How important is flossing?

Flossing is incredibly important and is the most bypassed way to clean your teeth! Cavities love to hide in between your teeth where the brush can’t reach. Flossing needs to be done to get food particles out that are stuck in between the teeth.
The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) says that “By age 5, nearly 60 percent of kids have tooth decay. The rate of tooth decay is alarming not only because it is on the rise, but it becomes harder to treat once it sets in, especially if at an early age. The good news is that this top chronic infectious disease among our nation’s children is nearly completely preventable. While most parents and caregivers are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing, it’s the only part of the puzzle in preventing tooth decay.”
WOW! 60% is incredibly high. The only way to reduce this disease is to get our children to start brushing and flossing every single day and improving their diet.
Here are some ideas on how to get your children to floss easier:
Start young! Start daily flossing when your child’s teeth start to touch each other, which is usually around 2-3 years old.
Brush and floss your preschooler’s teeth! Always supervise the brushing and flossing of children up until 7-8 years of age. If they want to brush on their own at a young age, that is fine. But you should brush again for them after to ensure it is done properly. Children aren’t thorough brushers until they are about 8 years old.
Floss before brushing. This will help loosen everything up and then brushing will wash it all way. Always rinse our mouth out with water after flossing.
Be gentle. Don’t floss the way you would for yourself. Be very slow and gentle and don’t cause them any pain. If it is a good experience, the more likely they are to continue to floss as they get older.
Use floss picks for convenience if your children have a hard time using regular floss.
Lead by example. Make sure your kids see that you are brushing and flossing every single day. They will want to do it more if they know you are doing it and that you take it seriously.
Make it a fun, family event! Have a flossing party every night before bed. Have the whole family brush and floss together and then read a book together after!

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