Flossing is an important step in any oral hygiene routine, but most children often forget to do it as regularly as they should. The My Kidz Dentist team in Phoenix, Arizona, knows that flossing is vital for a healthy mouth. That’s why they recommend nightly flossing to all of their pediatric patients. For more information on the importance of regular flossing, call My Kidz Dentist or book an appointment online today.
Perhaps the single most important step of your child’s nightly oral hygiene routine, flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between teeth that brushing simply can’t reach. A very thin thread of waxed nylon is used to clean the nooks and crannies between each tooth, ensuring that debris can’t get trapped in your child’s smile.
While brushing for two minutes a day, twice daily, removes plaque and bacteria from your child’s teeth, it’s impossible for a toothbrush to effectively clean in between them. Flossing removes debris from those small gaps, dramatically lowering your child’s risk of developing a number of serious conditions, such as:
Regular flossing, which takes approximately three minutes a day, also increases circulation in your child’s gums to reduce inflammation.
There are two main flossing methods that you can try with your child, including:
The spool flossing method is most common in individuals without dexterity problems. First, break off enough floss to reach your child’s mouth and wrap the rest around your middle finger. Wind a small amount of floss around the middle finger on your other hand to take in the soiled side of the thread. You can use your thumb and index finger to maneuver the floss through your child’s teeth, creating a “C” shape with each movement.
For those with dexterity problems, such as arthritis or stiff joints, the loop method is a simple way to floss your teeth, or your child’s, with minimal pain. Start by tying your floss into a large circle, and secure it with at least two knots. This should create a thin loop that can easily fit all your fingers, except your thumb. Next, use your index finger to guide the floss through your child’s teeth, forming a “C” shape as you move along.
No matter which flossing method you use, it’s important to move the floss below your child’s gum line, where plaque, bacteria, and debris tend to collect. Make sure you avoid snapping the floss against the gums, as you can accidentally puncture your child’s gums.
Along with regular brushing, flossing is the best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy, strong, and cavity-free. To talk to a dentist about the best flossing techniques, call My Kidz Dentist or book an appointment online today.