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When Should Kids Start Flossing?

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When Should Kids Start Flossing?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. AFSPA wants to remind you how important it is to help your child establish good flossing habits early. 

When children learn to floss at an early age, they are more likely to continue this behavior throughout their lives. It also will help their teeth and gums remain as healthy as possible.  

When Should I Start Helping my Child Floss? 

It is best to begin flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that fit closely together. This usually happens between the ages of two and six. If your child is on the younger side of this age range, you will need to floss for them until they are old enough to learn how to floss themselves. You should continue to supervise and help them until they are around 10 years old to ensure they are flossing thoroughly. If you are not sure whether it is time for your child to begin flossing, talk to your child’s dentist about the right timing and technique. 

Traditional Floss or Floss Picks? 

Traditional FlossIf you’re able to effectively use traditional floss for your child’s teeth, teach them the same flossing techniques adults use. You may want to consider selecting a wider, softer, and flatter dental floss to prevent injuries to the gums while your child is still learning. 

Dental Floss PicksIf you’re struggling to reach the smaller areas in your child’s mouth with traditional floss, consider floss picks. This will make it much easier to reach between your child’s teeth effectively, and they are also easier for children to use on their own when they are still learning how to floss. Additionally, individual floss picks come in fun shapes and colors that may make your child more interested in flossing. 

How do I Make Flossing Fun? 

  1. Do it together! Put on some fun music, make silly faces in the mirror, and get to flossing. Your child will love spending extra time with you (and will hopefully enjoy flossing too!). 
  2. Use a reward system. A flossing chart is a great way to encourage your child to floss daily. Each time your child flosses, put a sticker on the chart. For every five consecutive days he or she flosses, offer a reward of some sort—we’ll let you decide what that is! 
  3. Let them choose the floss. Take your child to the store to pick out the type and flavor of floss he or she wants to use. Flossing with their favorite color or a tasty flavor is a great incentive. 

AFSPA offers four dental insurance plans options specifically designed to meet you and your family’s dental needs, whether you need dental care in the US. or abroad. All dental plans offered by AFSPA cover routine exams and cleanings for children and adults at 100%. All plans provide coverage for dependents up to age 26, regardless of financial dependency, residency, student status, or marital status. To learn more about AFSPA dental plans visit afspa.org/dental 

 

Sources:   

https://smilesdentistry4kids.com/dental-care-tips-for-parents-teaching-kids-to-floss/ 

https://www.kidstoothdrs.com/blog/when-should-kids-start-flossing 

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