Most parents know that they should encourage their children to adopt oral health habits and one of the habits they should enforce is flossing. Children should be taught how to clean their teeth as soon as their baby teeth start to come out. Teaching your child how to floss can be a little bit complicated.
Why Is Flossing Kid’s Teeth Important?
Flossing helps to get rid of plaque buildup in areas where a toothbrush can’t reach and in between teeth. If plaque isn’t removed early enough and starts to build up, it becomes hard and turns into tartar. When this happens, the only way it can be removed is by visiting the dentist.
Another benefit of flossing is that it prevents gum disease and decay. The point where the gum meets the teeth is where food particles usually get lodged. If it is not removed early enough, it can lead to gingivitis. The first stage of gum disease is red swollen gums. If this is not addressed early, harmful bacteria can easily spread below the gum line and cause periodontitis. This is a very severe disease which can lead to severe inflammation and eventually bone and tooth loss.
You should encourage your child to floss right before they brush their teeth. This will make it easier for the fluoride in toothpaste to reach in between teeth. After brushing, you can also encourage them to use mouthwash.
What Can You Do If You Are Having Trouble Showing Your Child How To Floss?
Flossing your toddler’s teeth can be very difficult because they are stubborn and have limited attention spans. There are plenty of ways that you can teach your child how to floss.
First, you need to establish a night routine. After brushing your child’s teeth, tell them it is time for you to check if their teeth are clean in between. If they let you floss, then you should consider that a victory; if it proves to be a challenge, you can floss every other night.
Show your child how you floss your own teeth and let them floss their teeth with you until they understand how it works. As they get used to the habit of flossing, it will get easier for you to convince them to floss.
Some children will find it easy to pick up the flossing habit while others will take some time. If your child is not able to use string floss effectively, you can get them to use floss pick. If they are still having a hard time flossing, you can ask your child dentist for guidance.