Sunday, January 5, 2014

Old enough to brush?

The Meat Test
Is your child old enough to brush the teeth unassisted? Simple answer. A child who can successfully cut his or her meat at dinner can brush the teeth thoroughly enough to prevent cavities. 

I truly support your child's growing autonomy, and letting him brush is a great way to build good habits.  But at young ages, he is not concerned with being thorough. He is focused on the activity, the taste of the paste, spitting, the motion of the arm, but NOT concentrating on removing plaque. Let the child begin brushing and intervene at the end to get all around the teeth.

Keep an eye out for when your child's dexterity improves such that he is using cutlery, and doing so adeptly. Explain how all surfaces of the teeth need to be brushed (also along the gum line), and set him free!  

Harry, still teething, and too young to wield a knife or a toothbrush.

1 comment :

  1. He seems to wield his giraffe just fine. If my child can cut his meat with his giraffe, is he old enough to brush?