If getting kids to brush regularly is tough, getting them to floss (or be open to having their teeth flossed for them) is even tougher for many parents. It’s a whole other hassle for them, and some begin to associate the minor pain with a negative compared to the friendly taste and feel of brushing.
Flossing is vital, though, and we emphasize it at Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry. Let’s go over the importance of flossing, the various types of floss and a few methods to use.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing benefits your child’s teeth, first of all. It helps reach plaque and debris in areas that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t, especially with their relatively weak fingers and wrists at a young age. It also polishes the surface of the teeth it runs over, and the way it helps remove food particles goes a long way to removing bad breath.
In addition, though, flossing benefits your child’s gums greatly. It removes any debris that sticks in them, and wards off certain gum-related issues which can cause major long term complications.
Types of Floss
There are a few different types of floss you can consider for your child – in most cases, they won’t really know or care what the difference is, so this may be a choice you have to make for them. A few of the common types:
- Waxed: Has a bit more smoothness, but also sometimes a slightly different flavor
- Flavored or unflavored: Many kids can be tempted to do a bit more flossing if you find a flavor they enjoy and stick with it
- Wide or regular: Often depends on the size of gaps in teeth and other factors your kids’ dentist can inform you on
- Textured or smooth: Again, depends on bits of structure and your kids’ preference, if they give you one
There are a couple easy methods for flossing your child’s teeth – you can learn these yourself, and then at a proper age, you can begin teaching them to do it on their own. The two methods commonly recommended:
- Spool method (finger wrap): Cut off some floss and lightly wrap each side around each of your middle fingers. Make sure to move the floss up and down between the teeth, not side to side. Make sure you get below the gum line.
- Loop method: Tie your floss in a secure circle, and place all fingers except your thumb inside this circle. Then use your index fingers to guide the floss over the lower teeth, and the thumb to guide it on the upper teeth.
Want to learn more about this or any of our other children’s dentist services? Speak to our professionals at Children’s Crossing today.