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When Should You Stop Brushing Your Child's Teeth?

Most parents begin to introduce dental hygiene at a young age, and start by brushing their child's teeth for them every day. This is an important way to ensure that little ones develop healthy habits and to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible while they are young. However, parents often ask how long they need to continue to brush their child's teeth for, and this is an interesting question to look into.

Children are, of course, all different, and some will be more adept at brushing well at a younger age. Experts recommend that somewhere between the ages of 6 and 9 will be the right age for most children to start brushing their own teeth, but there can be a wide range of variation within this age group, and the following ideas may help you to work out when your child is ready.

How To Encourage Children To Brush Their Teeth Well:

In general, studies show that a child's ability to brush his or her teeth improves with age. However, children develop at different rates and there are several ways to help your child to brush his or her teeth well.

  1. Practice. Although dentists recommend brushing your child's teeth yourself until the child is at least six years old, it is a good idea to encourage positive brushing habits from toddlerhood. Showing your child how to brush every surface of each tooth, and allowing him or her to practice each day - either before or after you have had your 'turn' - can set up positive habits that will lead to better dental health in the future.
  2. Make it easy. Taking care of your dental health is much easier if you have the right tools. Ensure that your child has a toothbrush that is the right size and is soft enough for his or her mouth, and explore whether using a small Y-shaped flossing tool may make this task much more straightforward.
  3. Use technology. There are several apps that are designed to help children learn to brush more effectively, and some of these also incorporate timers so that it is easier to see how long should be spent brushing each tooth. The StarTeeth app is a popular way to encourage children to brush their teeth more thoroughly, and although you should continue to supervise and help with brushing until your child is brushing to a high standard, it can be useful to introduce tools such as this to help prepare for positive habits and self care.
  4. Use disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets can be a useful way to see if your child is ready to brush his or her own teeth, since these allow you to see how much plaque they are successfully removing when they brush. Using these tablets on a regular basis can enable children to see improvements in their brushing technique, and to see where further efforts are required.
  5. Regular visits to the dentist. Building a positive relationship with your dentist is an excellent way to encourage your child to look after his or her own teeth. Modeling positive habits, and reinforcing the messages that the dentist gives, can help to show children how important dental hygiene is. A good family dentist will demonstrate good brushing to your child, and will ensure that he or she understands exactly what is required.

Get Great Dental Care From Your Family Dentist In Cork

If you are looking for a friendly and experienced family dental practice in Cork, come and visit us at Guiney Dental Practice. We have an excellent team of experienced Dentists in Cork, and we enjoy working with the whole family to keep teeth and gums healthy for life. To make an appointment, call the Guiney Dental Clinic today on 021-481 0535.


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