Dentist Questions Dental Health

At what age can my little one start brushing her teeth on her own?

I have a daughter who is 3 years old. When can she start brushing on her own? She seems like she wants to but I still guide her.

30 Answers

Start them as young as possible not a bad thing
She can start brushing. You might want to check if she is doing good with it. Kids need to be instructed by adults, but should be able to brush on their own.
Her motivation is a great thing to foster. Continue to guide her in proper brushing. Following a certain pattern. Starting on the outside back right top work around the top front to the other side. Move to the inside and flow back around to the right again. Drop to the bottom right and around outside to left side. back inside and around to right again. Having a pattern set up and guided will encourage not missing any area. As her proficiency improves you can give her more freedom in the task. It is usually best to pretty closely monitor the process until about 6 yrs old. Lack of proper home care and diet can have serious consequences on teeth (significant decay-cavities). So, this short-term good supervision can have big results long-term. It is absolutely worth the effort.

Dr. Grimm
Let her brush. She is excited and wants to be a "big girl." However, tell her mommy just wants to make sure she got out all of the "sugar bugs." You go back in there and make sure that she has removed all of the plaque. This lets her do it on her own and also allows her to see the areas where she is missing. Personally, this was a very fun time for me and my daughters. Enjoy it.
Hello dentally conscious parent! It's so wonderful to hear your daughter is enjoying her oral hygiene practices. The safest way to address this would be to observe her brushing technique. At the age of 3, children's manual dexterity and fine motor skills are still developing and will continue to do so until she's about 9.

On average, children will start brushing on their own at about 6 years of age although there is significant variation . I recommend a slow transition, perhaps brushing your own teeth alongside your daughter, just to ensure they are doing a sufficiently thorough job.
As long as you feel she is brushing adequately by herself she is welcome to begin brushing on her own. Make sure she is only using children's toothpaste. Until the age of 6 children's toothpaste is recommended due to the lower concentrations of fluoride.
I think you are doing it right by checking how she is brushing and thorough. Each child may be different in their dexterity but I like when a child is engaged in caring for their own dental health. Just make sure it is done well before you let them go off on their own.
I would let her do it herself, but watch her. Once I am confident with her technqiue, I would let her do it herself.
She can brush her teeth on her own when she is able to do a thorough job. Let her try it on her own then use a disclosing tablet to show her where she may have missed spots while brushing to help her improve her thoroughness.
I like to let the little ones brush themselves in the morning and advise the parents to brush teeth nightly til about 10 years old.
As soon as they are able to and under supervision, start the good habit of teeth brushing. It is a life long lesson that will carry with them throughout their lives. Best wishes.
She needs to start brushing on her own, but you must check her and go over her teeth again at least until age 5 or 6. Kids just don't have the dexterity and concentration to do the job that they need to do. that's why we put sealants on their 6 year molars. Those first permanent teeth are highly susceptible to cavities on the chewing surface because of their deep grooves. Kids just don't always get them as clean as they need to be. Ask your dentist or hygienist for some disclosing tablets. After she's brushed as well as she can, have her chew up the small red tablet, swish it around her mouth and then rinse and spit. Every spot that she's missed will stain pink, so you can easily see the areas that need more attention. Just be careful not to have her do that before she needs to go somewhere important, because it will make the lips and tongue a bright pink!
When your daughter is able to hold the toothbrush on her own AND understand and take instructions from you and her dentist on proper brushing
Children can’t properly brush until they are 6 years old. Let her brush but continue to help her.
Yes let them brush!! Guiding them is fine and great to do until they get a hang for it... every night check to see if they are getting all the areas, until they are 9 or 10
Age3, you should brush your child teeth after your child has had at least attempted to them on their own. Be tentative.
around 5, maybe sooner if you observe them and they do it correctly three consecutive times. use the toothpast for young children without fluoride and use very little. a pea-sized amount. make sure they are not swallowing toothpaste and not brushing on the gums.
You may allow her to brush her teeth in her own, but I stress the importance of monitoring. You would want to aid your child in brushing and flossing until the age of 6-7 or until they are able to demonstrate a consistent ability to keep things appropriately clean. This would be something to ask your child’s hygienist.
When your child is able to tie a shoe, the child can learn how to brush properly- it's not based on an age.
You should be supervising her brushing until age 5-6.. I always let my kids brush first, then I went over it again. They didn't mind.
She can start at any age if she can brush properly...if she can't...let her brush and then you follow up and do some for her...electric tooth brushes are great too
Monitor the child but allow them to brush on their own once you and your Dentist determine the child is brushing thoroughly without harming any oral tissues. Excellent that your child is anxious to brush!
A soon as teeth erupt. In small mouths the parent can use a finger brush with or without tooth paste.
Little children like to copy their parents, so congratulations on setting such a good example. Children generally don't have the coordination to do a good job of brushing on their own until they're about 5 years old, so until then, let her brush her teeth, but "then mommy or daddy has to double check" - and then brush her teeth for her. Just to be sure.
Three years old is a good age to start. Just supervise your child and then brush his or her teeth correctly.
I allowed my daughter to brush by herself at 3, but I brush once and she brushes once just to make sure. The correct answer to your question is, you allow them once they show proficiency.

Ravi Ramjit, D.D.S
They say once they start coloring between the lines. But for me, I still help my kids even when they are a lot older. Just to make sure they get everywhere.
Up until the age of 8 years, a parent should be supervising brushing or be brushing their child's teeth for them. If you child demonstrates competence at that time of being able to do a good job of brushing on their own, you can have your child do it. If they do not show you they can do a good job, continue to supervise or help them yourself until they can brush properly on their own.
I would always recommend for an adult to watch and guide her until you are certain she is getting in all surfaces.
If you think her dexterity is good enough to thoroughly clean 20 baby teeth without a problem and you're using a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse you're probably good to go. Good habits need to be developed too early raise their Dental awareness as quickly as possible. This promotes good dental health and good habits that are lifelong.