Allowing your child to brush their teeth before they are ready is among the biggest mistake parents make when it comes to their young’s oral health. There are some children who may not be brushing and flossing properly, if at all. It is important to ensure that they are doing it properly, even if it means brushing their teeth for them.

When you do, take note of the following pointers:

1.       Brush twice a day, morning and before bedtime

2.       Brush for two minutes. You can play a music as you brush

3.       Choose a kid-size toothbrush. This will help you brush the back spaces of your young’s mouth. Brush the molars thoroughly as this is where tooth decay and cavities usually form.

4.       Replace old toothbrush every three months. Allow your child to pick the design to help motivate them to brush

So when should you allow them to brush on their own? If your kid is in elementary school, you could be off the hook. Below are the 6 signs that your child can clean their teeth on their own.

1.       He practices proper hygiene. Your child takes a bath without your assistance and washes his own hair. These are the clues that hygiene is now part of his priority – and that includes oral hygiene.

2.       He is between the age 6 and 9. Although the actual age varies for each child, it is usually within this range that they progress from being supervised to managing their own routine. Reminders to brush may still be necessary.

3.       He knows how to tie shoelace. Brushing every angle of their mouth requires manual dexterity and kids learn this as they get older. Learning enough dexterity to tie their own shoes is an indication that they are ready to brush on their own too.

4.       He learns cursive. When your young’s fine motor skills have developed into mastery of cursive writing, they can easily maneuver the toothbrush with ease and precision.

5.       Chores and homework get done. When your child starts to display personal responsibility by completing homework and chores on their own initiative, you’ll feel confident that they’ll follow how to brush properly.

6.       He passed the parent test. You have gone from brushing their teeth to watching them brush on their own. Allow them to do it and check the results. Getting the parent’s approval is probably the surest sign of all.

Teaching your child to brush properly is similar to teaching your child to wear a seat belt, putting sunscreen on your child or looking both sides when crossing the street – it is critical! Do this even as your kid gets older. It is important that your child learns the subliminal message from you so it turns a habit when they grow into adults.