The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents help their children floss their teeth daily once they have two or more teeth that are close together. Parents should continue helping their child floss until the child is old enough to floss safely and thoroughly on their own. Kids can often take responsibility for flossing by age 7 or 8. Why is flossing so important for kids, even though they will lose their baby teeth? Read on for 7 reasons flossing is essential for children.
1. Sets Child Up for Good, Lifelong Oral Health Habits
Young people learn faster than adults according to studies, making it a great time to establish excellent oral hygiene habits such as daily flossing. When kids are taught how and why to floss daily, it can set the stage for good oral health habits in the future.
2. Helps Prevent Sensitive Teeth and Gums
The less children brush and floss, the more sensitive their teeth and gums become. This can make it difficult to get children to adopt healthy oral hygiene routines. After all, kids won’t want to do something that hurts. By contrast, regular brushing and flossing help the child get used to the routine so they are more likely to engage in healthy habits.
3. Flossing Helps Kids Prevent Cavities
The primary reason kids and adults should floss is to remove plaque. Plaque that builds up on the teeth is responsible for cavities. Regular flossing helps prevent the sticky bacteria (plaque) from penetrating the enamel of the tooth and causing a cavity.
4. Flossing Can Prevent Gum Disease
Flossing, along with other regular pediatric dental care, can prevent gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up beneath the gum line. As the plaque remains on the teeth it can harden, becoming tartar. Tartar irritates and inflames the gum tissue. Daily flossing can reduce plaque buildup.
5. Flossing Helps Prevent Bad Breath
Food particles and residue that remain on the teeth and between the teeth contribute to bad breath. When your child flosses regularly, these particles are removed and less likely to contribute to bad breath.
6. Flossing May Save Money on Costly Dental Treatments
Plaque on the teeth can cause a host of oral health problems, ranging from cavities to gum disease, and even tooth loss. When kids floss daily, they are at reduced risk of developing complex dental problems that may require more expensive dental care.
7. Flossing Promotes Good Overall Health
There is a clear link between poor oral health and poor overall health. To ensure your child has the best opportunity for sustaining good overall health as they age, they must learn the vital role that flossing plays in maintaining a healthy mouth and smile.
Book Your Child’s Dental Appointment Today
If you’re struggling to get your child to floss or brush their teeth daily, talk with your pediatric dentist. They will provide you with proven tips and techniques to help your child establish good oral hygiene habits early in life. Book a pediatric dental appointment in Pearland today by calling 713-413-8282 or in Houston at 713-662-3199. You may also book your appointment online.
Like adults, children should visit the dentist twice a year for diagnostic oral exams and preventative cleanings. If a child develops a toothache, tooth sensitivity, swollen or bleeding gums, or experiences a dental emergency such as a fractured tooth, or trauma to the teeth, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
Why Kids Need to See the Dentist Regularly
Regular dental care, beginning in infancy, can help prevent many problems later in life. In addition, regular oral exams ensure early diagnosis of oral health conditions that require immediate care. Additionally, regular early dental care can help ensure teeth are strong and healthy. Finally, seeing the dentist regularly helps to reinforce to children how important it is to practice good oral hygiene.
As children grow up, maintaining excellent oral hygiene will help reduce their risk of developing gum disease or suffering from tooth loss. Later in life, children who have grown up seeing the dentist regularly are more likely to continue to receive ongoing dental treatment. Good oral health can reduce the risk of potentially serious health conditions such as endocarditis, stroke, and diabetes.
Dental Exams and Cleanings for Kids: What to Expect
During each dental exam, you can expect your child’s mouth to be thoroughly examined for signs of tissue changes, problems with the bite, development of decay, inflammation in the gums, and teeth that may be prone to develop cavities.
Once a year, your child will also have reduced-radiation digital x-rays of their mouth. These images allow your pediatric dentist to see beneath the mouth's soft tissue. X-rays illuminate problems such as irregular bone structure, cysts, infection, decay, and tumors.
Your child will also have plaque and tartar that have built up between cleanings removed. Regular removal of plaque and tartar is vital to preventing gum disease. Their teeth will also be flossed and polished.
If indicated, your pediatric dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment for your child during a regular dental appointment. Fluoride is applied directly to the teeth. It is a painless procedure. Fluoride helps to maintain strong teeth as your child grows.
In some cases, during a regular dental visit, your pediatric dentist may also recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied to teeth (often the molars) with deep crevices or grooves. Deep grooves tend to accumulate bacteria, so dental sealants are used in a preventative capacity.
You can also expect our dentists to provide education during every appointment. From teaching children proper brushing and flossing techniques to educating them about why it’s important to brush for a full two minutes twice a day, all exams and cleanings include education for your child or teen.
Child-Centric Dental Care
Some children, like adults, are fearful of dental appointments. All of the latest technological innovations and safe sedation options are available to ensure your child or teen is comfortable and relaxed during routine and restorative dental treatments. Advanced technologies, technologies, techniques, and treatments available include:
- Nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas)
- Conscious oral sedation
- Special needs dentistry
- Reduced radiation digital x-rays
- Dental lasers
- Quiet, pediatric-sized dental tools
- Kid-friendly office (televisions, video games, and toys)
Schedule Your Child or Teen’s Dental Cleaning and Exam Today
Although children should see a dentist twice a year, it is never too late to establish good oral hygiene habits. So if your child is late for their appointment or needs their first dental exam, you’ll be welcomed to our judgment-free dental practice with open arms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.