Issues are always pertaining to toothbrushing in children. When should I start to brush my child's teeth, what kind of tooth paste should I use, etc are the various questions that come to a parent's mind. But what about flossing? Flossing in children is as important as in adults to promote oral health. In fact, oral care in the initial stages is crucial. Teaching your child how to floss is as important as teaching toothbrushing.
Flossing should be started when your child's baby teeth start to touch each other. There are normal spaces present between the baby teeth. When the teeth increase in number, these spaces begin to close. That is when flossing should be commenced, by around the age of 5-6 years.
Parents should do the flossing themselves. Wrap an 18-inch thread of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Use your index finger and thumb to hold and control the floss. Gently go down towards the gum line in each interdental space, making sure not harm the gums of your child. Wrap the floss in a C-shape around the tooth, and then pull the thread back up. Wrap up the used floss on one finger while letting go of fresh thread for each new space.
You may find a toothpick flosser or interproximal brush easier to use on your child's teeth.
Make sure your child can properly coordinate the movements of the hands with floss. Most children are capable of flossing on their own by the age of 6-8. But do not rush your child into it as you do not want any self-inflicted injuries. Always be there to supervise your child. Tooth pick flosses and interdental brushes may be easier for your child to handle.
Your child's baby teeth are stepping stones that lead to the path of adult teeth. Taking care of them means taking care of their future adult teeth. Inculcating good oral hygiene habits early on ensures good oral health throughout the life of your child.