What Do You Teach Your Kids About Flossing?

  • Sep 10 2021

If I go for all of my regular dental exams and cleanings do I really have to floss my teeth every day?

Life has been rather different during our time spent dealing with COVID. Many of us ended up working at home. Kids, for the most part, stopped going off to school and switched to online classes. This meant that families have had considerably more time together. No doubt there will be numerous studies on how that has affected any number of things, including parenting. 

It will be interesting to see if this period has had an effect on parents’ ability to instill some good habits that were otherwise hard to always find time for. One that might be of particular interest is good dental hygiene habits. 

In what we used to call a normal world, there was generally precious little time to make sure that everyone had done their proper brushing and flossing before the morning dash out the door. Then, in the evening, after various sporting practices, games and other activities, not to mention homework, how much energy was left to follow up on nightly dental practices? 

But, for an entire school year, almost all outside-the-home activity was brought to a halt. Is it possible that some of that time was devoted to teaching kids the importance of consistently brushing and flossing their teeth?

Perhaps a better question would be, do you, personally, practice the kind of dental hygiene that you know you should be teaching your kids? 

27 Percent of People Lie to Their Dentists About Flossing

Most people brush their teeth at least once a day. Not doing so can catch up to you pretty quickly in the form of bad breath. But what about flossing? According to a study reported by the American Academy of Periodontology, 27 percent of people admitted to lying to their dentists when asked if they flossed their teeth. 14 percent even went further and said they would actually rather clean their toilets. 

Maybe that isn’t actually true and they just said something they thought would get a laugh, but it really isn’t funny. That study went on to find that close to 60 percent of people do not floss every day. Considering the consequences, that is a disturbing finding. 

Why Is Flossing So Important?

Flossing may never be something that you actually like to do, but it is important. Brushing simply does not get to all of the areas that need attention. In fact, of the five surfaces that each tooth has, brushing can only reach three of them, missing the two surfaces where food particles and bacteria are most likely to join forces. 

If left on the teeth, the plague created by the combination of food and bacteria will harden into tartar, which will require professional cleaning to remove. If allowed to remain, the results can include inflammation, tooth decay, receding gums and tooth loss.  

The good news is that daily brushing and flossing can go a long way to prevent these issues. If flossing is particularly unpleasant for you, talk to your dentist. You may be surprised to learn of new products and techniques that can help make it much easier for you to make flossing part of your daily routine.

If you have questions about dental hygiene practices or any of our services, whether dentistry or aesthetics, Forest Hills Dentistry is dedicated to delivering the highest quality services possible. We offer the latest and most current information and services to our patients with a new state-of-the-art facility in Forest Hills, Queens. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, you are invited to use our online form by clicking here.

Categories: Dental Health