Children’s Oral Hygiene – Why Flossing Matters

 In Kids Dentistry

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to take care of every element of your child’s health, and their oral health is a big part of that picture.

Flossing regularly is one of the best ways to maintain strong, healthy teeth throughout a person’s lifetime, but unfortunately, many people don’t floss often, or neglect to floss at all. Teaching your child to floss at an early age not only helps them keep their teeth and gums clean and free from debris as they develop, but it teaches them that flossing is a key step in their overall self-care routine, making it more likely that they carry this habit into adulthood.

Why is flossing important?
Brushing your teeth is extremely important, but there are certain hard-to-reach places in your mouth that a toothbrush just can’t reach. Flossing can get between the teeth and gum line to remove plaque and food particles that a toothbrush leaves behind.

If left to accumulate, plaque will eventually harden into tartar, which can erode the tooth enamel and bone, making you or your child more susceptible to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

When should I start teaching my child about flossing?
Flossing is something you can talk to your children about before their teeth even come in. You might even consider having them watch you floss so they see it as a ‘big kid’ activity that they’re excited to do once they’re older.

At about two years old, your child will likely have two teeth that touch each other, which is when you can actually start teaching them how to floss – young children of this age will not have the dexterity to floss on their own, so chances are you’ll be doing the flossing for them for a while.

How do I teach my child to floss?
Make sure you show your child how simple, easy and fun flossing their teeth can be!

1. The first tip – be gentle! You do not want this to hurt – make it fun!
2. First, cut a piece of floss about 45 centimeters (or about 18 inches) long.
3. Take the ends and wrap them around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about 15 centimeters of floss in the center.
4. Insert the floss between two teeth.
5. Gently move the floss back and forth between the teeth, hugging the sides of the tooth.
6. Make a crescent shape with the floss and guide it around the base of each tooth.
7. Remove the floss and place it between the next pair of teeth
8. Keep doing this until you have flossed in between each one of your child’s teeth.

If you have questions about the oral health of your child or are ready to bring them in for a dental checkup, call our team at Kids Corner Medical & Dental today. Getting your children used to a consistent oral hygiene routine complete with brushing, flossing, and regular visits to their kids’ dentist is a great way to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

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