If you have a young child, you might wonder if you should be flossing the child's teeth. When kids are really young, this is usually not necessary, but as a child gets older, you will need to start helping him or her floss. Here are several things to know about kids and flossing.
Most young kids have gaps
The first thing to know is that small kids generally have gaps between all their teeth. While having gaps as an adult is not a good thing, these gaps are actually good for kids. The teeth a child first gets will be smaller than the permanent teeth he or she will eventually get, and the gaps between the teeth ensure that there is enough space in the child's mouth for the adult teeth to come in.
When there are gaps like this, food does not tend to get trapped as easily between the gaps, which is why flossing is not as important with very young kids. These gaps also make brushing a child's teeth more effective as the toothbrush is often able to reach the areas of teeth and gums where the gaps are located, leaving the child's teeth and mouth cleaner without even using floss.
You can begin with floss picks
You can floss your child's teeth at any age, but when the child is three or four years old, he or she may be ready to begin flossing his or her own teeth. A great way to do this is by offering floss picks to your child. A floss pick is a small hand-held device that is disposable. A child can easily insert this tool into the areas between his or her teeth, and the picks offer the same results and effects as traditional floss.
Teaching this habit when they are young may help them have better flossing habits
Starting the habit of flossing when your kids are young is a great way to develop this habit in their lives. If you start doing this with your children every day when they are little, they might be more prone to continue flossing their teeth as they get older, simply because they are used to doing this each day and may view flossing as a step that is just as important as brushing.
Flossing is an important step in oral care, and it is something that even young kids can and should do. If you have questions about this issue, talk to a family dentist today.