Brush Your Kids’ Teeth When They Can’t Do It Themselves

Photo: Mouth Healthy Kids

According to Fox News, letting kids brush their own teeth before they’re ready is one of the biggest mistakes parents make in regards to their young children’s oral hygiene. Some kids may not be brushing properly, if at all. Check in and make sure they’re doing a thorough job, even if that means brushing their teeth for them! As you do, remember the following pointers:

  • Choose a small size toothbrush to help you maneuver in the back spaces of your child’s mouth. Scrub the molars well—this is where cavities tend to develop.
  • Brush for two minutes—sing a song to the end as you brush.
  • Brush twice a day, morning and night.
  • Buy a new toothbrush every three months. Let your child choose a design to help motivate them to brush.

How long does the responsibility of brushing fall on you? If your child is in elementary school, you may be off the hook. Let’s revisit our 7 signs that kids can brush their teeth on their own:

  1. Your child is between the ages of 6 to 9. The actual age varies for every child, but it’s typically within this range that they graduate from being supervised to handling the routine on their own. Reminders to brush, however, may still be called for.
  2. You have an expert with the laces. Brushing every angle of the teeth takes manual dexterity, which kids hone as they get older. Developing enough dexterity to tie their own shoes is a sign that they’re ready to do their own brushing, too.
  3. The homework and chores get done. When your child begins to show personal responsibility through activities like completing homework, doing chores, preparing outfits, and preparing meals on their own initiative, it’s easier to trust that they’ll follow through with brushing properly.
  4. They’ve learned cursive. When your child’s fine motor skills have produced mastery of writing cursive, they can navigate the toothbrush with precision and ease.
  5. They practice good hygiene.Your child showers without help and washes her own hair, then tackles the hairbrush to ease out the tangles. These are signs that hygiene is now a priority – oral hygiene included!
  6. They pass the tablet test.Why take chances? Have your kids chew plaque disclosing tables before brushing, and see how consistently they can remove the color from their teeth. When the teeth brush clean, you’re in the clear!
  7. They pass the parent test. You’ve gone from brushing their teeth for them to watching them brush. Let them brush on their own, then check the results. Passing parent approval is one of the surest signs of all!

Reading Recs: We’re halfway into the school year, but the following Back-to-School Brushing Routine, as well as knowing How to Stay on the School Sleep Schedule, are helpful all year long!


  1. Good habit of brushing and flossing can help our kids in a better oral health. They should start flossing when their tooth surfaces are next to each other. Flossing is very important and you have to do it at least once a day.

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