Would you let your child cross the road on his or her own ?
Do you allow your child to brush his or her teeth ?
How old do will you your child be when you allow your son or daughter to cross the road on their own ?
One of the main causes of tooth decay in children is poor oral hygiene, more specifically inefficient brushing of teeth. What happens when we let our children do the brushing on their own?
During consultation, parents often say “My child knows how to do it”, “My child does not want me to brush his/her teeth” or “I want my child to be independent.”Many parents allow their children to brush their teeth by themselves. What happens then? The child does a very poor job of cleaning his/her teeth, and ultimately, the end result is dental problems.
Every child is different but in general parents should brush their child’s teeth until they are about 8 to 10 years old . Depending on the child (parental judgement ! ), this about the same age as you might allow them to cross the road on their own.Remember that it is very important that parents continue to supervise their children’s brushing until the age 10 to 12. This is to make sure that they’re doing it thoroughly. Brushing should be done for two minutes minimum twice a day.
Brushing is a skill. Like many skills, it take years to learn it and be good at it. Young children usually do not have the manual dexterity to brush or floss properly. If your child wants to do it by himself, let him/her ! It’s a great way to practice, but ALWAYS make sure that you brush their teeth before or after they have done it for themselves. For older children aged 10 to 12 years, make sure that you supervise them. Be there when your child brushes his/her teeth and make sure that your child is doing it well. Reinforce whenever necessary.