When Should My Kids Start Brushing And Flossing?

Many parents ask us when their children should start brushing and flossing. They are often surprised by how soon they should make cleaning the teeth a regular habit. Like adults, children need to brush and floss to avoid the onset of tooth decay, and as they get older, the risk of gingivitis.

Frequently Asked Questions About Children’s Dental Care

Question: When should my child start brushing?

Answer: Your little one needs to start brushing once the first baby tooth erupts. From there, the teeth need to be cleaned once in the morning and again before bed, just as required for adults. Doing so helps remove food particles, reducing the risk of cavities forming.

Question: Should they be brushing differently than an adult?

Answer: Initially, you can use a clean cloth or a piece of gauze to gently clean the first baby teeth. Once more arrive, you can upgrade to an age appropriate toothbrush. As they grow older, they can help pick out the toothbrush, which can help make the process more fun. You can also download apps designed to help time your kids and make sure they are brushing for at least two minutes each session.

Question: Do children need to floss?

Answer: Yes. As soon as teeth are coming into contact, then they need to floss. This removes bits of food stuck between teeth, a major part of cavity prevention. Initially, you can use a floss pick. As they move into the toddler stage, you shod still monitor them and help them floss properly.

Question: How often should they see the dentist?

Answer: Kids should see the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings, which helps instill good dental habits and prevent the onset of common oral health complaints.

Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?

At Lawson Family Dentistry, we can provide information on caring for little smiles and protecting them from decay and other oral health concerns. Dr. Lawson and her team proudly welcome patients of all ages from Urbandale, IA, as well as Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, please call our Urbandale office today at (515) 278-4366.


Do You Have An Uneven Smile?

Dr. Lawson and our team want to help you enjoy a more even and healthy smile. To learn more about our clear and esthetically-pleasing orthodontic solutions, schedule a consultation by:

calling our dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.

We also serve residents of Waukee, Grimes, Johnston, and Clive, IA.

Book your next appointment with us

  • Healthy Start Patient Form

  • Sleep Disordered Breathing Questionnaire for Children

    The initial column should be filled out at first appointment. Please identify the following symptoms your child exhibits with the scale indicating severity of symptoms.

    Not Present: 0
    Mild: 1-2
    Moderate: 3
    Pronounced: 4-5
  • Does your child:

  • (If yes, fill out speech questionnaire below)
  • Speech Questionnaire

    To be filled out only if #27 was indicated above
  • Please check all that apply to your child