As far as positive health habits, getting your children to floss should be near the top of your list.
When it comes to oral health, some children are easier than others. You ask them to start flossing, and not only do they comply, but they enjoy doing it. Others are just the opposite, which makes the life of their parents incredibly hard. You might think that giving up is the right decision and that brushing alone is enough, but this idea could damage their oral health dramatically. Here’s why.
The first reason is one that you probably guess would be on this list. It is protecting your children’s gums. What happens when your children eat is that food gets into every little nook and cranny of their mouths. When it gets trapped for long periods, it starts to grow bacteria and infect the area. Flossing curbs this effect by cleaning the most dangerous bacteria build up zone of the mouth, the space between teeth and gums. As a result, it protects children against gum disease and keeps them healthy.
Have you ever wondered what the dentist is doing when they scratch the base of your teeth? If you don’t know already, they are removing a substance called tartar, which is another name for hardened plaque. The outcome of plaque turning to tartar is that you can no longer brush or floss it off with conventional tools. Instead, you need to have your teeth scraped by a professional. Fortunately, regular flossing can stop plaque buildup, which in turn prevents tartar from ever forming.
Brushing is Not Enough
Many parents believe that brushing alone is enough, and that flossing can be done every 6 months at the dentist. Unfortunately, this mindset will lead to oral health issues. As we explained above, food gets everywhere, and you need the tools to dislodge it. Brushing is one of those tools, but it cannot reach the areas between the teeth. The result that parents often have to deal with is their children getting cavities after periods of not flossing.
Getting a cavity or developing some other disease will undoubtedly cause pain in your children. While this fact is the top reason to have your kids floss, you can think about your wallet for a bit more incentive. The truth is that dental care can be expensive, and it is especially so when your children have severe issues. If they end up needing a filling, root canal, or any other procedure, you’re the one that will pick up the bill.
We already explained that trapped food in the mouth leads to bacteria that can infect gums. While this is a logical proposition, you might not know about what can happen when those organisms enter the body. Scientists are beginning to find proof that poor oral health is a risk factor for pneumonia, heart issues, and a variety of other diseases. This data proves that the importance of flossing goes well beyond oral health.
As far as positive health habits, getting your children to floss should be near the top of your list. Not only will doing so lead to better oral health, but it will save you money and lessen their risk of systemic disease. The result will be a stellar report next time you see the dentist and a child with a healthy, gorgeous smile.