When should a child brush teeth alone?
As parents, we all get excited when we can see our children start to be independent and want to take care of their own personal things like brushing their teeth. When it comes to your kid’s teeth, you should wait a little longer before you let your child brush on their own. According to the CDC, tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. Many parents get surprised when they take their children to a pediatric dentist and they realized that they have so many cavities. The pediatric dentist Dr. Lisi does not recommend letting your child brush their own teeth until he/she is approximately 6 years of age or older.
What if a child insists on brushing on his/her own?
Brushing is a skill that takes years of practice. Most kids do not follow the proper brushing rule because they do not have manual dexterity. If your child is insisting that he/she can brush their own teeth. Let your child brush their own teeth just for the purpose of practicing, but as parents, you need to brush their teeth after they are done brushing. Explain to your kids in simpler terms what are dental cavities and how it will affect their oral dental health if they do not brush properly. For older kids, you may just supervise them and enforce the correct way of brushing.
Here are some tips for parents to teach their kids how to brush their teeth:
- To make brushing fun and interesting pick a soft toothbrush for your child that has your child’s favorite cartoon character.
- Show your child how to angle a toothbrush 45 degrees toward the gum and teeth.
- Make sure you show your child to move their toothbrush around all their teeth because in most cases they only brush the teeth that they only see.
- Use a toothpaste that your child may like the taste and make sure you use proper toothpaste for younger kids.
- Brushing teeth should take 2 minutes every time.
Please call our office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lisi Allen’s pediatric dentist at ( 972) 727-0011 and her team if you have any questions regarding your child’s dental cleaning appointment.
For more dental health-related reading:
Please check out this video from the American Dental Association which shows how properly teach your kids to brush their teeth.
Here is a video from Colgate that shares the proper way of brushing your child’s teeth.