By now, most of us understand and can appreciate the need for daily brushing. We were taught to treat it as a daily ritual, and have since passed this tradition on to our kids. However, although brushing has become very well established, many Canadians continue to skip flossing, which can be just as beneficial as brushing. Because of this, we often aren’t teaching our children the proper flossing habits either, which can have adverse effects on their young teeth.
The benefits to flossing are numerous. Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the surfaces of teeth, floss is able to get at those hard to reach places between teeth that a brush would skip over. These small spaces are bacteria’s favourite places to call home, and the resulting tartar buildup can be hard to get rid of. Often flossing is the only way that these areas are cleaned at all. Floss also helps rid food debris from your gumline. If left to fester, small particles of food can cause an infection in the gums, leading to gingivitis or more serious periodontal disease. Realize that flossing is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy smile, and stop putting it off!
Parents are their children’s first and best role model. If your child sees that you are making daily flossing an important part of your life, they will be much more inclined to do the same. Ensure that you’re sending a clear message to your kids about the importance of flossing by doing it yourself!
The best way to get your kids to pick up flossing is to incorporate it into our daily brushing rituals. For younger children, this may mean actually flossing for them to get them accustomed to the feeling. Once they are older and able to floss for themselves, the routine will already have been well established and will seem like a natural part of bedtime. Set aside some time each night as designated oral hygiene time, and make sure that flossing is being included!
Our children’s oral hygiene starts with parents. Make sure that you are being a good role model and taking care of your own teeth. Finally, bring your little ones with you when you visit us at the dentist’s office. Centennial Smiles Dental is always happy to see new smiling faces, whatever the size! Feel free to reach us at (587) 317-7959 anytime.