As a parent, brushing your toddler’s teeth can be a big milestone. It can be both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Some youngsters are eager to be just like “Mom” and “Dad” and can’t wait to brush their teeth, while others will put up a fight initially.
Often, parents will ask, “When should I let my child start brushing his or her own teeth?” This is a good question indeed! Generally, dentists recommend that parents continue brushing their children’s teeth until they are old enough to tie their own shoes, which is usually around age six.
Even though some children learn how to tie their shoes as young as three-years-of-age, that doesn’t mean they should be brushing their teeth all by themselves at age three. If your toddler or kindergartner wants to brush their own teeth, that’s totally fine; however, you still want to follow up.
There are a few ways to go about this: 1) you can allow your child to brush their own teeth whenever they want, but you do it twice a day as well, or 2) at least twice a day, your child brushes their teeth and you “finish up” after they are all done.
Stay Involved to Prevent Cavities
Even if your child absolutely “loves” to brush their teeth several times a day, you still want to stay involved in the brushing process to prevent cavities.
We’ve found that some of the best children’s teeth came from households where parents still brush the children’s teeth, or where the parents were sure to brush the children’s teeth after the children were finished.
While many children are able to brush their teeth well by age six, don’t be afraid to continue brushing your child’s teeth until age seven or even eight. It may seem like that’s a little old to be brushing your child’s teeth; however, parental involvement can make all the difference in a child’s overall dental health. Isn’t it worth it?
Reducing Sugar Prevents Cavities
We’ve all seen children whose mouths are full of decayed teeth, and these situations can be prevented with proper diet, brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. As far as diet is concerned, you want to minimize sugar in your child’s diet, even honey, fructose and naturally-occurring sugar in fruit juices.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to replace bottled juices (even juices with 100% fruit juice) and sugary sodas with water, and to minimize processed sugars in your child’s diet as much as possible. Try to limit hard candies and sticky substances – your child’s teeth will thank you!
Looking for a Ventura dentist for your family? Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with Mark Weitzman D.D.S.!