Dental Tips Blog


When Should My Child Start Brushing on His or Her Own?

You want your child to have healthy teeth, but you also want to encourage them to be independent and make smart choices. Where do you draw the line when it comes to their teeth? Parents start out helping their children brush and floss, but the time to let a child do it on their own can seem a little confusing. Here are some great tips to keep in mind:

Until Your Child Can Spit and Rinse

Young children that do not know how to rinse (or avoid swallowing toothpaste) should have a parent help them brush. Always use a fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent upset stomachs. Once children become physically able to rinse and spit on their own, switch to a fluoridated toothpaste for healthy enamel development. 

Increased Independence with “Follow Up”

When your child gets a bit older and wants to brush their teeth by themselves – let them! But continue brushing their teeth for them at least once a day (preferably at night, so that they don’t go to bed with bacteria on their teeth.) Use this time to see how well they are brushing and bring their attention to areas that are being missed. Pay careful attention to the inside and outside of the back teeth.  The better they get, the more you can let them handle it on their own. 

Until Your Child Can Tie His or Her Shoes

Improved dexterity has a tremendous amount to do with how well your child can care for his or her own teeth. Once your child is able to tie their own shoes, you can finally let them start flossing on their own as well.

Bring your child to the dentist every 6 months to check on their hygiene, tooth development, and get important advice on their developing smiles!

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

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