Do I need to floss my child’s teeth?
Flossing is important for both children and adults as it removes bacteria and food below the gumline that can cause gingivitis, periodontitis and dental decay.
Once a child’s first tooth erupts it is imperative to keep it/them as clean as possible through both brushing and when subsequent teeth erupt flossing.
Brushing is important because it removes dental plaque from above the gumline, whereas flossing removes the plaque from below.
In children, spaces typically exist between the teeth, these spaces are called primate spacing. The reason these spaces exist is to allow for enough space for the adult teeth to one day erupt into. Adult teeth are much larger than the baby teeth and need a larger surface area to accommodate them. If a child does not have any spacing between their baby teeth they may have crowding of the adult teeth when they erupt.
If a child has crowding it is imperative to floss daily between each tooth as food can get lodged in between. Whether teeth are crowded or not, introducing the flossing habit when a child is very young is important. Just as we teach our children to brush their teeth and hair, we also need to teach them how to floss. Up until around the age of 10 flossing should be done for your child as they have not developed the manual dexterity to be able to do it effectively. After around the age of 10, most children will be able to floss their own teeth with practice and encouragement.
So introduce your child to the art of flossing at an early age and it will stay with them for life. Floss the teeth you want to keep!
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