The health of our children is always the top priority of parents everywhere, however, parents need to make sure they are looking at their whole child when thinking about their health. They want to look at their physical health, their mental health, and their oral health. Oral health for children is incredibly important, not only because it can prevent serious issues and decay, but because you are setting them on the right path to ensure that they take care of their teeth when they are older. Parents will often take on the role of tooth brusher when their child is young, and that is because they are not developmentally able to brush their own teeth yet.
However, a child will reach a certain age when mom thinks they are ready to brush their own teeth. They hesitantly let their child brush away, but they may be wondering if their child really did get all of their teeth. They want to give their child some independence, but they also want to make sure that they are doing a good job. To explore this further, we decided to look at what the recommended age is to allow a child to brush their own teeth and some tricks and tests that you can do to make sure they are doing a great job.
The Right Age
According to Kids Pediatric Dentistry, children are not able to fully brush their teeth on their own until they are about 6 years old. This is when it is recommended that moms allow their children to have a bit of independence when it comes to taking care of their teeth. However, moms may still want to make sure and check that their child is doing a great job, and that is when the “Oreo test” can come in handy.
The Oreo Test
According to US News, the Oreo test is a great way to test how well your child is brushing their teeth. The popular cookies are known for making quite a mess in the mouth, and the pieces can get stuck. Have your child eat an Oreo, and then send them off to brush their teeth. When they are done, ask them to open their mouth, and you will be able to see if they have all the space in their mouth by the amount of Oreo cookies you can still see.
If you can’t see any leftover cookies, they have done a great job. However, the spaces that still have cookies on them will be where they missed, and it can help you teach them how to get those hard-to-reach spots.
Some Other Tricks
The Oreo test is not the only way you can test how well they are brushing their teeth. According to A Child’s Best Smile, there are some other ways to check. You can always do the ‘squeak test,’ by asking your child to rub their finger quickly across the front of their teeth. Clean teeth will make a squeaky noise. You can also take a quick look at their tongue, if the tongue is pink, they have washed it, but if the tongue is white, then they have to go back and try some more.
It may seem daunting to teach your child how to brush their teeth properly, but you are setting them up with an important skill they will carry with them into adulthood.