High Tide Dental

4 Tips on Making Flossing Easier for Your Kids

family dentist

Whenever you visit your family dentist, chances are high that you will be asked whether or not you and your family floss. The question is whether or not you’ll tell the truth! Too many people don’t floss as often as they should, and some don’t floss at all. But flossing is an important part of dental care and should be practiced regularly. There is a reason why your dentist emphasizes its importance, after all.

Flossing is used to remove the food and buildup that gets stuck between our teeth and is difficult to remove through brushing alone. Not only can this cause tooth decay; it can also inflame and eventually infect your gums, causing serious gum disease that results in bleeding and sometimes pain. It’s much easier to get into the routine of flossing when you’re a child, which is why many family dentists encourage parents to get their children used to flossing at a young age. But this can be quite challenging, which is why we’re giving you some of our top tips on getting children used to flossing.

1. Buy the Right Floss

For one thing, you need to think about the type of floss that you’re buying. If you’re not sure, you can always ask your family dentist for recommendations about high quality dental floss. You don’t want to buy floss that is overly harsh on your children’s gums, as this can make flossing painful and therefore difficult to convince them to repeat. Think about buying floss that is flavored. Cinnamon-flavored and bubblegum-flavored floss can be especially appealing to children and can make floss really fun.

Of course, you should also make sure that your children are using the correct length of floss, as the process can be a lot trickier if it’s too long or too short. Ideally, you should have them use waxed floss that is about 18 inches long.

2. Utilize Tools

If you’re introducing especially young children to flossing, they probably won’t be able to floss by themselves for a good while. You should ask your family dentist about the ideal tools that can help them transition to flossing independently.

Some of the tools that we would recommend would include a dental flosser, which is a kind of pick through which the floss can be threaded, and an interdental flosser. Interdental flossers are tools that are affixed with a kind of spoolie brush. This can be placed between the teeth, allowing for easy flossing. Most people don’t use these flossers permanently, but it can be a good tool to use until your child is old enough to floss by themselves.

3. Lead by Example

One of the best ways that you can convince your child of the importance of flossing is simply leading by example. It’s often difficult for children to understand how much they need to floss until they see their parents flossing regularly. Think about how often you brush your teeth alongside your young children.

You should floss after every meal, not just during the morning and the evening. The point of flossing is not to clean your teeth themselves, but to clean between your teeth. Furthermore, you may want to have your dentist introduce dental floss during your child’s very first dental visit. This will familiarize them with the concept and make flossing as normal a part of dental care as brushing your teeth.

4. Consider Reward Systems

Think about how often your children are rewarded after they visit the pediatric dentist for a visit. Family dentists often offer children the opportunity to choose a “treat” like fun toothbrushes or little toys when they leave the office. You may want to take a similar approach.

If it’s difficult to internally motivate your child to floss, you may want to externally motivate them. Think about making a chart and checking off daily flossing. Once your child reaches a certain goal, like a whole week or month of consistent flossing, you can offer a small reward. These rewards could include stickers, a small toy, or even an additional half hour of television time.

Flossing isn’t just about keeping your children’s teeth healthy but instilling healthy habits. Your dentist will thank you, and so will your kids!

4 Ways To Ensure Your Child’s Dental Health

dental office

Teaching your children how to take care of their teeth can be easier said than done. Habitual oral care doesn’t necessarily come as natural to some kids as it does others. It requires a lot of discipline and a set routine so that your child doesn’t forget to care for their teeth. Furthermore, there are sometimes roadblocks that make dental care for children even trickier. We often hear about kids having a fear of the dentist, which makes even taking them for a visit difficult. But this type of fear isn’t always innate and is sometimes borne of traumatic experiences with a dentist when a child is very young, even if they don’t remember exactly what those experiences were.

While it may seem easier to give a bit slack with regards to dental care, the consequences of letting your child’s teeth go without proper care are serious. Kids can develop cavities, gingivitis, and even abscesses which can lead to serious health issues without you even realizing it. It’s important to begin taking them to the dental office and developing healthy habits. So, what can you do to instill those habits and avoid bad ones?

1. Start Dental Office Visits Early

You should take your child to the dentist every six months, of course. This will ensure that their teeth are being checked up on regularly and getting the best possible care. But furthermore, going to the dental office with your child on a regular basis will instill in them the right habits and teach them that there is nothing to fear about the dentist. It’s recommended that parents take their children to their visit regular dental office visit soon after their first birthday. Though your child will probably only have a few baby teeth at that point, it’s important that your child is familiarized with the dentist, cutting down the risk of fear, and furthermore that their baby teeth are properly cared for. Baby teeth need care too, after all.

2. Teach Your Child to Floss

There’s a reason why our dentists ask about whether or not we floss every time we have a regular visit. Flossing is good for your teeth and incredibly important for their overall maintenance and your oral health in general. It’s much easier to begin ingraining a habit when you’re a young child, rather than waiting until you’re older. Therefore, you should begin teaching your child from a young age to floss regularly, ideally after every meal. Flossing ensures that there won’t be food stuck between your teeth, which will help prevent decay as well as gum infections and diseases like gingivitis.

3. Choose A Dentist With A Good Rapport

Of course, it’s not enough to take your child to the dentist on a regular basis. They need to be seeing a dentist that they actually like and trust. The rapport that your child has with the dentist is incredibly important in terms of ensuring that they have a positive experience. A good pediatric dentist will take the time to get to know your child and to develop a good relationship with your family. Furthermore, this rapport will make it easier for your dentist to relate to your child and gain accurate information about their symptoms and what they’re really doing to ensure the wellbeing of their teeth. Children are only honest if they trust someone, after all.

4. Encourage A Healthy Diet

Children need to be guided regarding their dental health. Reduce their sugar intake, especially sugary drinks, so that their teeth are healthier and so that they’re healthier in general. The more you encourage this diet in your child from a young age, the easier it will be for them to follow it.

There are so many ways that you can ensure your child’s dental health. But you need to take these steps early and be consistent.

How Dental Care Differs Between Children and Adults

dentist

Across different age groups, jaws and teeth will develop at varying rates. This is part of the reason why family dentists often make recommendations based on the patient’s physiological stage of development. Therefore, parents need to understand that there are unique dental requirements for their children that may differ from their own needs.

Dental Care for Children

The main difference between adults and children is the focus of the dental care process. Children’s bodies are still growing. It is the task of your dentist to ensure that their teeth and gums do not develop complications.

The dental care professional lays the foundation for healthy teeth and gums right from the first visit. Cavities on baby teeth can shift to the tooth that is about to sprout. Dentists are also responsible for imparting information on oral hygiene for both the parents and their children.

At High Tide Dental, we pride ourselves on our pediatric preventative program. Our goal is to see your child for their first visit as soon as their first tooth erupts, even if it is just for a “ride” in the dental chair. Our main focus at your child’s first few visits is to build a positive relationship with visiting the dentist that will last years to come.

Adult Dental Care

Adults are also susceptible to oral health complications. Contrary to most assumptions, the issue is not just with dental cavities. Statistics suggest that adults over the age of 35 lose more of their teeth to gum disease than cavities.

Children have an advantage in that their bones are soft and can adjust. On the other end, older adults have a weaker immune system, which increases the time it takes to heal.

Oral Health Routine

Another critical task for the dentist is to encourage patients of all ages to proper oral health routines including brushing their teeth regularly. These routines should also include flossing at least once a day to remove debris stuck between the teeth.

Adults may have a higher likelihood of succumbing to oral health problems, like periodontal disease, because of their lifestyle habits. Alcohol, tobacco, sodas, and sugary foods can increase the risk of dental complications.

Treatment Procedures

The treatment procedures at your local dental office will also vary depending on the age of the patient. For example, kids have thinner enamel than adults. Because their sensitive teeth are prone to cavities, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments for your child.

The fluoride solution has a higher concentration than your regular toothpaste. Fluoride varnishes may be used for both adults and kids. It is particularly useful for preventing cavities in children with thin enamels and sensitive teeth as well as adults who are prone to cavities.

Dental Sealants

Dentists understand that it can be challenging for children to keep up their oral hygiene routine. Sugary foods and sweets can increase the risk of cavities. Your family dentist may determine that the child needs a sealant.

The sealant is a barrier that protects the molars and premolars to limit cavities and gum disease. The patient will still have to keep up their daily oral hygiene routine. But sealants coupled with brushing and flossing can reduce the risk of cavities by 56% within the first year.

The American Dental Association approves of the use of sealants. It is a painless and fast dental office procedure that will protect your child’s tooth for many years to come.

Dental health can affect your social, physical, and psychological well being. Make a point of visiting your dentist regularly for routine check-ups. An evaluation can catch symptoms at the earliest stages and prevent extensive procedures. We are happy to review all of your preventative and restorative options at your first visit.

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