It’s common practice to brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, but how often should you floss? Do you need to floss every day? According to most dentists, flossing your teeth should be a daily dental hygiene habit. This rule of thumb isn’t just for adults, either. Children should begin flossing at a young age to keep those smiles healthy, white and cavity-free.
Check out these six benefits of flossing to discover the difference just a few minutes a day can make.
1. Reduces the Risk of Gum Disease
One of the most important benefits of kids flossing regularly is the reduced risk of gum diseases. Plaque buildup between your teeth and gum tissue can eventually cause inflammation and infection, leading to gingivitis and periodontitis. Kids and adults alike can get gingivitis — an inflammation of the gums — which causes bleeding and swelling. Gingivitis can eventually lead to a more serious form of gum disease, like periodontitis, resulting in issues deep in the gums that affect the bone that surround the roots of our teeth. Daily flossing is a great preventive technique, as it gets rid of food debris on the gum line before bacteria can set in.
2. Prevents Bad Breath
Bad breath is one of the most common symptoms of poor dental hygiene. One common cause of bad breath is food particles trapped in your mouth, which leads to bacteria and odors. Regular flossing can help to keep your teeth debris-free so that your breath stays fresh throughout the day.
3. Reduces the Risk of Cavities
Flossing on a regular basis helps to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Failing to brush and floss your teeth gives bacteria plenty of room to play. Bacteria can quickly start to feed on any leftover food residue in your mouth, releasing an acid that can damage your teeth’s enamel and cause cavities. If you don’t remove plaque, it will eventually lead to cavities. Yikes! Plaque can also harden into tartar, also known as calculus. This is much more difficult to get rid of and usually requires professional dental cleanings.
4. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Proper dental care doesn’t just impact the health of your teeth and gums — it affects your entire body. Gum diseases allow bacteria to enter your body’s bloodstream. If left untreated, this can cause some serious side effects, like blood clotting and heart disease. Daily flossing adds just a few minutes to your schedule, and it can have some crucial health benefits. While the risk of heart disease in children is low, oral hygiene efforts that are established at a young age will lay the foundation for your child’s overall outlook on oral health and how it is linked to systemic health.
5. Improves Your Overall Health
When should your child start flossing? We say it’s never too early to begin taking care of your oral health. It is worthwhile to start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as the teeth begin to touch. This can be as early as ages 1-2, however, many children aren’t cooperative enough until ages 3-4. The importance of flossing for children goes far beyond just a pearly white smile. Flossing properly can help to control diabetes and reduce the risk of respiratory disease.
Flossing at least once a day is a simple solution to help reduce bacteria buildup and keep your blood glucose levels stable. Keeping a clean, healthy, debris-free mouth can also lower the risk of oral bacteria entering your respiratory system, which helps prevent conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia.
6. Enhances Your Smile
While your health and safety come before aesthetics, it’s no secret that daily flossing also helps improve your smile’s appearance. Having food particles stuck between your teeth will affect your smile. Plaque that is stuck between the teeth can also make teeth appear more yellow. Over time, debris and plaque buildup can lead to more permanent staining of the teeth. Flossing can help to keep that smile shiny and bright!
Schedule an Appointment With Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics Today
At Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics, we specialize in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics for adults and kids of all ages. Have any questions about how, when and why your children should be flossing? We’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment.