Face it: getting little kids to floss is nearly impossible. Many adults skip it, so of course, children will, too, especially since it can be difficult if your motor coordination isn't fine-tuned yet. Even so, taking care of gums is important for everyone, including children. If you want to give your child the best chance of having a healthy mouth in the years to come, here's how to get it done.
Why It's So Important
Gum health plays a critical role in keeping the overall health of one's mouth in good shape. This includes children! If their gums become diseased, they could lose teeth, go through extreme pain, or even suffer the side effects of gum disease bacteria in the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, as consumption of sugar has risen, it's become even more difficult for children to keep their gums healthy. Sugar and carbohydrates fuel the bacteria that trigger gum disease, and it's often difficult to limit how much sugar your child eats, especially while they're at school or with friends. While you should try to limit it as much as you can, you can also use an extra tool to keep your child's gums healthy.
Use a Water Flosser
Water flossers are a lot like the water-spraying tools you see your dentist use on your teeth. They use a very highly pressured stream of water to blast away plaque, bacteria, and food bits that get caught between teeth. All three of these things can lead to gum disease, so it's a great tool to use for kids and adults alike.
Water flossing is extremely easy, even for little kids. Many companies now manufacture water flossers intended for small hands, and they're often decorated with fun designs intended for children. If you don't have a water flosser yet, you should consider getting one.
Getting Used to It
Depending on your child's age, for the first few uses, you might want to either do it for them or supervise. Your child needs to know how to use it correctly in order to get full efficacy. Thankfully, this process is easy.
To use a water flosser well, you should aim the stream of water along the edge of your upper and lower gums. Travel from the back molar on the left all the way to the back molar on the right or vice versa. Once the gums are complete, shoot the water between each of your teeth to get rid of the plaque and food.
It's not a bad idea to try using it yourself first while your child watches. Then, again depending on their age, either do it for them or supervise to make sure that they're doing it right. Use a mirror so your child can see what they're doing as they do it.
Water flossers can help to keep your child's gums healthy until they're old enough to commit to regular flossing. If you need additional help with your child's oral health, reach out to a dental office like Orange Door Dental Group.