Best Kids Flossers
The EcoFrenzy Kids Floss Picks are completely 100% biodegradable and compostable, making them one of the most environmentally friendly options we came across for this review. The adorable giraffe shape was well-liked by testers, and the subtle strawberry flavor is pleasant and not overwhelming. These flossers are straightforward, easy to use, a nice shape and size for smaller mouths, plus the thread held up during our tests without breaking.
There is much to love about these flossers, and our only real complaint was the significant amount of redundant packaging. While we like a well-packed item and the lack of plastic, this packing includes 4 smaller boxes inside a larger box and a compostable bag inside each box, making the entire kit feel a bit overkill. But, despite this, the packaging is biodegradable, and everything feels high quality making this budget-friendly compostable option a favorite in our book.
The Crayola Kids' Flossers is a simple quality flosser with a grape flavor and three different colors. The handle is easy to hold, and the space of the thread is wide enough for teenagers yet still small enough for most toddlers. The thread is fluoride coated to help provide potential additional protection between teeth.
These flossers are plastic and give no nods to eco-health or the environment. The flavor isn't offensive, but not all testers liked the artificial grape flavor. However, because these flossers are easy to use and readily available at a reasonable price, we think they might be a good choice for families on a budget, depending on the price.
The Crayola Twistables Flossers offer braided threading for more surface area to increase the flosser's ability to clean between teeth. These flossers have a longer handle for reaching back teeth, and the handle has some flex that makes them more manageable than some of the competition. They also come in three flavors, so if your child doesn't like one, they may like another.
None of the flavors were well-liked by users though they tolerated them during testing. If your child likes one but not the others, you could end up with unused flossers, making these a waste of money. The plastic handle is larger than the competition and may not be the best for younger users. Overall, these flossers are the best option for all kids, but for older children looking for braided threads and a larger handle, this is the only option we tested that provides more than the traditional handle and single thread.
The Eco Dental Floss Picks is an adult-centric flosser we included for its environmentally friendly features that are important for many families when selecting products, especially for single-use products. This flosser is 100% biodegradable, vegan-friendly, and BPA-free. The packaging is 100% recycled materials, and the straw wheat handle is USDA organic. The thread is thin and wax-covered, making it great for crowded teeth, and it includes a pick end for dislodging food like popcorn and strawberry seeds. It has a subtle mint flavor you may not even notice.
These flossers are not kid-centric and include a sharp pick end that should be monitored when used by younger children. While it isn't colorful and has mint flavor instead of fruit, we think this is a good choice for those looking for an environmentally friendly option with a pick. If kid-centric and environmentally friendly are equally important to you, the EcoFrenzy Kids Floss Picks is one to consider.
The MinLan Kids Dental Floss are plastic-handled flossers in four different animal shapes, including lobster, starfish, octopus, and a fish. The thread is hardy and didn't break during testing, and testers loved the cute designs, choosing them over most of the competition regularly.
We didn't detect any flavor with these flossers, and they don't advertise any. The handles are shorter and somewhat more challenging to hold, and the size and shapes make them challenging to get into smaller mouths or to reach back teeth. We had trouble during testing getting these into the back of adult mouths, so we can probably forget using them successfully with a toddler. However, if getting your child excited about flossing isn't going well, we can imagine that the fun and varied shapes of these flossers might be just the ticket to get them engaged, as our testers were very excited about them.
The DenTek Kids Fun Flossers is a colorful flosser with a light fruit flavor. Kids have three color options, and our testers liked the taste and the handle shape that is narrower than some of the competition and easier to fit into smaller mouths. The threaded area is also smaller, making this a potential choice for toddlers and smaller mouths.
These flossers use plastic handles that are not environmentally friendly. They are also relatively flexible compared to the competition, and while this can make it easier to reach the back of smaller mouths, it can also result in bending and lack of control. However, overall, this might be a good choice for toddlers with smaller mouths or who can't open their mouths as wide, given the longer and narrower design.
The FAMILIFE Kid's Dental Floss Picks is a cute giraffe design flosser with thin thread and an easy-to-hold handle. These flossers are flavor-free, so no child balking at a bad taste, and our testers thought the design was super cute. These giraffes appear to be identical in every way to the PRO-SYS Kids Dental Floss Picks, but they have a lower price.
These flossers have a plastic handle and come in plastic boxes wrapped in plastic. If you are trying to reduce your impact on landfills or are worried about your plastic use, it is probably not the right flosser for you as our top winner has a similar design shape and is super eco- and budget-friendly. However, if you like the versatile coloring of these flossers or the travel-friendly box they come in, it could be the right choice for your needs.
The Firefly Kids Flossers are shaped more like fish than fireflies, but they are brightly colored and have small bumps on the handle to help with grip. Testers like the grip help and the lack of flavor, which can sometimes be overwhelming or disliked by kids. These flossers are easy to use, and the thread is thinner, making them good for tight teeth.
These flossers have plastic handles and come in a plastic bag. If you are trying to decrease your reliance on plastic or eliminate it, then this isn't the best option in the review for you. However, it is on par with most of the competition as the majority of them use plastic in their design or packaging.
The The Humble Co. Natural Dental Floss Picks is advertised as an "eco-friendly & socially responsible" flosser infused with charcoal that uses "plant-based materials." They come with a pick end for dislodging food from the back teeth, and the handle is easy to hold and use with double threads on the flosser end.
The claim to be "eco-friendly & socially responsible" sounds really good on the surface and is part of why we included them in our kids' flosser review despite being not specific for just kids. Unfortunately, we found the package and website to be somewhat vague on what it means to be plant-based, and it lists the handle ingredients as 40% PLA & 60% PP (Polypropylene). PP is just plastic, so 60% of this flosser handle is plastic, similar to the competition. PLA (polylactic acid) is a "bio-plastic" as it can be derived from plant material such as corn sugar, potato, or sugar cane. What kind is being used here? They don't specify. Again, this sounds better for the environment because it is a renewable resource. Still, some chemists feel that PLA plastic can sometimes be more of a greenwashing plastic due to the circumstances required for PLA to biodegrade, and it seems doubtful to us that these picks will find themselves in a situation where they can do that. It may require temperatures over 138 degrees F and special microbes to degrade. Even the company website says you need to check your local recycling plant to see if they recycle this kind of plastic. So while they can make a claim the product is "eco-friendly," and perhaps it marginally is, in our opinion, they don't seem to be telling the whole truth, and we aren't big fans of what may be an attempt at greenwashing or with what we feel is a lack of transparency with these flossers. While other eco-friendly flossers in this review also use PLA, they at least specify the type and indicate that their products are biodegradable, while this one does not.
The PRO-SYS Kids Dental Floss Picks is another giraffe-shaped flosser that comes in a plastic, travel-friendly box. The giraffes come in a variety of colors, are small enough for toddlers, have an easy-to-use handle, and are not flavored, making them good for picky children.
Testers loved these cute flossers, but they are identical to another option in this review that is cheaper and similar to our top-ranked winner, which is eco-friendlier than this option. Overall, we like this product, and depending on sales it could be a good choice if it is less expensive than the higher ranking similar products in this review. However, depending on the price or your goals, there are better options in this review.
Why You Should Trust Us
The kids' flosser review is led by Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor and mother of 2. Wendy reviewed and assessed each flossing product with the help of her children and others to help determine ranking and winners. Each flosser was tested side-by-side with the competition for ease of use, quality, features, and eco-friendliness to help you find a flosser that will meet your needs.
Analysis and Test Results
We bought and tested the top kids' flossers to help you determine which options are the best fit for your goals and wallet.
Ease of Use
Flossers are largely the same no matter which option you choose. They all come with a handle and thread, and about half of them are flavored. Most of them are decent in size for little mouths, and a few include a pick for older kids or teens to dislodge larger food from back molars. We noticed that not all of the flossers are the best size for little mouths, and some of the handles flex so much that getting them in and out of tight teeth is a challenge. Also, packaging varies, and while perhaps not the main selling point, spilling a bag full of flossers every time you go to grab one gets old the first time you do it, trust us.
The easiest option for kids to use themselves are the EcoFrenzy Kids Floss Picks. These giraffe-shaped flossers are small enough for little hands to easily grip, and the handle has enough elevated bumps to prevent wet hands from slipping. The thread is thin and slides between teeth without a hiccup, and little ones like the subtle strawberry flavor, which means no fighting over flossing. We like the smaller width on this flosser that is great for smaller mouths, and younger testers could use this option somewhat self-driven. The Crayola Twistables Flossers are also easy to use with a longer flexible handle that makes them ideal for reaching back molars and older children with bigger mouths.
Alternatively, the MinLan Kids Dental Floss is more challenging to use despite being popular with our testers. The fun and varied animal shapes of this brand were a big draw to younger users, but the sizes and shapes of the sea creatures didn't work well in smaller mouths that either didn't open as wide or didn't have enough room for parent fingers and the flosser. If your child is older and has a bigger mouth, and can operate the flosser without help, you might be able to swing these, but at least one adult tester found this flosser harder to use. The DenTek Kids Fun Flossers has such a flexible handle that it bent under pressure, making it difficult to navigate tight or crowded teeth, which may not be an issue for some younger kids still losing teeth but could spell trouble for some teenagers.
Traditionally, flossers have been a plastic one-time use product that you throw away immediately after using them. Many things about this probably give you pause, us too. First, plastic isn't great for developing bodies or the environment. The creation of plastics is bad for the earth, and landfills are engorged with plastic that will never be recycled and will never have the chance to degrade, even if it is technically biodegradable. In short, these issues are why traditional floss is more of an environmental winner than plastic-handled flossers. However, using traditional floss with younger children has some challenges, and these struggles could leave you skipping floss altogether. Since flossing is a significant part of oral hygiene, we don't think parents should skip this step, so if traditional floss isn't working because of your child's age, size, or other special needs, then a flosser could be your only answer.
In our quest to find solutions better for the earth, we specifically tried to seek and select contenders giving at least some consideration to the environment either in their production method, material choice, packaging selections, or the product's ability to biodegrade or be compostable. We included three products that claim to offer eco-friendlier versions of traditional flossers. These three options all have similarities in common, but their final eco-health and transparency provide the basis for our feelings about their real environmental benefits or concerns. The EcoFrenzy Kids Floss Picks are constructed from corn starch PLA, a plastic derived from corn starch, a renewable resource. In addition, these flossers are 100% biodegradable and compostable according to the packaging. Users should take care and effort to determine how to properly dispose of the flossers for this to occur, as trapped in a plastic garbage bag under mounds of trash at the landfill will not do the job. However, we like that they are making an effort and being fairly transparent in their marketing. Our second favorite is the Eco Dental Floss Picks which are 100% biodegradable and made of straw wheat (we assume used to create PLA, but the bag doesn't specify). These flossers come in a bag made of recycled materials and are also vegan-friendly and USDA Organic. Once again, you'll need to do a little recon to determine how best to dispose of these flossers so they can degrade properly or be recycled in your area, but the effort will be worth it if you plan to use flossers longterm.
The last place in the eco-three is the Humble Co. brand flossers. While we assume their PLA is derived similarly to the first two, their handle also includes 60% regular plastic, similar to the less eco-friendly competition. They do not say whether or not their flossers are degradable, only that you'll need to investigate recycling in your area and whether it supports PLA/PP type plastics. We consider their claims to be sort of "bait and switch," luring yet not fully transparent. While we think they may not even be all that different than the first two, we don't like that we had to go to their website to find out the ingredients, and even then, the details were lacking. Also, we found the disposal information on an entirely separate page from the product page. Additionally, according to their website, the bag they come in is not recyclable and should be disposed of in your household waste. So, while it could be that these flossers are eco-friendlier than the traditional plastic varieties included in this lineup, we were left confused and feeling a little bit like greenwashing was taking place with this brand. In the end, 40% naturally derived plastic is still less than 100%, so they came in dead last in the eco-comparison for this category.
Greenwashing is the practice of making claims that a product or service is good for or better for the environment than other similar products. This marketing tactic includes claims that a product is eco-friendly when it is, in fact, not significantly different than any other product of its type on the market in either its carbon footprint or impact on the environment or human health. A simple example of this is the Humble flossers that say clearly on the front, "Eco-friendly." We assume they say this because 40% of the plastic handle derives from a renewable resource like corn starch or similar (they don't say what the source is). However, creating this plastic has a similar carbon footprint to regular plastic, and 60% of the product is still regular plastic. Also, to get any eco-benefits, you need to recycle the handle upon disposal, something they don't tell you on the package or the product page on their website.
Incorporating flossing into your kids' daily dental hygiene routine is a smart move to get them on track early for proper dental care. Pediatric dentists recommend twice-daily flossing for kids. Using flossers instead of traditional floss can make the job easier and allow kids to participate in the process without assistance when they reach a certain age or ability level. We think there is a flosser in this lineup for just about every family, even those worried about creating excess waste by using a product once and throwing it away. With our testing and research, you get insider details on kids' favorites and the best option for the environment. So, buy with confidence and improve your kid's smile with an award-winning or high-ranking flosser.
— Wendy Schmitz