As your child grows, it is likely they will want to do more things on their own. While it is great to allow them to develop confidence and responsibility for their oral hygiene, it is best for parents to continue to brush and floss for children until they are able to tie their own shoes (generally speaking). This is because kiddos lack the dexterity to adequately remove cavity causing plaque and bacteria. If they are able to tie their own shoes, they are usually ready to brush by themselves.
If your child is ready to brush their own teeth, it is still recommended for parents to check and make sure the plaque is gone. You will want to pay special attention to make sure there is no plaque at the gumline since that area is commonly missed. Flossing can be difficult to master so you may need to do that for them until they are older.
Some children love brushing their own teeth and letting mom and dad brush for them. If your kiddo is not one of those children, you may need to get creative with teeth time. It is ideal to have your child lay on the bed or floor so you can easily see their teeth. Sometimes parents can encourage their kiddo to cooperate by allowing them to watch television while they get their teeth brushed and flossed as long as they are a good helper. Continue to explain to your child why it is necessary to brush and floss and why it is best for mom and dad to help.
If your child can tie their shoes but is not brushing and flossing well, it is recommended for parents to continue to let them brush first and do it for them after. We want kiddos to keep trying and improving their ability to brush and floss without risking decay. Sometimes even teenagers need you to check and advise them to brush again for the full two minutes. Don’t forget flossing is just as important as flossing when it comes to keeping cavities away! Happy brushing and flossing everyone