When Should Your Child Start Flossing?

by | May 2, 2022 | Dental Hygiene

Flossing is important for people of all ages in order to keep their teeth healthy. When you know how important flossing is, you want to get your kids started off right. So, when should your child start flossing? Here’s what you should know about your child’s dental care.

The Importance of Flossing

Did you know that studies show that brushing only reaches about 60% of the surfaces of your teeth, leaving nearly 40% vulnerable to the buildup of bacteria, food debris, and plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease? This means brushing alone leaves nearly ⅓ of the surfaces of your teeth virtually untouched!

Flossing can make a big difference for your dental health. That’s why it’s important to help your kids start off building their dental habits right by teaching them to brush and floss daily.

What Age is Right?

The answer to the question, “When should your child start flossing?” can depend on a number of factors. In general, it’s best to start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they fit closely together, typically between the ages of 2 and 6. At this early stage, a child that young won’t be able to floss their own teeth, so you’ll need to do it for them. But doing it for them will be teaching them, too, because you’ll be demonstrating proper habits and technique.

Many children are able to begin learning how to floss, as well as how to brush independently, around 7 or 8 years old. The age when they are ready can vary a lot, though, depending on the rate at which their dexterity and ability to follow detailed instructions develops. Each child is individual and unique, so it’s always a good idea to consult with your child’s dentist on what might work best for them.

Kid-friendly Floss

Learning how to floss can seem complicated, even for adults! Teaching your child how to floss can be a lot easier with the right tools. Traditional floss comes packaged as a long strand that needs to be cut to the correct length and wound around the fingers, but floss picks can be much more simple to use when learning because they are simply a plastic stick that can be held in one hand with a precut strand of floss stretched across the other end. Special floss picks are available that are made specifically for children in fun designs, colors, and flavors, just for kids.

If you have more questions like, “When should your child start flossing?” don’t hesitate to call your child’s dentist and ask. They will be happy to help you start your child off right so that they can have healthy teeth and healthy habits for life.

Call our Gilbert, Mesa or San Tan Valley dental offices, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.