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What Age to Start Flossing?

Beyond brushing, any pediatric dentist in Calgary can tell you that flossing is important in ensuring a child’s oral health. However, some parents can get stumped on when to introduce flossing into their child’s oral hygiene routine. 

Learn what age is the best to start flossing, so you are equipped to teach your child how to keep cavities at bay effectively! 

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Flossing & Your Child’s Oral Health

Teaching your child to floss should be an integral part of their oral hygiene routine. 

When your child doesn’t start flossing, it leads to bad breath and potentially to developing cavities. Through flossing, your child can effectively remove any plaque from hard-to-reach places between their teeth and under the gums. These efforts help to prevent tartar build-up that leads to tooth decay. 

That’s why it’s important to floss alongside brushing. Brushing daily and properly isn’t enough since it can’t reach certain crevices in your child’s mouth. Only by using them in tandem with one another can your child ensure their teeth are bright and healthy!

The Right Age to Start Flossing

Most might assume you need to wait a while before starting to floss your child’s teeth. Yet, many would be surprised that it starts rather early like it is with brushing in its own way. 

It would be best if you began flossing when your child has two teeth that touch. You can expect to be when they’re around the ages of two or three. However, you don’t need to worry about flossing if they’re younger than that. 

For the most part, parents should teach and guide their children on how to floss properly up until they’re around eight to ten years old, when they should be able to do so independently. 

Helping Your Child to Floss

It’s no secret that adults aren’t the best at flossing. But, it doesn’t mean your child needs to grow up being one of those adults. By teaching them how to floss early and properly, you can seamlessly instill this into your child’s oral routine.

Try to frame flossing and brushing as two things that need each other to help get their smiles nice and bright! For example, a knight (your child) won’t go into battle with a dragon (stubborn plaque) without their sword (toothbrush) and shield (floss), right? Explaining it in a fun way that they can understand will have your kids keener on getting into the habit of flossing by enforcing its importance.

Ensure you lead by example to your child by teaching them how to floss regularly and properly. Show them by having them loop their floss along each tooth’s sides and gently move it up and down. The idea is to clean spots their toothbrush missed, like in between their teeth. However, be mindful of them just pulling the floss back and forth because it can irritate the gum line.

Visiting a dentist shouldn’t be a scary experience for children, and Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry is here to make sure that children feel safe and excited about their regular checkups. Happy Trails is a professional pediatric dentistry proudly serving south Calgary, and we have a goal of creating an inviting and comfortable space for children to receive the best care available. With our fantastic dentist, Dr. Sam, our young patients in Calgary will always have a positive dental experience!