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My Baby Swallowed Dental Floss

Everything that your baby gets hold of is immediately directed to the mouth. On the other hand, they may put something in the mouth or even swallow it out of curiosity. For this reason, it is your responsibility as the parent to keep a close watch and ensure that they are not putting anything risky in their mouth. Unfortunately, without your knowledge, your baby may swallow dental floss. At other times, your preschooler may insist on flossing their teeth, and they end up swallowing the dental floss. Finding out that your baby swallowed dental floss is scary. 

However, what you do next will help you eliminate dental floss without further problems. Below is what to expect when your baby swallowed dental floss and when you should talk to a doctor.  

Is Swallowing Dental Floss Risky?

Generally, swallowed dental floss does not have any adverse effects on the body. Like other undigested stuff in the body, the dental floss passes out through the stool. This means that after your child swallows the dental floss, watch their stool to check whether the floss comes out. However, on rare occasions, the dental floss will cause a blockage in the intestines. Additionally, the floss may make two loops of bowels stuck together. When this happens, it is dangerous and requires urgent medical attention before it is too late.

How to Tell When the Dental Floss Is Stuck in the Intestines?

As mentioned above, the cases of having dental floss stuck in the intestines are rare. However, when this happens, some telltale signs will help you identify that all is not well. For instance, you may realize that your little one cannot pass stool, nausea, and discomfort. Additionally, you may also realize abdominal swelling. This calls for urgent surgery and could lead to death if not attended to urgently.

After How Long Should You Expect to See the Dental Floss in the Stool?

Ideally, the dental floss will be expelled through the stool in about 24 hours. However, in some cases, it may take up to 48 hours. For this reason, watch your baby’s diaper to ensure that the dental floss comes out. Additionally, the dental floss may not come out in the same length that it went in. This means that you will need to check the diaper several times to ensure that everything comes off. If your baby poops in the toilet, check their stool before flushing it off. If there is no sign of dental floss in the diaper after 48 hours, contact your pediatrician to ensure whether everything is okay. This should happen even when your child seems fine and with no signs of floss stuck in the intestines.

When Should a Child Floss Teeth on Their Own?

The most appropriate age to allow your child to floss their teeth is when they are about six or seven years. Before they get to this age, floss their teeth or ensure that you are around when they are doing it independently. Additionally, when the child is above six years, they are likely to understand the dangers of swallowing dental floss. Therefore, please explain this to them to avoid cases of swallowing the dental floss. You may also threaten to punish if they attempt to swallow the dental floss.

If your baby is young and does not know what dental floss is, keep them away from them. Otherwise, you will have a hard time trying to keep the floss away from their mouth.

How Do You Teach Your Kids to Floss Their Teeth Safely?

Teaching your kids how to floss is paramount to help avoid incidents such as swallowed dental floss, among others. The method used to teach how to floss is determined by the type of floss you are using. When using traditional dental floss, show them how to wrap the floss around their index finger and gently glide it between their teeth. On the other hand, in dental floss picks, explain how to push the floss between the teeth and when they should get a new flosser.

Will your baby have nightmares after swallowing the floss?

If so, this can cause nightmares and make sleeping hard. We made a guide about how to help your baby sleep after swallowing floss – click that to learn more information. This can be a very scary thing for your baby, so definitely help your child sleep before trauma sets in.

Will your baby start dreaming about dental floss?

It’s possible. Lucky for you, there are ways to tell if your baby is dreaming about floss. This experience can have a profound impact on your baby and his sleep. Your baby’s sleep will tell you so much about how this experience is impacting him/her. This can be very traumatizing, but this will help you sort through sleep difficulties that may arise as a result.


If your kid swallowed dental floss, go not worry much since they will pass it through the stool. However, although the chances are slim, the floss may get stuck in the intestines. Therefore, watch out for the signs of floss stuck in the intestines as mentioned above and get urgent medical attention.  

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