When should I teach my kids to floss is a common question I get as Dentist in Tigard OR. Most of the time this question comes from a concerned parent who might be a first time parent or sometimes it comes from a parent who has multiple children of all different ages.
What I have been trying to teach my patients in Tigard, OR is that like regular bathing, a good diet, and brushing teeth, flossing should be made a habit. It needs to be as common as lacing up your sneakers or blowing your nose. The earlier that flossing is made a habit the more like it will carry on into adulthood and become a regular aspect of your child’s daily hygiene regime.
The benefits of flossing are enormous! Flossing reduces the risk of gum disease, gingivitis, reduces the risk of cavities, and helps maintain dental restorations. Also regular flossing has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and some of the bacteria have been linked to things like heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer disease. Another very important benefit of flossing is that it has been proven to help improve the smell of your breath. These are just a few of the many benefits and why making flossing a habit while one is young will improve their quality of life.
So, when should we teach our kids to floss? Well, as soon as they get teeth! Now this is very young, maybe 5 or 6 months and trying to floss a 6 month old’s teeth is nearly impossible. But as you try to do it and make a consistent effort your children will learn and realize that it is something important. The more often floss is introduced and taught the more likely they will carry on this incredibly important habit. As your children get older it is important that you continue to teach them proper flossing technique. Regular dental check ups will also allow your child’s dentist and hygienist to continue to teach them about the importance of regular flossing and proper technique.
Now I am bias in my opinion, but I truly believe that flossing is one of the most important habits you can teach your children! But you as a parent you need to understand that you must also teach by example. Our kids are constantly watching us and if we aren’t regular in flossing our teeth neither will they. So it starts with you as the parent to not only teach your children about flossing but also to be a perfect of example of flossing.
If you would like more information or to meet with a TenderCare Dental Dentist give our office a call in Tigard, OR. 503-670-7088.