When you should begin flossing

Pediatric Dentistry of Pleasant Hill knows the importance of flossing and encourage everyone to floss daily. Did you know that if you are brushing alone you are only cleaning 60% of your teeth? That means you are missing 40% of your teeth’s surface. YES 40%!

Flossing is crucial because it gets food particles and plaque between the teeth that brushing misses.  You should begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch. By the time your child reaches 10 years old, they should be able to floss on their own.

Your child may feel a little discomfort when you first start flossing, but it should not be painful. With daily brushing and flossing, the discomfort should ease within a week or two. If it continues to be painful, please give us a call at (925) 947-1188.

Benefits of flossing:

  • Decreased risk of gum disease
  • Better breath
  • Removes plaque between teeth
  • Polishes tooth surfaces

If you find it difficult to floss, consider a different flossing method. There are several different interdental cleaners on the market such as a wooden plaque remover, dental pick, or a pre-threaded flosser. It could also be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss – waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss.  Ask your dentist how to use them correctly to avoid injuring your gums.

Don’t give up, you are well on your way to a healthy mouth.

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

One comment on “When you should begin flossing

  • Review by Marvin Pantangco for Rating: I highly reomecmnd this floss for everyone first. The only situation where this floss would not be good is when you have really tight contacts between the teeth. If you do, then you will need to get waxed floss. Though, waxed floss does a horrible job of cleaning.We need to step back and review why we floss. The number one reason is to remove the dental black below the gumline in order to prevent gum disease. The secondary reason is to remove plaque at the contact point of the teeth. Since gum disease awareness is becoming more common, I suggest using this floss as your first and only floss.Flossing is not easy to do. That’s why I have created videos on how to floss. Dentists and dental hygienists don’t stress it enough frankly because they don’t get paid to educate. Profit margins for dentists are so low it doesn’t make a lot of business sense to spend lots of time teaching people how to floss.If you do floss, cutting your gums, bleeding, or not getting it through are not good reasons to not do it. Floss with unwaxed floss because it simply cleans better. Floss more often then the gums won’t bleed. They bleed because you don’t floss. If you cut your gums or can’t get it through, try changing your technique. Do you use your middle fingers to floss? If not, you should. Do you use a sawing motion to get floss between your teeth? You should.Don’t look at the floss as the problem, look at your technique first.Flossing with unwaxed floss is great because it DOES shred. You want the roughness to grab the dental plaque. Waxed floss just doesn’t cut it.I hardly use waxed floss in the office and I don’t use it in my mouth.Other thing to note: gum disease is not common in kids teeth. That’s just the way it is. So if you really need to remove plaque and food between your kids teeth, then go ahead and use floss. Otherwise, spend the time brushing longer with fluoride toothpaste.Dr. Marvin

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