Do Kids Need to Floss?
Yes, depending on their age. During the early years of dental development in a child their teeth are loose and are more distant from one another. Once a child’s teeth start to rest side-by-side it becomes necessary to floss.
Teeth fitting next to each other is the primary reason why persons of age floss. Brushing can only clean the outer surfaces and some areas between. There are always places between the teeth where food particles and plague can get stuck, requiring floss to remove it or loosen it to make it easy to brush or rinse out.
The typical ages to begin flossing are between 3 and 6 years old, but when any two teeth are testing closely next to one another, they should be flossed.
It is best to floss for your child until they reach an age where they can properly do it themselves. Typically, this is some time between ages 5 and 8.
Teaching a child to floss can be done through a combination of mirroring and guiding. You can floss them, you can floss yourself as they watch, and you can guide their hands as they floss themselves.
Remember to take plenty of floss (12-18 inches for a child), wrap the floss around the index finger of each hand, use your thumbs to bend where needed, and go alongside the sides of each teeth, gently sliding the floss down under the gum line, then back up. Don’t go too fast or two deep on the gum line, but do go under the gum line for a proper cleaning. For a visual demonstration of flossing, adults and children, watch the video mentioned below.
Here is a great video that shows how to floss properly at all ages: