From the day your child’s first tooth appears you joyously begin their brushing routine. As they grow older, you want your kids to have an active interest in their oral hygiene, but exactly when should your children start to brush their own teeth?
At Age Two, Teach Your Kid to Spit
After you brush their teeth, tell your child to spit out the extra toothpaste in their mouth before you rinse. This teaches your child not to swallow the toothpaste. After they spit you can then give them water to wash the rest of their mouth out. This is usually the first step to your kids taking an active role in their oral hygiene.
From 3-6 Years Old
Kids develop at different paces and that’s okay. At age 3 you can start your child off but it may take years of practice to get it right. Some kids aren’t ready until a couple years later but remember it’s not a competition. It’s about their health.
Let Them Practice
Young kids, even toddlers might try to grab their toothbrush and brush their baby teeth on their own. It’s good to encourage them to do it themselves and let them feel like a big kid, but don’t forget to follow up with proper brushing yourself. It’s great that your child is showing an interest in their dental care and be sure to let them know how proud you are of them, but at that age, they can’t brush every which way on their own and still need their parents to remain in control of the health of their teeth.
When Your Kids Can Tie Their Own Shoes
If your kid can tie their own shoes, they’re definitely old enough to be brushing their own teeth. Once your child can figure out the coordination it takes to tie up their laces, they have the mental and physical ability to brush their pearly whites themselves. They should remain under supervision, but after this accomplishment, they can hold their brush on their own.
Keep an Eye on Their Brushing
Until your child is at least eight years old, you should be monitoring the way they brush their teeth. Even once the toothbrush is in their hands you still need to make sure they’re not just brushing, but also that they’re brushing the right way. Just like everything else, proper dental care is a learning process for kids and they need you to help them figure out what so wrong so they can learn to do it right.
The Older They Get the Better They Brush
Being a part of your child’s dental routine is not a bad thing. When they first start brushing on their own they’re not going to know how to do it properly and may not take an active interest in their oral health, that’s where you come in. As they grow, they’ll learn more and more about how to care for their teeth and that’s why it’s so important that you’re there to keep their oral care in check.
There is no definite time that all kids are able to brush their teeth on their own. It varies from child to child, but you can use these guidelines to determine when your own child is ready. Even after they start brushing on their own, don’t forget to supervise and continue to help with the rest of their dental routine such as flossing and making sure they visit the dentist for a routine checkup every six months.