Is Flossing Really that Important for Your Child?
Despite a report in the past that downgraded the importance of flossing, most dental professionals recommend that flossing remain a regular step in dental care.
The purpose of brushing your teeth is to remove the plaque which would otherwise build up on teeth and along the gum line. Toothbrushes can only reach the front and backs of your teeth. They can’t brush the sides. So when you don’t floss, you’re missing out on cleaning the sides of your teeth and also aren’t getting into the area where the tooth meets the gum line.
Plaque contains bacteria, and when you don’t floss, that bacteria stays between your teeth and causes gingivitis. That’s a mild form of gum disease where the gums become puffy, inflamed, and prone to bleeding. More serious forms of periodontal disease can follow. But flossing will remove the plaque between your teeth and prevent gingivitis. In addition, the bacteria in plaque, if left unaddressed, may also attack the tooth enamel and cause cavities between your teeth.
Professional dental organizations recommend brushing at least twice a day, but flossing only needs to be done once, preferably before bed. Some people don’t like handling stringy floss and will never become flossers. If that’s you or your child, other tools like interdental brushes can be found at most drugstores. They can also be easier for kids to use. As long as you’re cleaning between the teeth, that’s what’s important.
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