Teaching the Habit of Flossing
Flossing is as important to proper dental care as brushing, making it an essential habit to teach your child in their early years. Flossing should be performed at least once daily and you can begin getting your child familiar with the habit as soon as two teeth emerge together. With patience and dedication to teaching the routine, your child will grow to understand and appreciate the value of flossing—a priceless gift of dental health. Flossing daily reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, more than brushing alone. Use these tips to teach your child how to floss properly.
- Begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as one emerges. You can even start before their teeth emerge by wiping your baby’s gums with a soft cloth or gauze after feeding.
- When it comes time to choose a toothbrush, choose a small one designed for a child with soft bristles. You may further soften the bristles by soaking the new toothbrush in warm water for several minutes.
- Up to age two, avoid using toothpaste and brush only with plain water. Too much fluoride may cause discolorations to your child’s permanent teeth. After age two, only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and speak with your dentist in West Chester about toothpaste options.
- Teach your child to brush twice a day—in the morning and just before bed. Two minutes should be spent brushing, concentrating a good portion of that time on the back molars, where cavities often first develop in children.
- Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or when the toothbrush has become worn, whichever comes first. Toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and germs. Store in a clean dry place and replace regularly.
- You can begin flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge next to one another. Floss sticks or picks will make this easier for you and your child in the early stages. When your child is older and has more teeth, begin teaching them to use string floss.
- Until the ages of six or seven, you will need to assist and supervise your child’s dental care routine. Teaching your child how to floss properly may require a little more time, but most children can handle flossing on their own at about the age of eight. Supervision is still necessary at these ages.
- Brush and floss with your child. Let your child see you brushing and flossing to set a good example that will improve their adherence to the habit and promote lifelong dental health.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.