4 Alternative Methods of Reducing the Plaque between Your Child's Teeth

Most children have natural gaps between their teeth. However, as your child grows and his or her adult teeth present, these spaces normally tighten, and flossing becomes necessary. Nevertheless, many children require reminders just to brush on a regular basis, and flossing may be ignored due to the amount of time needed to complete the process. Here are a few alternative cleaning methods that may help reduce the plaque in the spaces between your child's teeth.

Interdental Brushes

These tiny brushes are simple to use and don't usually prolong your child's tooth-cleaning routine too much. The brushes, which resemble little pipe cleaners, are inserted into the spaces between the teeth and pulled back and forth to remove plaque.

Oral Irrigator

Most children love to play with water. An oral irrigator, which is also called a water flosser, is an effective method of removing the plaque between your child's teeth and along his or her gum line. The device uses a concentrated stream of water to dislodge and wash away plaque and food particles. The flow of the water can be adjusted so that sensitive gums are not damaged, and the cleaning process can be completed quickly.

Fluoride Mouth Rinse

A flavored mouth rinse that contains fluoride will reach practically all of the spaces of your child's mouth where a toothbrush may be unable to reach, such as those between his or her teeth. Although fluoride is used to help remineralize the teeth and prevent cavities, it also has an antibacterial effect. Studies show that fluoride decreases the acid tolerance of oral bacteria so that they are unable to feed through glycolysis, which involves the release of decay-causing acid as a digestive byproduct. This lack of feeding helps reduce the overall acid in the mouth, and it can also decrease the number of viable bacteria in the dental plaque, since well-fed bacteria reproduce more quickly.

Anti-Plaque Rinse

Some mouth rinses are designed to loosen the plaque in your child's mouth so that the sticky substance can be more easily removed by rinsing or brushing. 

If your child repeatedly avoids flossing, he or she may be more likely to develop cavities from the buildup of plaque between his or her teeth. There are alternative ways to help keep the interdental spaces clean, such as those listed above. However, be sure to discuss your child's lack of flossing with his or her dentist. A children's dentist can make professional recommendations to help protect your youngster's teeth. Schedule an appointment today.