How To Check If Your Child Is Doing A Good Job Brushing

When children start brushing their own teeth, it can be a difficult step for parents. You want to give them the freedom and responsibility of doing it themselves, but how can you be sure that they're doing a thorough enough job to prevent cavities or gum disease? If you've found yourself in this quandary, try these steps.

Breath Test

It's an old classic: a kid says they brushed their teeth, the parent sniffs their breath, and is revolted to realize that the child never brushed at all. While this may seem like a trope, it's actually a good place to start.

Assume that your child has brushed their teeth. If you sniff their breath, you're not likely to smell anything significant, right? Actually, gum disease and tooth decay both often produce foul smells in the mouth. This is due to the bacteria that grows rampantly when either or both of these conditions develop. If your kid's breath still stinks even after brushing, you should take them to a dentist.

Plaque Tablets

If you've never used plaque disclosing tablets before, you're in for a pleasant surprise.

Typically, plaque is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It can be very hard to see without special tools and excellent lighting. Plaque disclosing tablets act like a highlighter, sticking to the parts of the tooth that have collected plaque and sliding off other parts that aren't coated in plaque.

You can probably expect that your child will have a small amount of plaque on their teeth. This is what visiting the dentist will help with. However, your child shouldn't have much. If you're still seeing a lot of plaque after using these tablets, try challenging your child to do better by competing with you. Both of you use the tablets, and you encourage your child to have as little or less plaque than you.


Finally, don't skip the dentist for a child, ever. There are so many things developing, growing, and changing in your child's mouth that it's simply not a good idea. When you add on to that the possibility of your child developing hygiene problems simply because plaque converts into tartar in a matter of hours, it's not worth it.

Your child's dentist will let you know how often you should come in. If your child does a good job with their own dental hygiene, your visits will be further spaced apart.

Keeping your child's teeth and gums healthy is part of your responsibility as a parent. Try this tips and ask for help if you're not sure how else to improve your child's oral health at home. Contact a clinic, like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents, for more help.