Pediatric Dentistry

Do Your Kids Need to Floss?

Cute girl cleaning teeth by floss in bathroomAs an adult, you now know the importance of flossing and good dental hygiene. Imparting that knowledge to your kids who have yet to experience the consequences can be a challenge. Getting kids to adhere to a good oral care routine is even more important. Brushing, flossing and rinsing after each meal should become a habit for your children to combat tooth decay. Just because the baby teeth will eventually fall out should never be an excuse to not teach your children these important lessons during their formative years?

Why Floss at All?

Too many adults struggle with flossing daily. What they fail to understand is that brushing alone only does half the job. While it cleans the easy-to-reach front and back surfaces of teeth, a toothbrush cannot adequately reach the accumulation that builds up in the gaps between them. Only flossing prevents the harmful buildup that, if neglected, can make you more susceptible to gum infections, which can ultimately results in gum disease and, potentially, tooth loss.

This takes us back to the question of why floss between baby teeth if they will eventually fall out? More than protecting your child’s teeth, flossing helps to ensure healthy gums so that when permanent teeth do arrive, they’re coming into healthy gum tissue. Plus, introducing flossing now helps establish an all-important routine.

Teaching Proper Flossing

The ideal time to introduce flossing to your kids is when their baby teeth begin to touch each other. Yet before you can teach them to floss, you need to ensure that you’re doing it properly. Helping your kids to do it will also allow you to correct any bad habits in your own flossing technique. Stick to the following steps when showing them how to do floss:

  • Start by breaking off an 18 inch length of floss and wrapping both ends around the middle fingers until only about an inch of space is left between.
  • Slide the floss in between your teeth, guiding it with your thumb and index fingers.
  • Gently move the floss back-and-forth up the gap to slightly under the gum line.
  • Repeat the process with a new piece of floss with each subsequent tooth.

Too many parents place the bulk of their children’s oral care concerns on questions like “Where can I find a good pediatric dentist near me so they can teach my kids good oral hygiene?” Yet equally as important as finding an affordable dentist for kids is helping your children learn the proper techniques needed to form a good oral hygiene routine while they’re young. Doing so helps to place them ahead of the curve in the lifelong battle they’re destined to face with plaque and tartar. Introducing the concept of flossing now will help put your kids on the path to enjoying a happy, healthy smile when they’re your age.

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