Flossing is an important part of a healthy daily dental routine. We are commonly asked by parents how often you should floss, both for themselves and their children. Let’s answer the question of how many times a day you should floss and why this is such an important part of anyone’s — especially your child’s — dental routine.
We recommend flossing at least once a day. For children, once a day is enough, especially as their gums start to get used to the sensation of flossing. This will help to remove bacteria, food debris, and plaque, so we usually recommend flossing at the end of each day before heading to bed.
For most children and adults, flossing once a day at night is enough to see the benefits of this practice. You’ll experience all of the advantages of flossing at the end of the day, as you’ll remove the food that has built up over the day between your teeth. Older children should floss every day before brushing their teeth, and this is a routine we encourage you to establish from a young age. It’s generally recommended that children start to floss when their teeth begin to crowd together, which can happen from the age of two to six, depending on their mouth. The earlier you create this routine with your child, the easier it will become for them to floss each day by themselves.
Flossing is critical for everyone to do in order to keep their teeth and gums clean and to reduce the chance of periodontal disease in the future. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque and bacteria, which protects you from gum disease. While brushing certainly helps with this task, it usually doesn’t reach the spaces between your teeth. Dental floss will remove the plaque that sits between your teeth and below your gum line. Some people will opt to use interdental brushes, but they can be impossible to fit between more crowded teeth, which is why flossing is our preferred solution.
The reason that we recommend only flossing once a day is to avoid potential damage to your gums. We are often asked how often you should floss, and it’s important to consider the fact that you can floss too much if you aren’t careful. While you might think that flossing every morning and night would be a good idea, this could start to irritate your gums or encourage gum recession.
The bacteria which creates plaque on our teeth takes between four and twelve hours to develop. This is why there’s not much point in flossing with your child more than once a day. The only exception to this is if you have something stuck in your teeth, which floss can help to dislodge. When you floss more than once a day, you could cause damage to your gum tissue, which is something we particularly want to avoid for children with their more sensitive mouths. Children are best adding flossing into their nightly dental routine before brushing their teeth. This ensures that they brush away any debris from flossing and will help to build a good daily routine. For many parents, this is the biggest challenge, but our team will be here to support you on this journey.
Another consideration is ensuring your child follows good flossing techniques. When they floss in a very harsh manner, this can harm your gum line and expose the tooth’s root. This can actually cause more trouble than good, as bacteria can get in and cause decay. For this reason, we always encourage you to supervise your child when they start flossing to build good habits.
Taking a child to the dentist can be a tiring, embarrassing, and frustrating experience. At AC Pediatric Dentistry, we understand this, and that’s why we want to make the experience pleasant and fun for children. Call us today or request an appointment online.