It’s a good idea to establish good oral hygiene habits from the very beginning. When your child is an infant, even before the first tooth appears, start brushing the gums with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm tap water. As your child grows into the preschool years, he may want to do it himself, but he doesn’t yet have the ability to do a thorough enough job. At this age, you can allow him to brush his teeth and then follow up behind him to insure that the job is done adequately. At what age, though, can your child take over the job of brushing?
Independent brushing is a matter of being developmentally capable of brushing and being responsible enough to brush the teeth thoroughly. Each child is different, but for many that stage is between 6 and 11 years of age. If your child has the coordination to tie his own shoes, then perhaps he’s ready to start brushing on his own. Just remember, when your child first begins to brush his teeth on his own, he’ll need active adult supervision to insure that the job is done completely.
Proper Oral Care
When your child begins to brush his teeth on his own, it’s important to review proper oral health care techniques with your child. Teeth should be gently brushed in a circular motion, cleaning the outside surfaces of the teeth, the inside surfaces of the teeth, the chewing surfaces of the teeth and the portion of the gum that meets the teeth. Plus, be sure to use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. A good length of time to brush is two minutes. Remember to floss at least once a day, to clean between!
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Azin Pediatric Dentistry
387 E main St. #105
Ba Shore, NY 11706
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