Should Baby Teeth Be Flossed?

Baby teeth start to appear in your child’s mouth when they are about six months old and usually begin falling out when they are about six years old. These teeth not only help your child chew, speak, and smile, but they also hold the places in their mouth for permanent teeth. Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, it is important to keep them healthy for good, lifelong oral health.

This is why it is important not only to brush your child’s teeth, but to floss them as well. Once two of your child’s teeth are touching (which will happen when your child is about two years old), you need to break out the floss and start cleaning between them. Your child will not be able to floss their own teeth very well until they are about ten years old, so you play a crucial part in keeping their teeth healthy until then.

Of course, there are a few problems. Putting your fingers in your child’s mouth may be the equivalent to sticking your hand down the throat of a monster. Your child may bite you, squirm, and run away from your benevolent efforts to protect their dental health. What can you do?

Hopefully your child is already used to you brushing their teeth. Explain to them that flossing is just another part of that routine which will keep their smile healthy. There are also several flossing tools and interdental cleaners on the market that may make cleaning between your child’s teeth easier to accomplish. Always remember that even if you may not be able to floss your child’s teeth very well, it is better than not flossing them at all.