For children with developmental disabilities including sensory disorders every day dental care can be a huge challenge.
It is advisable to access treatment from experienced dental practitioner in hospital or community facilities.
However, many children with additional needs will enjoy the routine of dental care and it is important to involve them in dental care as early as possible encouraging them to be as independent as possible.
As adults many of us will floss our teeth as part of our daily dental care routine? But have you considered encouraging your children to floss?
Flossing may actually be more important than brushing, when it comes to your child’s teeth. It turns out that most cavities form where baby teeth touch one another, and flossing is the best way to prevent childhood’s most common disease!
Know When to Start Flossing
Most baby teeth have nice wide spaces between them. This is ideal for adult teeth to come into the right position. But if the teeth are touching one another, it means bacteria and microbes can hide in those areas. Once two teeth are touching, it’s time to start flossing.
As the adult teeth start to come in around the age of 6, those baby spaces will close up. If you haven’t started flossing before, it’s now!
Know How Often to Floss
Ask yourself, “How long am I comfortable going without brushing my teeth?”
The bare minimum should be 24 hours, as that’s how long it takes soft plaque to calcify into tartar on your teeth.
For flossing, you’re cleaning the areas of your child’s teeth that you can’t reach with a brush…approximately 40% of their tooth structure. As such, flossing needs to be a daily ordeal!
The Type of Floss You Should Use
Children have small mouths that can be difficult to fit floss-laden adult fingers into. Since there aren’t many molars involved, a floss pick works wonders. Rub the floss up against each side of the tooth and gently underneath the margins of the gums.
But My Child’s Gums are Bleeding!
It’s ok if it bleeds a little…that’s usually a sign that there’s some gingivitis involved (it can take about two weeks to go away.) Keep flossing just under the gumlines to keep them clean and healthy.
When Can a Parent Let Their Child Floss on Their Own?
Once your little one can tie his or her shoes by themselves, it’s time to start flossing as well! Tie the floss in a circle and help them use a clean piece between teeth to keep their smile cavity free for years to come.
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