Flossing: Babies, Children, Adults

. Posted in Dental Hygiene, Oral Health

Q: Which teeth should I floss?
A: Only the ones you want to keep!

Q: When should I start flossing my children’s teeth?
A: As soon as two teeth touch each other.

Starting to floss your children’s teeth from a young age is super important. The best way to ingrain healthy dental habits is through leading by example. When they see you undertaking important tasks, like using dental floss, they’re more likely to copy what you are doing. Of course, initially you’ll need to floss your children’s teeth for them because they lack the dexterity to do it themselves. As they master the necessary skill involved it is important you show them how to do it themselves. In no time at all you’ll find that not only are they able to floss independently but you’ve successfully managed to help form a fantastic lifelong habit that will keep their teeth and gums healthy.

When it comes to babies it’s a great idea to clean their mouths and tongues with a soft, warm cloth. Once teeth begin to emerge, choose a very soft, gentle brush and use the proper technique to carefully begin brushing their teeth. While it can be a challenge at first, forming these essential routines will be very beneficial in the long run.

Should I floss before or after brushing my teeth?

The order in which you brush and floss doesn’t really matter too much, the important part is that you’re flossing full stop. Here at Dental O So Gentle, we see our Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists as personal gum trainers who follow the Nike motto of: “just do it!” Our dental team would be delighted to show you the correct technique for using dental floss.

Why do I have to floss my teeth?

No matter how amazing your toothbrush is – be it sonic, manual or electric – flossing is necessary to remove plaque from areas of your mouth where the bristles of a toothbrush just don’t reach. Flossing dislodged plaque and harmful bacteria from the tooth surface and the gum helps to prevent tooth decay, gum inflammation (known as gingivitis) and further destruction of the gum and bone (called periodontal disease). Not to mention the fact that moving these deposits and food debris will help to improve your breath!

Wax on or wax off – what kind of floss should I use?

Essentially, whether you use waxed or un-waxed dental floss is a matter of personal preference. You can just as effectively use either and some people even prefer to use mint-flavoured floss. The choice is yours as long as you “just do it”!

What happens when my gums bleed while I’m flossing?

Bleeding gums while flossing is an alarm bell letting you know that something is not 100% right. It is a way of your gums alerting you to the fact that there may already be gum inflammation from a build up of plaque and/or bacteria. In this case, the best thing to do is to continue flossing and making an appointment at Dental O So Gentle with one of our friendly and expert Dental Hygienists. They’ll help assess the reason behind the bleeding and determine the health of your gums. If necessary, they’ll then provide you with oral hygiene instructions and help teach you the correct technique to ensure you floss correctly.

Final Floss Thoughts

It’s normal to have a lot of questions about how to floss properly and it is vital to remember that it’s never too late to start flossing if you haven’t been. Our hygienists and dentists at Dental O So Gentle are always here to help examine your dental health, answer your flossing questions and even show you the correct technique. Just give us a call, or better yet come in and see us, and you’ll be well on your way to better dental health!

Always remember – just do it.

By Eva Jaune and Brodie Stewart, Front Office Coordinators.