Convincing your son or daughter to care for their precious smile isn’t always easy. If getting your child to brush their teeth is hard enough, you may be avoiding the question: “Should my kid floss?” However, dental and pediatric experts alike report that children should start to floss daily as soon as they have two touching teeth. While this may seem pretty early for you to try to teach your little one this healthy habit, it’s an important decision for their long-term oral health. Here are seven reasons why your Castle Rock pediatric dentist recommends your little one starts flossing every day at a young age!
1.) Toothbrushing Can’t Do It All
Did you know that plenty of plaque and bacteria are left behind after brushing? Some studies report that nearly 40% of dangerous oral particles hide in places that toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing is the only way to get to these hard-to-reach areas and clean them out.
2.) Stop Bad Breath in Its Tracks
The plaque and food debris that get stuck between teeth will naturally begin to decay over time, which releases smelly gases that lace your little one’s breath. Since mouthwashes aren’t always a good choice for children, regular flossing is the best way to ensure their smile stays clean and fresh.
3.) Fight Cavities and Plaque Buildup
One of the most important reasons for your child to clean between their teeth is to prevent the buildup of cavity-causing plaque. Cavities that form between teeth are difficult to detect, so you may not spot them until your son or daughter begins to complain about a toothache!
4.) Treat Bleeding Gums
It’s natural for there to be some slight bleeding when your child first starts flossing. This isn’t a sign to stop! In fact, not flossing can make this issue worse, to the point where brushing their teeth will cause bleeding gums. Flossing eases the inflammation responsible, promotes healthy gum tissue, and will eventually cause the bleeding to stop altogether.
5.) Prevent Gum Disease for a Healthy Smile & Body
When plaque and bacteria collect between teeth, they can easily attack the gums. The resulting infection (gum disease) can eventually lead to jawbone damage, tooth loss, an increased risk of heart disease, and a variety of other serious issues. Thankfully, regular flossing is an excellent way to treat the earliest stages of gum disease and prevent it from developing altogether!
6.) Save Time, Money, & Hassle in the Long Run
Just like toothbrushing, it’s important for your child to floss to keep their mouth healthy and free of issues that require extensive or expensive treatments. A little floss now can save your son or daughter a lot of time and discomfort in the long run!
7.) Set Them Up for Years of Healthy Smiles
The sooner you teach your son or daughter to floss, the more likely they are to continue practicing this healthy habit for the rest of their life. Teaching them to floss now will help them maintain a happy, healthy smile for many years to come!
There are plenty of ways to make flossing fun and entertaining for your little one! Talk to your pediatric dentist for more ideas on how to teach your child how to keep up this healthy habit.
About the Author
Dr. Layne Benzley has spent years helping growing smiles all over the world achieve and maintain optimal oral health. As a father of four himself, he fully understands the challenges and importance of teaching great oral hygiene to children. He is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has a heart for helping his patients learn to love caring for their smiles! To learn more about teaching your child to floss, he can be contacted via his website or at (303) 660-5373.