Is Flossing Important for My Kids?

Flossing is a key part of keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy. However, the American Dental Association reports that only about half of Americans floss daily. Brushing on its own is not enough to maintain your child’s oral health; flossing should also be a regular part of your child’s oral hygiene routine.

Why is Flossing Important?

There are many reasons it’s important to make sure your child is flossing at least once a day.

  • Tooth decay is a very real threat to toddlers and children. Flossing removes plaque from in between teeth to help prevent cavities.
  • Flossing helps prevent gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease which can cause symptoms such as bleeding and inflammation. Flossing regularly can also help reverse gingivitis before it progresses to become periodontitis.
  • Flossing can help remove food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath.

Are Baby Teeth Important?

Many do not realize that it is just as important to take care of baby teeth as it is to care for adult teeth. Though baby teeth will eventually be replaced by adult teeth, they serve important functions. In addition to helping your child chew efficiently and speak clearly, his or her baby teeth also reserve space for the permanent teeth. To keep these teeth healthy, flossing must be a regular part of your child’s routine.

Tips for Flossing

As soon as your child has two teeth next to each other, you should begin gently flossing his or her teeth. This simple habit can be extremely beneficial in keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy. There are a few ways parents can make this task even easier.

  • Very young children will need your help flossing. Some parents may find that using special tools, such as prethreaded flossers, make the job easier.
  • Experiment with different types of floss. Any type and flavor of floss will work – the important thing is that your child is using it.
  • Set a good example for your kids by flossing regularly yourself.

One of the best ways to ensure your kids take good care of their oral health is to make sure they are flossing properly and regularly. For more information about promoting good oral hygiene, talk to your child’s pediatric dentist.