ASK THE DENTIST
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2008
KID’S ORAL HYGIENE
Welcome to our first edition of the educational page. February is Children’s Dental Health Month so our topics will deal with dental concerns for kids to age 12.
Kids under 12 have a hidden weakness in their cleaning efforts. Most kids this age do not have the necessary dexterity to effectively floss their baby molar teeth. The back molars are so close together that regular toothbrushing cannot reach the space between the teeth. Decay can start easily in between these back teeth and only regular flossing can prevent it.
Help your child floss in these areas to help prevent decay. One good way is to stand behind them at the mirror in the bathroom and help them floss while they observe. You’ll find you can see pretty well and it’s easier this way (hey, that must be why dentists work from that same position!)
By helping your child floss you will prevent the common kind of decay we see in children. If your child prefers, you can have them try one of the many flossing aids that are available. Dinoflossers were popular when my kids were this age and they liked them. The floss aids look like a toothpick with a fork at one end that holds the floss tight enough to be wiggled between the back teeth themselves. Starting this practice early with your child will prevent decay and introduce them to a habit that can help them stay decay free for life.
Don’t forget to floss!
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