Should Children Floss Before or After they Brush?

Tooth Character


To floss or not to floss is not the question. We all know children need to get on board with flossing.  If you are wondering why your kids should floss, when they should floss, and/or how often they should floss, here are some things your child’s dentist wants you to know.

How Soon Should Children Start Flossing?

How soon should children start flossing?  As soon as they have two teeth touching each other, because that is when food particles start getting stuck between teeth.  

They will probably need your help until age 10 or 11 because children do not typically get good hand-eye coordination until around the ages of 8-10 and they might not get all the food particles.  When they’re older, they’ll also have the manual dexterity to do a good job.

Why Do Children Need to Floss? 

Simply put, our children need to floss to prevent cavity and gum disease.  Plaque that isn’t removed by flossing and brushing can harden and cause problematic tartar also known as, calculus.

Is There an Ideal Time to Floss? 

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  You may have heard that old song, “The Night Time is the Right Time!”  That may be the “right time” to be with the one you love, as the song says, but is there a right time or a wrong time to floss?  

Should children floss before or after they brush their teeth? Surprisingly, more people floss before they brush than after. They’re probably thinking if they get little food particles out by flossing, then they can brush and gargle them away. However, many dentists say it doesn’t matter.  

The important thing is that your children do floss every time they brush. So how often should they brush? Twice daily is normally recommended. However, if your child wants to be fanatic about something, brushing and flossing more often won’t hurt.

Just make sure that when you’re teaching your child to floss that you teach him or her to throw the floss away after using it and don’t save it for later. They might be “saving” bacteria, which will get back on their teeth when they floss the next time.

Act Now 

If you haven’t begun to educate your children on maintaining a healthy mouth, start now! If it’s time for your child’s next dental appointment, call our office today to schedule a visit with Playtime Dental. 

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