18 answers

Child Brushing Teeth

At waht age would you expect your child to brush his/her teeth fairly well and by themselves?

When my girls brush their teeth at night I watch them like a hawk. I'm mainly watching my youngest who is four because I just don't trust her to do a good job. My oldest does pretty decent and neither have had a problem with their teeth. I had a lot of problems growing up with my teeth and I just don't want that to happen to them. My oldest gets kind of offended when I'm in there nagging her about her teeth so I just wanted to see at what age you send our kids to go brush their own teeth and expect them to do a good job?

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Featured Answers

My dentist parents should brush their child's teeth until age 9 because the just don't have the dexterity to get all the sugar bugs on their own. I often let me kid start and then I finish the job.

1 mom found this helpful

I am in dental hygiene school, and I don't see kids brushing their teeth properly on their own until at least 10. I'm just being honest here. And once they get their adult teeth, and they are touching, they need to be flossing also, and using mouthwash. I still brush my daughters for her at 5. My son at 10 has good skills, but I still watch him and give him pointers about once a week.

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More Answers

My DD's dentist says to double check/ closely supervise until 8. She is 3 now, so we brush out own, and when I am done with mine I do hers over.

I do know that dental issues can be hereditary. For example... My family has strong teeth. Even though I was never taught to brush regularly when I was young, I never had a cavity until I was an adult. My SIL's family is plagued with horribly weak teeth... Her son, even tough she is fanatical about making sure his sugar is limited, and brushes his teeth after every meal, has already had five cavities by the time he was 6. Even his dentist says that there really isn't much they can do, until his adult teeth come in. Then they will have to be protected with veneers.

3 moms found this helpful

I know most people are saying 8, but I have a girl who is almost 6 and has insisted on doing it herself without help for almost a year. My mom didn't let us do it all by ourselves until we were 8 but somehow my brother ended up with a number of cavities and I did not. Sometimes I end up doing it myself because DD is too tired at bedtime and just wants me to do it. But she goes for a dental check-up every 6 months and so far everything is perfect. I know some of it is genetic - I never had a cavity until I went to college at 18 and that's been my only one so far, and I think she inherited those genes from me. Friends of ours have a daughter who just turned 6 and has had 1 cavity after another - they are super-diligent about brushing teeth, no sweet sticky stuff, etc. but they said they both have poor enamel on their teeth and it's no surprise their daughter is the same way.

2 moms found this helpful

Our dentist says under the age of 8, follow up yourself. My DD will practice, either before or after I brush them for her. We also floss her teeth nightly.

ETA: I agree that genetics has a role, but I totally disagree with letting them do whatever. Even though my SD is prone to cavities and SS was not, there were things she could do to prevent worse ones. And gingivitis.

2 moms found this helpful

Our pediatric dentist advised waiting until they are 8 to allow them to do it themselves. That said, our 7-year old has been doing very well for quite awhile on his own. We still help the little one. Sounds like your kids do a good job, and it's great that they know the routine and stick with it. Check with your dentist next time they go in.

2 moms found this helpful

My dentist parents should brush their child's teeth until age 9 because the just don't have the dexterity to get all the sugar bugs on their own. I often let me kid start and then I finish the job.

1 mom found this helpful

Your kids teeth enamel comes from your DNA and hubbies. If their enamel is weak there's not much you can do to prevent cavities. If they have strong enamel they won't have cavities even if they never brush their teeth again.

It's not a bad thing to really work with the kids to teach them to keep a clean mouth but it's not worth fighting with them over it

1 mom found this helpful

I helped with tooth brushing till our son was about 8.
He could brush himself but if I wasn't happy with the results I'd go over them again.
When he had braces for a few years he'd ask for help - it was hard to get between all the wires.
I wasn't about to allow any excuse for stinking breath.
So far, so good - he's only had one cavity in his 14 years.

1 mom found this helpful

Awhile....my DD is only 2 and so I let her brush then I brush her again. My 9 year old nephew still needs supervision, but mostly because he doesn't want to take time to brush and so has to be prodded. One thing I taught him though that has stuck is for him to sing ABCs all the way through when brushing in an effort to keep him going longer. He was excited to do it when i taught him that trick at about 4 and he still does it to this day, as do I!

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