Your Child Should Start Flossing Sooner Than You Think!

So it’s the first year of your baby’s life, and you’re pretty sure you have everything in hand. You’ve chosen the right diapers, the right crib, the right formula (or maybe you breast-feed), and you’ve also scheduled the entire first year of appointments with your pediatrician. If you’re like most first-time parents, you’ve probably also forgotten something surprisingly important for a child with no teeth visible, and that’s scheduling their first dental appointment! There are important practices, to begin with, your children from the very beginning and one of those practices is flossing.

When Should I Start My Child Flossing?
Clearly, you can’t floss the mouth of a child that has no teeth, but you can definitely start involving them in the process. How? By taking your fingers and making a game out of sticking your fingers in their mouth with a piece of floss and getting them used to the feel of it. Once their first teeth come in, it’s time to start actually flossing. Just because they only have one tooth doesn’t mean you can neglect to floss it. Starting the routine early means that when they have a full set of teeth, they’ll have already made a habit of it.

What If My Child’s Gums Bleed?
Don’t worry! You should obviously be gentle when flossing your child’s new teeth, but you’re going to get some bleeding at first inevitably. This is just a sign that their gums are tender and fresh, and regular flossing will ensure that they toughen up and bleeding becomes a thing of the past unless there’s a problem. Bloody gums are common at first, but they will stop happening over time if you keep up with regular flossing.

How Do I Help Teach My Child To Floss?
It can be a little trick to help your child learn how to floss the traditional way, but before you give up and get them one of those fancy flossing tools try showing them by doing the following steps:

1. Wrap floss around your middle fingers until there’s only an inch gap between the two.
2. Gently slide it down between your child’s teeth, keeping it tight.
3. Angle the floss to get the sides of the teeth to ensure you get all the debris out.

There’s nothing more to it than that. Every tooth you floss will be done the same way, and your child will quickly learn how to do the process themselves. If you want to make it easier, you can get one of the many utensils that make flossing easier in your dental aisle, but most of these should be used under adult supervision.

If you’ve recently had an addition to your family and want to get them off on the right foot with their dental health, it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Kelly Zhao at Arc Dental in Houston, TX. They’ve been proud to serve their community with exceptional dental care for years and would love to welcome your family into the Arc Dental family of customers.

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