Floss Thread or Floss Picks - Which is More Effective for Our Pediatric Dental Patients?
As a family and pediatric dentist serving the greater Houston area, we see plenty of children and check on their dental health at their twice-annual dental cleanings. Unfortunately, many kids may come in with cavities because they don’t know how to properly brush and floss their teeth. Between regular dental floss thread and floss picks, which is the better alternative in order to avoid cavities?
Dental Floss Thread
Plain, typical dental floss is simply a spool of thread coated in wax. The wax helps the thread move more smoothly between the teeth and gums. This kind of floss has a long history for its doubtless effectiveness, so it’s no wonder that our pediatric dentist’s patients stick to it; chances are their parents also use this floss and taught their kids to use it.
However, flossing thread is not the most user-friendly method. Although effective, it may be more difficult for young children to use because they have to wrap it around their fingers and reach far back into the mouth. This usually results in inadequate flossing or no flossing at all.
If dental floss thread is hard for kids to use, are floss picks an effective alternative? Yes, they are. In fact, using floss picks might be better because with their ease of use, flossing becomes less like a dreadful chore and simply another part of their daily routine, which helps children make this necessary step into a habit.
A floss pick is a small piece of disposable plastic that holds a short piece of floss thread. Because it’s short, it’s easy to maneuver, so kids can more easily reach their back molars and effectively clean between their teeth and gumlines without struggling as much.
Effective Flossing Reduces Cavities in Children
So, which is best? It all comes down to preference and which method is easiest for your child. When used correctly, both types of floss are equally effective at removing plaque build-up. Even though we offer tooth-colored fillings for children with cavities, preventative care is always a priority; by ensuring your kids brush their teeth twice a day, gently floss every night, and come into our Houston dentist office for their cleanings twice a year, their teeth will be much healthier. If you would like to come in for your child’s first dental cleaning of the year, please book an appointment with our pediatric dentist.