Cavities seldom strike a childs teeth in places that are convenient for a dentist to reach. Most cavities begin in the unseen places between teeth. Periodontal disease often begins here as well, because the bacteria resident in plaque is detrimental to both teeth and gums. Brushing teeth is not enough to get rid of all the plaque in your childs mouth. To give your child the greatest amount of protection against tooth decay and gum disease, it is paramount that you teach him or her proper brushing techniques as soon as possible.
Plaque must be removed from all tooth surfaces at least once a day. Ideally, however, it is better for children to consistently apply the proper flossing techniques each time they brush their teeth. We recommend brushing and flossing after each meal. This removes food debris and sugars from drinks immediately and minimizes the buildup of plaque before it becomes such a big problem that it causes cavities and Periodontitis.
Many parents ask us what type of floss is best for their children to use. The type of floss does not matter so long as the proper flossing techniques are consistently followed.
To teach your child proper flossing, begin by doing it for him or her. Begin by splitting off about 18 inches of dental floss and winding it around the middle fingers of each hand until you have approximately 5 inches of floss between both hands. Then, pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving 1 inch in total to work with.
Slide the floss very gently between your childs teeth. Use a side-to-side motion to clean the sides of each tooth.
If your child has teeth that are too close together for dental flossing, or if the floss catches on the side of a tooth and tears, you need to bring your child to the dentist. Alignment problems are much easier to fix if dealt with sooner, rather than later.
Proper flossing of your childrens teeth also involves using dental floss to clean beneath the gum line. This can be done without cutting or hurting gums if the proper methodology is followed. Make a C shape with the dental floss and pull it around the side of the tooth. Then, slide it under the gum and use a very gentle up-and-down motion (NOT side-to-side) to clean the surface of the tooth beneath the gum line.
After you have removed all the plaque from a childs teeth, the dental floss will begin to make a squeaking sound. Kids love this sound, so one way to teach them proper flossing techniques is to tell them to listen for the squeaky sound.
If you or your child has problem flossing certain teeth, try using a fork floss. If you notice that your childs gums are bleeding, this means they are infected with bacteria for plaque. This commonly happens when people first begin to use dental floss. However, if the bleeding persists for more than a week, then seek out dental treatment as soon as possible.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services.