As an adult, you’re asked at every dental cleaning appointment whether or not you’re flossing your teeth. What about your children? Do their teeth need to be flossed as well? It can be very difficult for your child to floss their teeth to begin with, but there are some things you need to know when it comes to preventing tooth decay in your child’s teeth.
#1 – If the teeth are touching, they need to be flossed
Fortunately many baby teeth will have wide spaces between them. This is nature’s way of helping preserve space for adult teeth that will erupt in the future. Some children will experience crowding in their primary teeth, causing them to be tight together. As a rule of thumb, if the teeth are touching, then they need to be flossed (because a brush can’t clean between them!)
#2 – Baby teeth decay much quicker than permanent teeth
That’s right…it’s a lot easier to get a big cavity in a baby tooth than it is in a permanent tooth. By the time you can see it, it’s pretty big, and may compromise the health of the entire tooth. Think of flossing as an important piece of dental insurance for your child’s future.
#3 – Help your child floss their teeth at least until they can tie their own shoes.
It’s never a bad thing to help your child with their oral hygiene, but it can be a bad thing if you don’t. Younger children don’t have the dexterity that they need to do a truly thorough job when it comes to brushing and flossing. Help your child clean in-between once a day at least until they know how to tie their shoes.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.
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