Children typically don't floss, but should they? The reality is, children have gums that are susceptible to gum disease just like adults do, and with an increase in sugar consumption in this country, it's even more important than it was decades ago for children to take good care of their gums. So what should you do in this situation? Read on to find out.
The biggest problem with asking the average child to floss is that it's difficult for them. Let's face it: flossing isn't always easy even for adults! But as a child, you lack the coordination that makes flossing routine in no time. Plus, with certain children it can be difficult to even get them to brush their teeth properly, so what are the odds that you'll be able to make them floss?
Even so, it's important to not neglect the health of their gums. Here's what you can do to help give their gums a boost.
First off, make sure that you're visiting the dentist as often as you should. Children should typically go to the dentist even more often than adults do. This is because their mouths are constantly changing, growing, and things are moving in and falling out on a regular basis. Your dentist will be able to tell if there's a problem with your child's gums and can treat them early on to prevent it from becoming gingivitis or even periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease.
Secondly, make sure that your child is brushing properly. While brushing their teeth will never be as good a cleaning as flossing, there's a big difference for gum health between brushing correctly and incorrectly. Watch your child brush to make sure that they're using small circles when they brush so that they're getting the gum line at the same time they're working on their teeth.
Last but not least, you can also consider integrating an extra tool into their daily routine. Water flossers are very popular because they're easy to use - just point and spray at the gums and between the teeth - and children often enjoy using them. It can feel like tickling your gums, and playing with water is usually a fun pastime for kids.
The most important thing you can do for your child's gum health is to ensure that they're not missing appointments with their dentist. If they require additional care, the family dentist will be sure to let you know.