Yes, Toddlers Do Need to Floss

Cynthia Dermody
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Photo by heidi_val

I know. It's yet another opportunity for your child to fight you at bedtime, but ...

Flossing is just as important for toddlers (and all kids, for that matter) as it is for adults, says Dr. Kimberly Harms, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. And no pulling out the "baby teeth" excuse, either, she says.

Badly decayed baby teeth can become infected, and that infection can spread to other parts of the body. And decay can sometimes even migrate from baby teeth to the developing adult teeth above if the two are touching even the slightest bit.

You may not need to floss your tot's front teeth, especially if they're well spaced and you can get a toothbrush in between them. It's the back teeth that need some vigorous string action once a day. 

There are some great products to make the job easier for you. (Yes, you and not your child should be brushing and flossing their teeth until they are about 6, when they're capable of doing it properly, says Harms). Try these Disney character floss picks from Oral B.

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