A lot of people are actually confused as to whether kids should floss or not. Is it even recommended?
Flossing is the exercise of removing food particles stuck in between teeth with the help of dental floss. It helps with cleansing the teeth of impurities and eventually cavities. This is necessary because not all food particles are cleaned out by brushing one’s teeth so extra care needs to be taken.
Is flossing for kids still important? Of course! Read on to check the guidelines set by the government, what the dentists have to say and how kids can be encouraged to floss on a regular basis.
Change in Government Flossing Guidelines
At the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the suggestion of regularly flossing in its dietary guidelines was removed.
Dentists do not give much weight to these guidelines as they claim flossing is “common sense”. One doctor claimed that when having meat it gets between teeth and leaving it overnight can also fester and leave a boil next to your gums.
The bleeding caused by flossing is actually due to incorrect way of flossing or if the person has gingivitis.
Dentists Still Say "Floss"!
As children have weaker gums and teeth, doctors recommend them to reduce the frequency of flossing. Instead of once a day, a couple of times a day should suffice.
At the same time, care should be taken that no meaty bits remain stuck in their tiny white pearls. If they are having meat on a daily basis and complain of bits stuck between their teeth or they complain of toothache, parents should ensure that they either have it flossed out or a visit to the dentist would be due.
Flossing Helps Prevent Cavities
As already stated, stuck food attracts bacteria around the tooth. Even if left overnight the damage is already done. Once the bacteria attack, it is a downhill journey from there.
Children tend to have softer gums and teeth, so they are more prone to cavities. Parents should ensure that this is prevented as much as possible. With a simple act, flossing, a lot of future pain can be saved.
Tips to Get Kids to Floss
To encourage kids to floss, especially when they have food that tends to get between their teeth, parents should incentivize the whole exercise.
Setup a chart to keep track of your kid’s brushing and flossing. This reminds them to brush and floss and teaches them responsibility and self-motivation. You can give them small rewards as incentives, like stickers every week, or even a new toy if they have a good month.
It is recommended that adults should clean between the teeth with a dental floss at least once a day. For children it can be reduced to about twice or thrice a week. Diligence is key in achieving overall good oral health. After all cavities are extremely painful and not worth it.