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The Importance of Flossing in Kids: 5 Reasons Why

March 30, 2021

Are you a parent or a guardian who is having a hard time implementing dental hygiene to kids? As cute and funny as they seem, kids can be stubborn when it comes to dental hygiene, especially when it comes to flossing their teeth. They are not yet aware of the importance of flossing for kids, and they think that brushing their teeth alone is enough to keep their teeth healthy and strong. As adults, we should be ready to explain that even though flossing after brushing can be tedious, it is essential to keep a healthy set of teeth and a beautiful smile.

Teeth flossing should start when a child has two teeth that touch each other. As a parent and guardian, you will do the flossing for them until they come of age when they can do it independently. 

Before we go to the importance of flossing, let’s talk about what happens to the teeth when kids will not floss after brushing.

  • The Buildup of Plaque and Tartar

The plaque and tartar buildup are just some of the worst things that can happen to the teeth. If a kid doesn't floss daily, the plaque starts to build up. The plaque is like the sticky film that sticks to the teeth's surface and is made of food residue and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it gradually builds up as tartar and can trap other food particles in hard-to-reach places. If not removed, it can slowly damage your teeth.

  • Cavities

We don’t want our children to suffer cavities. That's why flossing is essential. If flossing is not done regularly, the plaque and tartar can damage the teeth and cause cavities. The cavities can still be fixed, but it does not guarantee a healthy set of teeth anymore.

  • Loss of Teeth

Young kids will eventually lose their baby teeth, but if they come of age and already have a set of permanent teeth, it will be hard to repair. If regular flossing is not done to kids’ teeth, the cavities can cause the tooth to be damaged beyond repair, thus, the need to extract. Once a permanent tooth is extracted, it will not grow a new one, but you will have to use false teeth instead.

Now that kids know the effects of not flossing regularly, it can help you as parents and guardians convince them to floss regularly. You can teach them the following 5 reasons why flossing is essential for their teeth.

  1. Prevents Build Up of Tartar and Plaque

As discussed above, tartar and plaques are some of the worst things that can happen to the teeth if adequately cared for. Flossing in kids can remove the bacteria and food residue that were not removed while brushing their teeth. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Preventing the build-up through flossing is better than repairing a damaged tooth.

  1. It Keeps the Gums Healthy

If there is a buildup of plaque and tartar in the teeth, it also affects the gums. The build-up can cause the gum to have reddish inflammation that is called gingivitis. Yes, gingivitis does not only happen to adults. It can affect young ones as well, especially if they have poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis can lead to the eventual loss of teeth and lead to more severe damage, such as periodontitis that can cause bone loss.

  1. It is More Effective than Brushing Alone

We all know that brushing our teeth can help clean our teeth and our gums. But the truth is, not everything that is lodged between our teeth can be removed by brushing. Our teeth have hard-to-reach places that even the most delicate toothbrush bristles can’t reach or are flimsy to remove food residues. Especially with children who are not very good at brushing their teeth, they need to reinforce cleaning their teeth by flossing. Brushing and flossing are just two of the most essential practices that kids and adults should do to keep their teeth healthy.

  1. Prevents Unprecedented Teeth Loss

The baby teeth of children will eventually fall to be replaced by their permanent teeth, which cannot be prevented. What we can avoid is the loss of permanent teeth if their teeth and gums are not healthy. A new tooth will not replace a lost permanent tooth. Instead, you need to use a false tooth or have dental implants, which cost a lot. Teaching kids to floss their teeth regularly will help keep their teeth and gums healthy, prevent inflammation and prevent tooth loss until it’s time for their baby teeth to fall off. Unprecedented tooth loss of permanent teeth can cause damage to a kid’s self-esteem as it can be a subject to bullying (but that is for a different topic).

  1. Saves You Money

This reason might not be for children’s benefit but the parents and guardians. If your kid’s teeth and gums are healthy, it will save you money in going to the dentist because of dental problems. Except for the teeth and dental cleaning routine check-up, all other dental problems will be averted because your kid knows how to floss their teeth. Also, proper dental hygiene will keep their teeth and gums healthy until they become adults.

Dental hygiene is one of the many practices kids neglect to do. They need constant reminders to brush their teeth, and sometimes, they just stop there. They would often forget to floss their teeth. Along with flossing, mouthwash also helps kill the bacteria left behind that were not removed by brushing or flossing. Kids need to form a habit of brushing and flossing their teeth to keep them healthy. Having this habit will help them build a routine to maintain their dental hygiene at bay.

The importance of flossing for kids is as essential as flossing for adults. The practice is applicable for both, and it may add a few minutes you consume for dental hygiene, but the few minutes will be worth it until the kids become adults and keep adults’ teeth intact.