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Houston Dentist - Dr. Kirk Speck D.D.S.

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Home arrow Dentist Articles arrow Dental Care for Children - Help Your Child Prevent Cavities by Flossing
Dental Care for Children - Help Your Child Prevent Cavities by Flossing

Nothing is more representative of a strong, healthy and growing body than a bright, shiny smile on a child. Research has shown that oral hygiene is directly related to overall health. Tooth decay leads the list as the most common chronic childhood disease, thus it's crucial to help your child care for their teeth by brushing and flossing.

While brushing and flossing are both essential for optimum oral health, the majority of dental health professionals agree that flossing is even more important because it reaches food and plaque trapped between teeth.

Flossing removes plaque and debris that adheres to teeth and gums. It also polishes tooth surfaces and controls bad breath. Flossing daily increases your chances of keeping your teeth for a lifetime and decreases the chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Many children have naturally occurring spaces between their teeth and the surfaces of their teeth can be kept clean with a toothbrush. However, kids that don't have the naturally occurring spacing will need to floss in order to protect against the bacteria that causes cavities.

Teeth require flossing as soon as the teeth touch one another since cavities frequently form between the teeth. Parents need to floss for their children until they gain the manual dexterity to floss alone. Find floss that is fun for your child - whether it's colorful, flavorful, or comes with the shape of their favorite TV character on the top - and make sure it's easy to manipulate in their mouth.

Encourage daily flossing by creating an incentive program. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make a chart and give them a sticker or a star every time they floss. Once they reach their goal, provide a reward like a special toy or a fun outing. The goal is to instill a habit of flossing regularly so it becomes a lifelong habit.

Got braces? The floss needs to be threaded between each pair of teeth using a special floss holder. Consult your Houston dentist if you're not sure how to floss properly.

For those too tired to floss at bedtime, find a more convenient time that works best with your schedule. It's better to floss at some point during the day than to not floss at all.

Hilary Basile is a writer for At, you will find valuable tips and resources for handling life's major events. Whether you're planning a wedding, buying your first home, anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, contending with a divorce, searching for a new job, or planning for your retirement, you'll find answers to your questions at

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