Kids & Flossing | Advice From a Pediatric Dentist

Kids & Flossing | Advice From a Pediatric Dentist

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So the one thing everyone gets told to
do more of when they go to the dentist is floss and as a pediatric dentist it’s
pretty common for people to ask should I be flossing my child’s teeth and when
should I start? Every child is different some kids have a lot of space and as a
dentist we love seeing that, so that there’s a lot of room for those
permanent teeth to come in. For those children with the spacing between those
baby teeth you just want to get them used to the idea of flossing. So it’s not
something that has to be every day but you want to build up to that point. Other
kids have what people and our society views as “perfect smiles” where there’s no
spacing. Those are the kids where you want to get a floss in there as soon as
possible to prevent cavities. When teeth are really close together it’s more
likely for food to get caught and plaque that bacteria just can get stored there. So for those kids who have very tight spacing you want to make sure that you
clean that yucky stuff out. The next question that I always get is how do you
expect me to floss my two year old? There are multiple tools out there to do that.
One, there’s these things called flossers so some people call them floss picks or
they look like a little goalpost with a string of floss. Although a dental
hygienist may say you can’t do the best technique with that, if you can get a
piece of string in between a tooth I call you a winner. If you want to attempt
the traditional floss, be my guest you are more than welcome to try that as
well. Is a water pick a good substitution for floss? Unfortunately I would say no
you want to make sure that you use string to get in between each of those
teeth individually. When should you floss? Because tooth brushing the most
important time of day is night but with flossing you can do it whenever it’s
convenient for you, you don’t have to have a sink so if you want to sit in
front of a TV or have your child watch one of their favorite shows while you’re
doing it that may be a great distraction. At the end of the day we want your child
to have great oral hygiene habits and one of those things is floss. So my
advice to you, start today!

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