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Flossing Your Child's Teeth: A Guide

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Flossing is not something most adults enjoy doing. Nonetheless, it is important for ongoing dental health. Flossing is also important for keeping your child's teeth healthy. Dentists recommend that you begin flossing your child's teeth once they're around two years old and they have numerous baby teeth. But how do you go about flossing your child's teeth effectively? Here are a few tips.

1. Roll the floss around your fingers.

If you wind the floss around your fingers before you begin flossing your child's teeth, the floss won't slide as much, so you will have an easier time pushing it down between the teeth. You will need quite a long strand of floss to do this, so be generous when you dole it out.

2. Use extra thin floss.

Especially if your child's teeth are pretty close together, you may have a harder time pushing the floss down between them than between your own teeth. Buy extra thin floss to make the task easier. If you do not find extra thin floss at your local pharmacy, as your child's dentist for some. Make sure it is a waxed variety -- perhaps bubble gum or cherry flavored.

3. Make a "C: shape around each tooth.

The easiest way to make sure you thoroughly clean between the teeth -- and this applies to your own teeth, too -- is to make sure you move the floss in a "c" shape around each tooth. Do this gently so you do not cause any pain for your child. If you floss your child's teeth daily, the gums should be healthy, and you should not notice any bleeding when you do floss.

4. Make flossing fun.

Kids don't always like to sit still so their teeth can be flossed, so it's helpful to find ways to make flossing fun. Try singing a silly song while you floss, or reward your child with a sticker after each flossing session. When your child is a little older -- perhaps around 5 -- you can start teaching him or her to floss their own teeth. This will keep flossing interesting for a little longer.

Flossing your child's teeth is not always easy, but it's an important step to keep the baby teeth free from decay. If you have trouble flossing your child's teeth, talk to their dentist. A good pediatric dentist will teach you how to floss your child's teeth effectively.