Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and gum-line 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. 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. 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 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.
- Use around 15-18 inches of floss, wrapped around your index fingers and held tightly but gently. Children who find it difficult to use this method often benefit from using a flosser designed just for small hands
- 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.
Want to learn more about how to floss? Visit the mouthhealthy.org website for great tips on flossing or ask us to show you and your child how to properly floss on your next visit!