Maryland Dentists Share Dental Flossing Alternatives For Children

A kid flossing his teeth in Frederick, MD
For many people, flossing is an overlooked aspect of their regular dental hygiene routine. This is unfortunate because flossing is generally considered to be one of the most important aspects of dental care. While brushing your teeth will effectively remove plaque and bacteria from the larger surfaces of your teeth, flossing has the unique benefit of being able to remove the plaque and bacteria that collect in the gaps between, around, and behind your teeth. Because of this, pediatric and Hagerstown family dentists usually recommend that children be educated at a young age on the importance of flossing as well as taught how to actually do it.

Most parents realize that teaching their children the importance of flossing is not especially difficult, but it can be a real challenge to get children to actually do the work of flossing their teeth, or to cooperate for a parent to do the task for them. And even if a child is willing to work with the parent and do it themselves, using dental floss can be very tricky for small hands.

Since children can be difficult to please, and it can be challenging for parents to encourage their cooperation with dental hygiene routines, parents often search for ways to make these habits as fun as possible. Sometimes this means finding a toothbrush with a favorite cartoon character, purchasing a fun toothpaste with a special fruit flavor or bright color, or providing a timer to help them reach the goal of brushing for a full minute. But what about flossing, if your child is uncooperative or can’t quite figure out how to handle the dental floss? Here are a couple of alternatives that may work well for your child.

Water Flossers Or Picks

Water flossers, which are sometimes also called water picks, are modern and effective tools that bear a resemblance to the professional grade ones that are often used in Hagerstown family dentist offices. This unique method uses water to flush bacteria and debris out of your child’s mouth, especially in the crevices and areas that are hard to reach. Water flossers work by using enough water pressure to dislodge anything stuck between or behind teeth, but have the advantage of being painless, easy, and pleasant. The primary disadvantage is that it can become a little bit messy in your bathroom. However, it’s very possible that your child will enjoy the process of flossing with a water flosser and even find it to be fun, making it an ideal option for regular use that will boost your child’s dental and overall health.

Air Flossing: Safe & Effective For Their Teeth

In a similar technique to water flossing, air flossers use concentrated blasts of air, along with micro droplets of water or mouthwash, to clean out a child’s mouth. Air flossers safely and effectively remove all of the plaque, bacteria, tiny food particles, and debris from all corners of the teeth and mouth. Just like a water flosser, air flossers are painless and easy to use. Either option is an especially good choice for older children who have braces, because the air or water can get around the wires and brackets with much more ease than conventional floss. They are also much easier to use when braces are involved or when regular floss is a challenge.

Why Is Flossing So Important For Children?

A kid being treated by a professional Frederick dentistSince flossing can sometimes be unpleasant, uncomfortable, or feel like a bit of a hassle, many people don’t realize how important this part of dental hygiene can be. Instead, it’s common for dental patients to focus on removing plaque only from the front of their teeth where it’s most visible to others. While this type of plaque removal is important, the primary cause of gum disease is actually from bacteria particles trapped in the tiny, hard to reach space between teeth, rather than from plaque and bacteria accumulation on the front of teeth.

Gum disease is a painful, inflammatory condition that is progressive in nature and will continue to worsen without intervention. If left untreated, gum disease can have significant consequences on your child’s dental health. Early symptoms of gum disease that parents should be watchful for include red, swollen, and inflamed gums, which may bleed during teeth brushing. These symptoms are easy to overlook. However, if left untreated over a long period of time, gum disease will eventually cause pain, infection, recessed gums, tooth sensitivity, and even jaw deterioration and tooth loss. It’s also commonly acknowledged that poor dental hygiene affects overall health and can be linked to more serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.

Contact a Hagerstown Dentist For Comprehensive Kids Dental Care

Help your children’s lifelong dental hygiene by encouraging them to become comfortable with flossing at a young age. If conventional floss is a challenge, consider alternatives such as water flossing or air flossing. Give your child the gift of healthy teeth and positive habits!

Visit a friendly and knowledgeable dentist in Hagerstown at Hagerstown Dentist. It’s our goal to provide comprehensive and professional dental services that are affordable. When you visit our offices, you can be assured that you will meet with compassion and care. We offer free, no obligation consultations to help you meet your dental goals. Contact us today to get started on your perfect smile!


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Hagerstown Dentist

Hagerstown Location

1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Phone: (301) 200-9585