between two teeth. If you feel resistance, it’s time to start flossing. Generally speaking, your child’s molars are the first teeth to touch, usually around age 2.

Is flossing really important for kids?

Flossing removes particles of food that get lodged between your child’s teeth. If not removed, the food can cause tooth decay and gum disease. And even if your child has only baby teeth, flossing is still important. Just like permanent teeth, baby teeth are susceptible to decay. That means cavities can occur which require invasive fillings. It’s also important to introduce your child to important habits like flossing from an early age.

Should I floss my child’s teeth?

Yes! Most young children lack the dexterity to floss their teeth adequately. Children will need assistance flossing their teeth until about second grade when fine motor skills improve to the point that they can perform their own oral health routine. Many dentists say when a child starts writing in cursive, he or she has the ability to floss.

If you’ve got more questions, we’d love to discuss your child’s oral health. Please give Sunshine Smiles a call, and we’ll schedule a convenient time to talk further.