Brushing your teeth as an adult might seem easy, but young children can find it hard to correctly brush and keep their mouths healthy. While brushing your child’s teeth until they are twenty is definitely overkill, you can make sure that they adequately brush in their later years by continuing to brush for them or closely supervising them until they are ready to do it alone. So what can they brush independently?

Unfortunately, there is no age set that a child magically becomes competent at oral hygiene. While many kids reach this point at age 8 or 9, your child’s ability to independently brush depends on whether they have hit the necessary milestones that show they are able to handle all aspects of oral care without any help from their parents. Generally, there are three milestones to look for in your child’s development. Once they meet these criteria, they should be reach to brush on their own.

Have Developed Fine Motor Skills

Motor skills refers to a child’s ability to direct their own movement efficiently. It is split into two categories: gross motor skills (involve large bodily movements) and fine motor skills (involve smaller actions, usually the use of the hands and fingers). Holding a toothbrush, moving it the right way, and applying the correct pressure are examples of fine motor skills. Kids need to develop and improve on this skill area for them to correctly brush their teeth.

How can you tell if your child has developed fine motor ability? Try to observe them in other areas of daily life. For example, a child who has learned to eat with cutlery, handwrite clearly, tie shoelaces, cut with scissors and fasten bows are just some signs that your child is ready to brush their own teeth.

Display Interest in Hygiene

You might have noticed that your younger child tends to be dirtier than older kids. This does not mean that they are not old enough to clean themselves; rather, they are just less interested in personal hygiene. Even when they are old enough to keep themselves clean, they just do not care about doing so. If you leave your child to brush without supervision, you have to trust they are properly doing it. This means ensuring that they are interested in keeping themselves clean.

See if your child likes taking showers or baths; if they wash their hands after playing outside; if they cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze; or if they immediately put on new clothes after getting dirty. If your kid is not independent in other areas of personal hygiene, it might be an indication that they are not ready to brush their own teeth yet.

Show More Responsible Behavior

Brushing teeth twice daily requires discipline and responsibility for a young kid.Responsibility is another area where children mature at varying rates. For you to be assured that your kid will brush their teeth like they are supposed to, you have to ensure that they are showing signs of being responsible.

Examples of responsible behavior include completing chores and finishing their homework on time without being pressured. Your child may also start to take actions like choosing their outfit for the day and getting their own snacks when they want them. Generally, when a child starts following instructions, takes care of themselves, shows trustworthiness, and manages their time, they should be responsible enough to brush their teeth on their own.

Whether your kid is taking is of their own oral care habits or not, keep in mind that brushing is just one of the many components of healthy teeth. Children should also have regular visits to the dentist to ensure that their oral health is in its best condition. It helps to have a reputable pediatric dentist to help you in this journey.

Author's Bio: 

James Franklin is a full time author and part-time blogger who like to put his review on various topics. For more information, visit: D Dental