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When Should Children Start Flossing?

The earlier you establish your child’s dental hygiene routine, the better! Instilling these routines helps them achieve better overall dental health. However, parents may feel confused about where to start when it comes to flossing. They wonder, “when should children start flossing”?

Parents should start flossing their child’s teeth once they develop teeth that fit closely together, usually around 2-3 years of age. Read on to learn more about flossing your child’s teeth and other child’s dental hygiene tips!

Do Kids Need to Floss?

The truth is, flossing your child’s teeth is key to good dental health, but it may feel like a daunting task. Flossing is an essential step because brushing alone cannot remove plaque hiding in hard-to-reach areas, like in between the teeth.

Besides getting rid of plaque, flossing also removes stuck-in food particles, polishes the surface of the teeth, and controls bad breath. It also prevents gum disease and sugar buggies (cavities) from developing!

How to Floss Your Children’s Teeth

We understand that parents may feel intimidated by flossing their child’s teeth. If you feel unsure of what to do, you can ask your pediatric dentist to demonstrate how to floss your child’s teeth. Doing so will also help your kiddo understand how to floss!

We are committed to helping your child get results with flossing. That’s why we give out free flossers with your visit!

There are two main methods we recommend for our patients and their parents:

Besides getting rid of plaque, flossing also removes stuck-in food particles, polishes the surface of the teeth, and controls bad breath. It also prevents gum disease and sugar buggies (cavities) from developing!

Spool Method (or Finger Wrap Method)

  1. Get a piece of floss about 18 to 20 inches long.
  2. Gently wrap each end of the floss around both middle fingers.
  3. Using your index finger and thumbs, gently move the floss up and down between the teeth.
  4. Carefully floss just below the gum line, bending the floss to form a C on the side of each tooth.

Loop Method (or Circle Method)

  1. Get a piece of floss about 18 to 20 inches long.
  2. Tie the ends together to form a circle. 
  3. Place a finger, except the thumb, inside of the loop. 
  4. Use the index fingers to guide the floss through the bottom teeth gently. Use your thumbs to gently floss to upper teeth as well.
  5. Carefully floss below the gum line, bending the floss to form a C on the side of each tooth.

You can get your kiddo involved by walking them through the steps of flossing! Your child may be able to floss by themselves around age 3, but you should supervise them to make sure they are doing it properly.

Child holding floss

Talk to Your Pediatric Dentist About Your Child’s Flossing

We know it may be a bit nerve-wracking for parents trying to establish good flossing habits for their children. Luckily, we’re here to help! Milestone Kids Dentistry believes that every child is unique, and they deserve dental care that is as unique as they care. 


Whether your child needs preventative dental care, behavior management, or nutritional education, your kid will get VIP treatment every time they visit us. We’ve built happier and healthier smiles for kids in Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment for your little one today!

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