I floss my teeth, but when should I start flossing my child’s teeth?
Tooth brushing every day can help with removing most dental plaque, however brushing alone cannot remove plaque in places a toothbrush cannot reach, especially in between teeth. By flossing your teeth, you reduce the amount of dental plaque in between your teeth and help reduce your risk of dental decay and gum infection. Gum infection can result in gingival bleeding which is why you may notice blood when flossing your teeth. Bleeding is a good indication for you to brush and floss even more thoroughly in the region as it is likely the bacterial load in this region is high and requires better cleaning.
So when is a good age to start flossing your child’s teeth?
The answer is simply when your child develops teeth that are joined by neighbouring teeth. As soon as teeth are positioned side by side, a toothbrush cannot adequately reach the space in between. By not flossing these areas we allow plaque to accumulate and increase the risk of dental cavities and gum infection. Cavities that are formed in between the teeth are sometimes difficult to see, so although things may seem okay when you’re looking inside your child’s mouth, you may not be able to see the cavities that are occurring deep in between the teeth. This is also why it is important to have routine dental x-rays taken. X-rays help dentists diagnose surfaces of the teeth they cannot themselves examine in the mouth. Having a diagnosis for each tooth can then determine what treatment if any is required.
Sometimes flossing with regular string floss used by adults is difficult for children to use. At KIDDIES DENTAL CARE our team of specialists recommends using flosettes. Flossettes have specially designed handles with a thumb grip for greater control. It’s curved head also allows easy insertion of floss between teeth and the relaxed floss tension helps minimise gum irritation.
HOW TO FLOSS:
Guide the floss between teeth and under the gumline using a gentle back and forth motion.
Curve the floss around the tooth.
Use gently up and down motion to remove food and plaque.
Repeat until each tooth has been cleaned, rinsing the flosser with water after use between each interdental space.
For further instructions on how to show your child the best way to floss your teeth, click on the link below!