Many people think of flossing as something you do only when you have something stuck between your teeth. But, it’s really a practice you should make part of your oral care routine every day. Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth in the same way that your toothbrush cleans the more accessible surfaces. It removes particles and plaque that if left between the teeth can lead to cavities and gum disease.
It’s important that children understand the value of flossing and that they shouldn’t consider it something you do on an as-needed basis. Flossing is every bit as important as brushing.
Did You Know?
Here are some flossing fun facts you can share with your kids:
- Flossing every time you brush is a great idea, but you only need to floss once a day to keep your teeth cleaner and your gums healthier.
- Brushing your teeth only cleans about 70% of their surface. Floss is intended to reach the rest.
- A good flossing only takes 2-3 minutes, so a regular flossing habit won’t cut into a kid’s play time!
- It’s important to use a clean section of floss between each pair of teeth. This prevents the transfer of bacteria from one spot to another. That means it’s fine to use a good, long piece of floss — typically 18 to 20 inches.
- Floss comes in waxed and unwaxed versions. Waxed floss is designed to slip more easily between teeth that are close together.
- When using unwaxed dental floss, you may hear a squeaking sound as it glides between teeth. This indicates that the plaque has been removed and the surfaces are clean.
- Floss comes in a wide range of flavors, including everything from cotton candy to bacon!
- Ideally you should floss and then rinse before you brush. This makes it easier for the fluoride in toothpaste to reach the between-teeth surfaces.
- Using a toothpick to gently remove food from between teeth can be helpful, but nothing beats flossing for doing a complete cleaning between teeth.
Taking Advantage of All the Oral Health Tools
Flossing is a practice that can have an immediate and positive impact on a child’s oral health. While flossing daily is ideal, even starting at a few times per week can produce benefits and get a child moving in the right direction. If you or your child have any questions about flossing, don’t hesitate to ask!
We’re proud to provide pediatric dental services along the Colorado Front Range in Lafayette (303.604.9500), Longmont (303.702.9501), and Thornton (303.452.9502). Contact us to make an appointment or learn more about our practice.