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Common Children’s Flossing Issues—and How to Combat Them

Daily flossing is essential for strong dental health, so it’s important to help your children develop the habit of flossing daily when they are very young. There are, however, a few things that you should keep in mind when it comes to flossing and your children’s teeth. Here is a look at common issues when flossing children’s teeth and how you can deal with them.

Tightly bunched teeth

Teeth that are extremely close together can be difficult to floss because there is no visible gap between them. For tightly bunched teeth, waxed floss is an excellent option. Waxed floss tends to be thinner than other types of floss, and the wax can help your child get in between close-together teeth. Just remind your child to be gentle when using waxed floss, as it can cut into gums if you’re not careful.

Teeth with gaps

Alternatively, many children have large gaps between their teeth (especially as permanent teeth are still coming in). For large gaps between teeth, dental tape is a great option because it’s wider and is gentler on exposed gums. Many children also have an easier time working with dental tape than other types of floss.

Varied spacing between teeth

Often children exhibit both tight and wide spacing between new permanent teeth. For teeth with varied spacing, woven floss is the best option. Woven floss varies in thickness depending on how tightly you are pulling the floss, so you can get in between both tight and wider spaces. Woven floss is also especially great because its woven nature lets you trap plaque, bacteria, and food particles.

Braces

Braces can make flossing especially difficult, as more food particles tend to become lodged between teeth and braces. For children with braces, consider opting for floss threaders or proxy brushes. A floss threader is like a flexible, plastic sewing needle that lets you guide floss between braces and crevices in your teeth. Proxy brushes, meanwhile, are cone shaped brushes that make easy work of removing debris between braces.

Reluctance to floss

Finally, of course, there is the issue of trying to get your children to floss when they don’t want to. In this case, consider bringing your child to the store with them and letting them pick out their own floss. Flosses come in many fun flavors, and pre-threaded flossers are especially great because they are easy to use and come in many fun shapes.
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