Getting your kids to brush and floss can be an uphill battle. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every kid. Depending on your child’s personality, age, and other factors it might be easier or harder to get them to take on their daily oral routines. One of the best things you can do is to provide a strong example for your kids by brushing and flossing daily. In this article, we will answer some common questions about when to start having your kids brush their teeth on their own, how to encourage daily brushing and flossing, and some other tips.

When Are My Kids Old Enough To Brush/Floss On Their Own?

When your kids are old enough to brush and floss their own teeth can vary from kid to kid. Generally speaking, many dentists recommend that once children are capable of using a toothbrush and floss they transition into monitored brushing and flossing. You can help your kids throughout the process and make sure that they are brushing & flossing their teeth each day. Around age 10 they should be old enough to brush and floss their teeth on their own without your help. But use your best judgment. Kids mature at different rates and it is important to be cognizant of that fact.

How Can I Help My Kids Brush/Floss Daily?

There are many different ways to encourage your kids to brush their teeth every day. One general rule though is to avoid negative reinforcement. Many kids who receive negative reinforcement from dentists or their families regarding oral health struggle to keep up the habits long term and might even develop a strong negative opinion towards oral health over the years. Here are a few examples of positive ways to encourage your kids to brush and floss daily:
  • Charts & Stickers: For younger children, one trick that can help them with brushing and flossing is simply helping them visualize their progress with a chart. A simple chart with two squares per day that they can fill out with stickers or check marks is sometimes enough to help kids track their dental habits and feel proud that they filled out all or most of their chat.
  • Use Music: Many kids, and even some adults, listen to music while brushing and flossing, not only can this add a bit of fun to the brushing process, but the duration of the song can be used as a cheat sheet to how long you should be brushing. 
  • Daily Routines: One way to help your kids develop their dental habits is to work on daily routines with them. Having a daily morning routine and making sure you and your kids have ample time to get ready is important. For example, if kids are waking up just before the bus, brushing and flossing might be the first thing dropped from their morning routine.

Schedule A Family Dental Appointment in Maine

If you live in the Southern Maine area and are interested in setting up a family dental appointment, our team of dentists would be happy to get an appointment for your child. We believe that the key to good family dentistry is providing a safe, non-judgemental space for kids to get dental treatments and learn more about brushing and flossing.