It can be tough to know when you should begin certain aspects of your child's oral health care routine, especially when it comes to flossing. Our Charlottetown dentists talk about when it's the best time to start flossing your children's teeth.
Why oral health care is so important for children
Oral health care is a crucial part of everyone's overall health, and if properly cared for many people can keep their teeth for a lifetime. Good oral health should begin early – even before a child’s first teeth erupt. Baby teeth generally start to peek through the gums at six months of age.
Besides allowing a child to eat and speak, baby teeth “hold the space” for adult teeth that will develop later. Parents play an important role in caring for their children’s mouths and helping them develop good oral cleaning habits. The first visit to the dental hygienist is recommended before the child turns one, and then regular visits should be scheduled.
In North America, cavities in children are a common concern. If left untreated these cavities have the potential to lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
What is the best time to start flossing my children's teeth?
You should begin flossing your child's teeth when they still have baby teeth. This becomes a critical part of your child's oral health as their teeth begin to fill in. Once your child is between the ages of 2 and 6 flossing will need to be one of the main parts of oral health care.
When should I let my children begin to floss on their own?
If your child is still not old enough to brush and floss properly on their own, then you should ensure that you help them floss to get them in the habit of flossing daily. Children are usually able to floss by themselves around the age of 10.
What is the best way to help them learn how to floss?
In order to stress the importance of flossing, and help them develop a good habit of flossing, it will be important for you to do it for them on a daily basis until they're able to do it themselves. You want to establish the healthy habit of daily flossing early so that when their permanent teeth come in, they already have flossing worked into their daily routine.
An easy way to make this a nice, comfortable experience for your children is to use soft floss.
Flossing is one of the most important parts of dental care and it is best to begin as early as possible in order to provide the best care for your children's teeth.
How to help your children be excited about flossing.
It may be a good idea to turn the idea of flossing into a sort of game for your children in wider to make it more exciting. One suggestion would be a peanut butter flossing activity. Put on a rubber glove and allow your child to spread peanut butter between your fingers. Explain how this resembles plaque and food getting stuck in between our teeth when we don’t floss and allow plaque to build up. Then, giving your child a piece of floss, instruct him/her to try and scrape off all of the peanut butter.
This activity, or something similar, can be a great way to entice your child into trying to floss more often.