It is common knowledge that brushing & flossing are integral components of any oral health care regime. In fact, next to eating healthy and avoiding foods known to cause enamel loss, brushing and flossing are the most important things your child can do to preserve his or her oral health. However, for these activities to have the greatest impact, your child needs to perform them correctly.
The 2-Minute Rule
According to one study, the average American only brushes teeth for about 45 seconds twice a day. Per the American Dental Association, the ideal brushing time is a full two minutes. While 45 seconds is better than nothing, increasing the amount of time you brush your child’s teeth, or encouraging kids to brush longer on their own, can effectively remove up to 26% more plaque. If your child does this twice a day, he or she can reduce the risk of decay due to plaque build-up by more than 50%.
The Importance of Flossing
Brushing & flossing go together like peanut butter and jelly. While both are somewhat effective on their own, they deliver the most impact when used together. Dental floss helps your child reach areas of the mouth, such as between the teeth and the back molars, that the bristles of a toothbrush cannot. Though barely noticeable, small spaces, such as gaps and tight spaces between the teeth, catch particles, sugar and acid from food and beverages your child consumes throughout the day. Floss helps to clean those particles from hard-to-reach areas and prevent the damaging effects of buildup.
Flossing requires just a few extra seconds of your child’s time each day, yet the simple activity can prevent a lifetime worth of dental problems and go a long way toward maintaining optimal dental health.
Because most adults neglect flossing, you should introduce the habit early in your child’s life. This increases the chances that it will become a life-long habit.
Schedule Regular Cleanings Brushing and flossing twice daily are the pillars of great mouth health. To continue to promote overall oral health in your child, schedule regular exams and cleanings with your neighborhood pediatric dentist.