What Age is Best to Let Your Child Brush On Their Own?
Posted on 4/15/2020 by Kids First Pediatric Dentistry
Perhaps as a parent, learning about your child's oral health and establishing good hygiene habits, you're asking, “At what age should my child brush their own teeth”? “Are they capable of doing a good enough job if they're brushing on their own”? We're here to answer these questions for you.
I Can Do It By Myself!
We've all heard this from a toddler at one point or another in our parenting journeys! A tot who is learning a new skill wants to become the master of it, and without any help from Mom or Dad! So when do we let them brush on their own? The answer depends on a couple of different things and can vary from child to child, so let's look at them.
How Well Are They Brushing?
As we age, our hand eye coordination improves, a 5 year-old may only brush 25% of the surface of their teeth while a child aged 18 years will cover closer to 70% of the surfaces. This is just developmental improvement with age. Does this mean that you shouldn't let your child brush their own teeth until they're 18? Absolutely not, it simply means that we need to actively teach our children how to brush better.
If your child is 'brushing' their teeth by simply sucking or biting on the toothbrush, as most toddlers do, then obviously, they're not effectively cleaning the plaque and germs off of their teeth. We suggest a taking turns system to avoid oral health becoming a battle of wills. Try setting the timer for two minutes and let your child 'brush' on their own, then it's your turn.
Of course, in addition to daily brushing at home, regular trips to our office are essential in developing good oral hygiene habits. Give us a call today and make an appointment for your child's next cleaning. We look forward to hearing from you!