Should I Let My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the exact age at which children can brush their teeth and do a good job. Letting kids brush their teeth before they are ready is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can commit in regards to their young one’s oral hygiene. Even though you think your child can brush on their own, it is important you remain involved to be sure he/she is brushing properly.
Guardians can help kids form proper brushing habits early by having them brush by themselves then following up with proper cleaning afterward. Teaching children to do things on their own takes time but it can help establish independence, self-confidence among other qualities.

Brushing Tips

Make sure you choose a small size toothbrush to help you maneuver in the back spaces of your child’s mouth.
Brush for about two minutes twice a day; in the morning and before bedtime. Use a mirror and guide your child’s hand so they can feel the correct movements.
Get a new toothbrush after every three months and involve your child when choosing the design to motivate them to brush.

How to Know When Your Child is Ready?
1. Many dentists suggest that you brush and floss your child’s teeth until he/she has enough coordination to tie his/her own shoes, usually at around the age of six. This may vary for each child, sometimes going up to nine years so parents should always supervise.
2. When your child shows personal responsibility through activities like doing chores, completing homework, preparing meals, showering, etc.
3. Watch them when they are brushing on their own and check to see the results. Make sure they properly brush all tooth surfaces including the top, bottom as well as the tongue and gumline. Passing the parent approval test is the surest sign that your child is ready to brush on their own.

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4210 N. Roxboro St., Suite 100
Durham, NC 27704

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