Peanut Butter Fingers | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA

(Peanut) Butter Fingers

Most kids know they need to brush their teeth twice a day, but are they cleaning between their teeth as well? This flossing demonstration inspired by the Nova Scotia Dental Association shows how much can be left behind by brushing alone.

You’ll need:

  • A rubber glove
  • A jar of peanut butter (Note: If peanut allergies are an issue, you can use another sticky food product like nut-free sunflower butter, marshmallow fluff or jelly.)
  • A toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss


Put the glove on your hand and smear peanut butter between your fingers.

Hold your hand up in front of you like you’re about to high five, with all of your fingers held tightly together and pointing upward.

Explain that your fingers represent teeth and the peanut butter is like the food and bacteria that get trapped between them throughout the day.

Using the toothbrush and toothpaste, try to clean away the peanut butter from between your fingers while keeping your fingers tightly pressed together.

When you’ve finished, spread your fingers apart to show how much peanut butter is still stuck between them.

Pressing your fingers back together, have the child try to use floss to clean the peanut butter from between your fingers.

Lesson Learned:

While brushing your teeth removes the food and bacteria the stick to the outside of your teeth, there’s also bacteria and food between the teeth that brushing can miss. That’s why it’s so important to clean between your teeth every day as well – to remove what toothbrushes can’t reach.

Additional Demonstrations: