Helping children overcome their dental conditions is what we do. It’s all we do. As such, we know the nuances of pediatric oral care. Fox News once reported that one of the primary mistakes parents make in caring for their children’s teeth is to give them the reigns when it comes to brushing. Doing so before a child is ready could spell disaster, and that could mean tears, and we know you want to avoid that!
When is your child ready?
There is no set age at which a child suddenly gains the skill needed to adequately care for his or her teeth. Data suggests that kids lack the ability to manage oral care before the age of 6, and sometimes not until the age of 9. That’s a pretty big window of time. Fortunately, there are clues you can watch for.
- Look to the laces. Dexterity is a must to get all the angles and sides of teeth during oral care. A way to gauge dexterity is to assess how well your child can tie his or her shoes. When this skill is perfected, brushing independently may be right around the corner.
- Chores and homework aren’t a struggle. When you give your child responsibilities like chores and homework, and they follow through with your expectations for completion, this demonstrates that they have gained personal responsibility. When you can trust your child to care for other aspects of herself, you can trust her to brush her teeth well.
- No Stinky-Winky. A child who values general hygiene, such as bathing or showering, is a child who is likely responsible enough to manage oral care with little oversight.
It’s a process
A child is not handed a toothbrush and told to go for it until he has demonstrated capability. The process begins with you brushing for your child (remember! A full two minutes!). Over time, you can let your child brush while you watch. Then, as skill improves, your child may brush independently, but you check their handiwork. Finally, full independence is gained.
Apparently, it takes years for a child to hone those skills. Throughout that time, your pediatric dentist will support you in the development of healthy habits.
Schedule a consultation
If your child is anxious at the dentist contact, Children 1st Dental at 713 270-0700.