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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Brush on Their Own?

Posted on 10/10/2017 by Cynthia Pelley
 Brushing Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry  OR 97202-7331
Being a parent means taking on a tremendous amount of responsibility for your child. From the time your child is very young, you will be responsible for virtually every aspect of their daily care.

This can be exhausting, and many parents eagerly await the day when the child can begin taking some of this responsibility himself or herself.

Many of our patients ask us when their child will be old enough to brush his or her teeth without assistance. As with so many other things in life, the answer is simply that it depends. It will depend on each child's development, both physically and psychologically.

Adequate Brushing is Important

As you know, properly brushing your teeth is one of the most fundamental parts of a proper oral hygiene routine. If your child is not properly brushing his or her teeth, it will be difficult for him or her to avoid cavities, gum disease, and other issues. As such, you should only allow him or her to brush alone once you are certain that he or she is able to do a thorough job.

In order to properly brush, the child's motor coordination must be adequately developed so that he or she can move the brush in small circles over the teeth. Far too many children simply move the brush in a back and forth pattern, which does not clean as thoroughly as using small circular motions.

Also, your child needs to be old enough to understand the importance of what he or she is doing, and must be able to follow the routine involved in oral hygiene.

Many of our patients first allow the child to brush with close supervision for a time. Once the child is able to consistently brush correctly, they allow him or her to take the responsibility on from that point forward.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (503) 235-0313 today.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202