When a child begins growing their first teeth, it is time to introduce an oral hygiene routine. As teeth break through the gums, you should start wiping them and later brushing them. When teeth grow more closely together, usually between the ages of two and six, you should also floss.
To ensure plaque is effectively removed from the child’s smile, you should understand the proper technique to clean between teeth with flossing. Dr. Allie Miller, a pediatric dentist serving patients in Winter Park, FL, provides tips for the best way to floss your child’s teeth.
Flossing Tips from Your Dentist
Perfect Your Grip
As you prepare to floss your child’s teeth, or are teaching them to do it on their own, the first step is to get a solid grip on the string of floss. When you have a proper hold on the floss, you will be better able to maneuver the string as needed to remove plaque, tartar, and other harmful residues from between the teeth.
The floss should be approximately 18 inches in length. You should loop each end around each of your middle fingers, leaving approximately one inch of string that will be used.
Then, you can hold the floss between the index finger and thumb with both hands. This position is ideal for flexible, firm, and precise movement and positioning of the floss between the teeth.
Move Floss with Purpose
When you are ready and holding your floss properly, you can insert the floss between the teeth. Then rub the floss gently up and down against the side of the tooth and repeat the motion on the side of the adjacent tooth. Avoid using harsh movements which can irritate the gums and cause pain or bleeding.
These actions should be done for each tooth in your child’s mouth. After a section of floss is used, you can slide the string around the middle fingers, revealing a clean portion to clean between the next teeth.
Floss Every Day
Many people mistakenly think that brushing their teeth twice each day is good enough to protect their smiles from dental problems like cavities and gum disease. But plaque can form between teeth, so it is important to floss every day, not just once in a while.
Early introduction of flossing to a child’s oral hygiene regimen can make it easier for kids to get used to this practice and incorporate it in their daily routine, especially when they begin handling this regimen on their own.
Ask Your Winter Park, FL Dentist About Oral Hygiene
Pediatric Dentistry of Winter Park emphasizes the importance of oral hygiene and routine preventative dental visits for young patients in Winter Park, FL. Dr. Miller also specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry, including emergency dental care. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 407.434.0267 or reach a member of our staff online.