U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

At what age should children start flossing and using mouthwash? our son is almost two and does hot have a lot of teeth yet. when is the best time to start getting him to floss and use mouthwash?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Zev Kaufman
Dentistry - Cosmetic 28 years experience
Children : Children under the age of six are not able to properly rinse and spit. They just swallow. Mouth was is entirely not needed. Flossing is not needed either, since baby teeth typically have spaces between them. You can encourage flossing, just to develop a good habit when our child is closer to the age of six, since this is when the baby teeth will start falling out and the adult teeth come in. Concentrate on brushing his teeth and having him brush with you, so that the proper habits are developed. For your specific circumstances, consult with your pediatric dentist, since i can only give you a general answer without examining your son. Best wishes and keep on brushing, dr. Zev kaufman.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Leo Morton
Pediatric Dentistry 43 years experience
Mouthwash : Mouthwash can be used once your child can swish and spit without swallowing. For some children that could be as young as 4 but for others not till 6. Be sure to supervise the use of a rinse until you are comfortable that your child is doing it properly and not swallowing it. In reference to flossing, i would recommend that you start flossing his teeth when the second baby molars have come in. That could be around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. Quite often there is no space between the molars and that area needs to be flossed in order to clean the area where the teeth contact each other. The other reason for flossing at an early age is to get your child used to flossing as part of their daily hygiene routine.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.