dental floss 1Teaching a child to floss can be an exercise in patience because teaching a child to floss can be even more difficult than teaching a child to brush. However, the reward for sticking out the process and turning your child into a lifelong wielder of dental floss is definitely worthwhile. Read below as your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani discusses the importance of flossing and shares tips to help you teach your child to floss.

The Importance of Flossing

While toothbrushes can clean the majority of our teeth’s surfaces, there are areas that they cannot reach. Just because these areas are unreachable by a toothbrush, however, does not mean that they do not need cleaning just as much as any other area. If neglected, bacteria can gather in these areas and consume lingering sugar in the mouth to produce an acid capable of destroying teeth’s enamel. Over time, the decay can progress until a cavity develops.

To prevent decay in the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, the best option is flossing. Because dental floss is so thin, it can access the crevices where bacteria may congregate. By sliding the dental floss against the edges of each tooth, these bacteria can be removed, thereby improving oral health and decreasing the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.

Teaching Your Child to Floss

When teaching your child how to use dental floss, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Have your child use the proper amount of dental floss. Eighteen inches is a good length of floss to use. It may seem like a lot, but having this much floss allows your child to use clean sections of the floss rather than the same section over and over again.
  • Teach your child how to hold the floss properly. Have your child hold the floss between the index finger and thumb on each hand with a small gap between the hands.
  • Remind your child to be gentle when flossing. Flossing with too much force can be painful. Therefore, remind your child that the goal is to slide the floss gently against the side of each tooth.

Schedule a Visit with Your Brighton Kids’ Dentist

When was your child’s last dental visit? If it was more than six months ago, the time has come for a checkup. Contact your Brighton kids’ dentist, Dr. Villani, today to schedule an appointment by calling Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.