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  • Writer's pictureGreater Houston Pediatric Dentistry

Should you brush your child's teeth or let them do it?

The biggest mistakes parents make regarding brushing their children’s teeth is that parents let their kids brush their teeth. Children who brush their teeth, may not be cleaning properly, which can contribute to the child’s bad oral health. Some kids even forget to brush their teeth altogether, which can lead to dental disaster for their growing teeth.

young girl brushing her own teeth

Greater Houston Pediatric Dentistry recommend that parents routinely check on their children’s tooth brushing skills to make sure they are doing a decent job. Some parents may need to brush their child’s teeth for them. Also, a few tips for brushing your teeth apply to everyone, but especially to children. Some of these tips are:

  1. Be sure the child has a toothbrush that fits their mouth. The only way they can brush properly and reach even the back teeth is to have a child’s smaller toothbrush. These smaller toothbrushes get to the back teeth better, too and make brushing teeth in the child’s small mouth much easier.

  2. Brushing should continue for a minimum of two minutes. Sing a song or play a song while the child brushes to remind them of the amount of time they need to brush.

  3. Be sure to have your child brush their teeth twice per day, namely, once in the morning and once at night. If the child gets into sticky or sweet food, you can have them brush more during the day. But everyone needs to brush at least twice per day.

  4. Replace your child’s toothbrush at least every three months. If the child chooses the color or design of the toothbrush, they may brush more willingly.

  5. Monitor your child during the time they their teeth. Assist them if they need assistance.


Most children can brush their teeth when they reach elementary school age. Many children can reliably brush their teeth between somewhere between the ages of six and nine. Monitor their brushing to ensure they are getting the job done. You may still need to remind them to brush upon occasion, however. If they can tie their shoes, they may have the manual dexterity to brush their teeth. Brushing their teeth and getting them clean takes an ability to move the hands and fingers well enough to brush the teeth accurately. If you child can tie their shoes, they most likely can carefully brush their teeth, too. If your child’s homework is getting done and they do their household chores with little supervision, they may be ready to be responsible enough to brush their teeth. If there is any doubt, use a plaque revealing tablet to determine whether or not they are brushing correctly. The Greater Houston Pediatric Dentists at Bunker Hill Pediatric Dentistry can help you keep your child’s teeth healthy and offer you suggestions on caring for your child’s teeth and mouth at home. The best way to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy for a lifetime is to make sure they brush regularly and have routine dental checkups.


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