Brushing and Flossing


At Alderwood Children's Dentistry, we want all our young patients to have good oral health and beautiful smiles they can enjoy for a lifetime! This is why we remind parents and guardians to help their children develop good oral hygiene routines at home, which includes regular and thorough brushing & flossing. Children should be taught from an early age how important brushing and flossing is. They should also learn how important it is to visit their kids dentist in Bothell for regular checkups and cleanings. Children should know their dentist is a friend who helps them keep their smiles healthy and beautiful!

Dr. Clint Worton, aka 'Dr. Clint', and his team understand that sometimes it can be difficult to get kids into a good oral hygiene routine. These brushing and flossing tips can help teach kids how to properly brush and floss while making it fun!


If your child is under the age of three, you should help him or her brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush using just water. Kids above three should be supervised and use a small dab of children's fluoride toothpaste. As your Bothell children’s dentist, we recommend following these tips for brushing:

  • Use small circular motions with the brush to remove food particles and plaque.
  • Brush at a 45-degree angle on the front teeth and then carefully brush all the chewing surfaces.
  • Brush the gums and back teeth that can be difficult for them to reach.
  • Then brush the inside surfaces of both the upper and lower teeth.
  • Finish by gently brushing the tongue.
  • Have your child rinse their mouth with water.

It's important to get your kids into the routine of brushing their teeth after each meal as well as in the evening before bedtime. By following a regular brushing schedule, your kids will soon make brushing their teeth a part of their everyday routine.


Dental floss is a wonderful tool that reaches in those spaces between teeth and along the gumline where food particles become trapped. It's important to teach kids a proper flossing technique and get them to floss at least once per day, preferably at bedtime. Dr. Worton advises:

  • Pull a small amount of floss from the dispenser and wrap the ends around the index fingers on each hand.
  • Glide the floss between all the teeth down to the gumline to pull out any bits of food or plaque as you go.
  • Don't forget to floss behind the back teeth as well.

When your child is young, you will have to floss their teeth for them. As they grow up and develop dexterity, you can teach them how to floss on their own. By the age of 10, most kids have developed the ability to floss on their own. To stress how important flossing is, do it for your kids each day until they're able to do it themselves. This will help them get into the habit of flossing while they still have their primary teeth. Then, by the time their permanent teeth have come in, they will have learned that flossing is something that must be done everyday to keep their mouths healthy.

How To Make Brushing and Flossing FUN!

Kids can look at brushing and flossing as a chore they don't like to do. But by making it a fun routine they enjoy, they'll be more likely to brush and floss their teeth well every day. Alderwood Children’s Dentistry suggests:

  • Letting your child choose their own toothbrush that is in their favorite color or which features a fun character they like.
  • Downloading an app like Brush DJ that provides timed songs for you and your child to brush to in the morning and evening.
  • Offering a reward system for brushing and flossing everyday.

Contact Your Lynnwood and Bothell Pediatric Dentist

If you have any questions about teaching your kids how to brush and floss their teeth, please don't hesitate to contact us at our Lynnwood office. We're always here to help! If you’d like to make an appointment for your child to see Dr. Clint, use our easy online form. We look forward to helping your child achieve and maintain good oral hygiene so they can enjoy having lifelong healthy and beautiful smiles!