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should I floss my child's teeth

Should I floss my child’s teeth?

How important is it to floss my child’s teeth? Flossing is a crucial aspect of your child’s overall oral hygiene. While brushing cleans the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth and gums, cavities often form between the teeth where the brush can’t reach. Flossing is the only effective way to remove food particles stuck in these areas.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says, “By age 5, nearly 60 percent of kids have had tooth decay. The rate of tooth decay is alarming not only because it is on the rise, but it becomes harder to treat once it sets in, especially if at an early age. The good news is that this top chronic infectious disease among our nation’s children is nearly completely preventable. While most parents and caregivers are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing, it’s only part of the puzzle in preventing tooth decay.”

Here are some tips to make flossing easier:

  • Start daily flossing once your child’s teeth touch each other, usually around 2.5 years old.
  • Brush and floss your preschooler’s teeth, and supervise the brushing and flossing of school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years old.
  • Floss before brushing to help loosen food debris between the teeth, which can then be brushed and rinsed away.
  • Rinse with water after flossing, then brush teeth.
  • Be gentle. Slide the floss gently between the teeth using a rubbing motion, avoiding snapping it through the teeth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth and gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions.
  • Use a floss holder, which can make flossing easier for little fingers that have trouble holding the floss.

Getting kids to brush and floss their teeth every day can be challenging. Stay tuned for next month’s blog page on how to make brushing and flossing fun for your kids.

Flossing is the only effective way to remove food particles stuck in between teeth.

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