When Should Kids Start Brushing And Flossing?

Every six months, you should see your children’s dentist so your little ones can obtain the preventive care needed to maintain optimal oral health and avoid cavities. However, children also benefit from daily brushing and flossing, which helps control plaque buildup and remove food particles. When should children start brushing and flossing their teeth?

Brushing Little Smiles

When the first baby teeth erupt, you should clean them twice a day with a cloth or perhaps a small brush that fits over your finger. As your child grows and more teeth erupt, you can assist them with an age-appropriate toothbrush. They should have their teeth brushed twice a day, when waking up and again before going to bed. As they grow older, they will need to clean their teeth for two minutes each session. By age three, kids should be using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. To make the process fun, try letting them pick a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it. You can also download apps, find videos, or subscribe to podcasts that walk your child through the process and make it enjoyable for them.


As soon as there are teeth sitting side-by-side in the smile, flossing is crucial. For toddlers and young children, a floss pick may be the best option. As they grow older, using floss tape or a water flosser will be the most appropriate option. Kids need to floss up and down the length of each tooth, dipping below the gum line in a “c” motion. This removes the food particles a toothbrush cannot reach, and is crucial for avoiding cavities and gingivitis.

Healthier Diets and Dental Cleanings

For toddlers, try to prevent your child from laying down with a bottle or sippy cup of juice or milk, as this coats the teeth and increases the risk of cavities. In general, try to encourage your kids to drink more water and enjoy snacks that contain less sugar, such as fruit, veggies, nuts, low-fat yogurts, or sugar-free gum. Watch them as they clean their teeth to make sure they’re doing so properly, and try to make the process a fun part of their daily routine. We also suggest seeing us every six months for a dental cleaning, so we can remove plaque buildup and clean the portions of the smile brushing and flossing alone cannot. If you have any questions about children’s dentistry, then please contact our team today.


At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, our team wants to help your kids enjoy a healthier smile. If you have questions about our dental treatments for kids, then please call our East El Paso location on N. Zaragoza Road at 915-849-9000!