Flossing Your Kid’s Teeth – Just 3 Simple Steps

I have talked a lot about the importance of good oral hygiene and starting healthy habits with your kids at a young age. Hopefully you now know the importance of kids starting their daily routines at a young age. This includes not only tooth brushing but also flossing.

Flossing is a step that a lot of parents neglect because they don’t understand the importance or it feel like too much work. However, you should start flossing your kids teeth between 2 and 3 years of age. They will need your help for a few years but don’t even be surprised if they are 8 years old when they can finally floss without any assistance.

Why floss you ask? Flossing is very important for several reasons. First of all it removes plaque that builds up between your child’s teeth and secondly it removes plaque from the gum line. Neither of which a tooth brush will typically be able to reach.

Flossing should be done at least one time per day and shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of minutes. If you have detailed questions about what to do, consult your child’s dentist.

A few little tips that may make flossing more exciting for young children is to find flavored or colored floss and let them pick out their favorite. This will help them be anxious to use their floss.

3 Simple Steps:

  1. Use approximately an 18 inch strand of floss
  2. Let them wrap their floss around their middle fingers on both hands
  3. Gently guide the floss in between each tooth moving it around the tooth and on under the gum line on each side

This is also a great time to make sure Mom and Dad get their daily flossing in! As always, we teach best by setting an example. Make a few minutes at the end of your day to floss with your children for happier, healthier smiles!

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


17 Responses to “Flossing Your Kid’s Teeth – Just 3 Simple Steps”

  1. Thanks for sharing it can be kind of hard to get your kids to want to floss their teeth so it’s a good idea to do it with them it will help them feel like an adult and it will be easier for you to remember to floss as well.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      …it’s funny isn’t it – how something as little as doing it with them can have such a big impact. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Delores Lyon says:

    Thanks for sharing this advice on helping your kid floss their teeth. It really is important that you help them learn to floss right from an early age. By doing this, you are helping your kids have good dental hygiene for the rest of their lives.

  3. Jack White says:

    I remember seeing a photo of a tooth that had been extracted from a person that didn’t floss. I was shocked at how the stuff we eat can calcify deep in our roots. It I could post a photo of it here, i would. It seriously changed the way I care for my teeth.

  4. When I was younger, I did not floss my teeth. I did have some cavities on my baby teeth. I like to believe that if I had flossed at a younger age, I would be doing a better job at flossing now. I do believe that even though the baby teeth will fall out, we should still take care of them the best we can.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      Hi John,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. And I have to agree with you 100%. I wish I flossed more at a younger age too. Not only would it have established healthy habits at a younger age, but it would have helped to establish healthy gums which is exactly the environment you want your permanent teeth growing into. I guess whatever we didn’t learn when we were kids, we hopefully learn now as adults and pass down to our own kids. Thanks John for stopping by!

  5. Elden Gatley says:

    I agree that they should wrap the floss around their middle fingers. I think those are the easiest fingers for maneuvering. The pointer fingers just get in the way.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      What a great comment! You definitely made us smile this morning. We agree 100%…the pointer fingers definitely get in the way! 🙂 Thanks Elden for stopping by! Please come back any time!

  6. Abélia says:

    Flossing your kids teeth is a pretty daunting task. It takes all the energy I have just to get them to brush, let alone floss. I appreciate these 3 simple steps for helping your kids floss their teeth. I agree that they should wrap the floss around their fingers and then the parent guides should it in and out of their teeth.

  7. larissa says:

    One of the most difficult things to do is to get a child to do something they dont want, and usually, it involves flossing and brushing teeth. It is so important to teach kids just why teeth are so important and why they should be taken care of from an early age. Thanks so much for sharing! Great advice on flossing!

  8. I like the idea to use flavored dental floss. I would also use it as an opportunity to practice counting if they are learning that. Depending on their level of interest, you could use it to practice learning the names of teeth. I’m sure there are many creative ways to help children enjoy flossing.

  9. Brian says:

    Great advice! It’s important to reinforce good brushing and flossing habits at an early age so it is easier to carry on to adulthood. Thanks for sharing!

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