Just about everyone understands the importance of brushing teeth everyday, but for many adults, flossing is an extra step that they skip out on far too often. It might seem that brushing and mouthwash should be sufficient for keeping your teeth clean, but floss was specifically developed with the intent of getting to the space that toothbrushes and mouthwash miss—in between teeth.
Since you can’t see this area as easily, it might be harder to think about it or take it seriously, but the reality is that plaque, tartar, and bits of food get lodged in these tight, tiny areas. With a location at the base of the gums, the build-up of tartar and plaque that can be eliminated with proper flossing can lead to irritation and bum disease, like gingivitis. Besides a trip to the dentist, which you should also do regularly, floss is the only way to get at these hard to reach areas and stop gum problems before they occur.
If adults have a hard time understanding all this and still skip out on flossing, imagine how hard it is for kids to see the necessity. That’s why it’s so important that parents start introducing proper flossing techniques at the same time that you are getting your young ones to start brushing. When you establish a nightly routine that includes brushing and flossing you are greatly increasing your child’s likelihood of continuing the habit well into adulthood.
Of course, just telling a toddler to floss in between their teeth because it’s so important is rarely enough to get them to do it. Young children have limited attention spans, so the more tedious task of flossing can be a real challenge. At first, try to do it for them, while over time letting them take on some of the work until they get to a point where they can do it all on their own. It might be a challenge, but the lifetime of a beautiful smile it’s bringing your child is well worth the work.