Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits when they are young improves the chances they will keep those habits throughout the course of their lives. At the same time if a child does develop tooth decay problems and a baby tooth needs to be extracted, it will increase the chances of them developing alignment issues when the permanent teeth emerge in that area.
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush and floss your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge from their gums. As time goes on and their motor skills develop, they can even start to brush their own teeth. Often times this is a two stage process, where they play at brushing back and forth and then you follow up with a thoroughly brushing to make sure all the surfaces are included.
When it comes to flossing, you may need to use your pinky fingers to reach their molars and other hard to reach parts of their mouth, as the teeth emerge. As they get older and their motor dexterity improves, they can start flossing their own teeth with a floss stick.
Try to keep the process fun and upbeat. Brushing and flossing your own teeth right beside them also sets a good example for them to follow. Giving out gold stars or other forms of encouragement for a good job, gives them pride and associated it as a positive part of life.
If you have questions about how or when to introduce your child to flossing, please feel free to call us at 281-201-4332 or ask about it at your next appointment.