Many dentists are agreeing that flossing is equally as important (arguably more important) than brushing! Flossing removes plaque, bacteria, and food between the teeth and along the gums where a toothbrush can’t reach. In fact some sources indicate that brushing alone only reaches 35% of your tooth surfaces. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most overlooked practices in caring for our teeth and one of the most common places we find cavities in young children. You should floss your child’s teeth daily until he or she can do it alone, usually at least until children can tie their own shoes or write in cursive.
Getting children in the habit of daily flossing can yield a lifetime of benefits.
Here are five flossing tips to encourage your child (and you!) to start a regular flossing routine:
Children tend to get better results by using “flossers” or flat, wide dental tape because of the larger spaces between their teeth, however you should choose floss based on what works for you and your child.
Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch.
Flossers are great for parents to access hard-to-reach areas and for children to use to gain dexterity to floss on their own. Once the child is showing more independence and ready to move to the next step, try using around 15-18 inches of floss, gently wrapped around your or your child’s index fingers and held tightly but gently.
Be gentle and avoid snapping floss between teeth because it can damage sensitive gum tissue.
Floss both sides of the tooth, even when another tooth is missing on one side. You want to imagine “rubbing” the floss along each tooth surface. Picture making a little “C” and then a backwards “C".
Ask us to show you a flossing demonstration at your next visit!!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.