How can I make my child independent when brushing his teeth ?

rendre mon enfant autonome brossage des dents

If you're here, you know that it's important to empower your child to brush as soon as possible. Indeed, it is not enough to compliment your child to make him brush his teeth better. It is especially important to give him all the keys in hand to brush his teeth correctly. This is the only way for him to maintain good oral hygiene

The most important brushing instructions for your child

Here are the main important brushing instructions:

  • The frequency of brushing teeth: you should tell him that he must brush his teeth twice a day. Ideally, he should brush in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed. However, you can tell him that occasionally he can do it at noon when he feels like it. The most important brushing is the evening brushing. That's why he needs to do it carefully and thoroughly.
  • The respect of toothbrushing: It is necessary to explain to him that the French union of oral health recommends two brushings of two minutes per day. However, this rule applies to traditional manual toothbrushes. If he uses a Y-Brush sonic toothbrush, he will be able to brush his teeth in only 10 seconds which will motivate him even more.
  • Using a single toothbrush: It is important to make your child understand that he must use only one toothbrush during his daily brushing. They should not share it with you or anyone else. If he does, there is a risk of transmitting a bacterial or viral infection because he will take your germs and pass on his own.
  • Explanation of your role: you must tell him that it is important that he tries to brush his teeth on his own from the age of 4 and that you will be there to help him only if necessary. It is also necessary that he knows that you will only be there to check that he is doing the right things and that he is respecting the brushing time necessary to have healthy teeth.

You can be tempted by the Y-Brush toothbrush. Indeed, the grip of the toothbrush is easy because your child just needs to be guided by the toothbrush. He will no longer see brushing his teeth as a chore.

The different brushing techniques to teach him according to his age

The 1,2,3,4 brushing method before the age of 6

He should start by brushing his teeth ten times, beginning by brushing the lower left side and one side at a time. Then, he must move to the right side this time to finish with the bottom teeth, also brushing 10 times. Then, he has to move his toothbrush to the top right but with the brush turned upside down this time. Finally, he will finish the brushing by taking care of the upper left side.

The B.R.O.S. brushing method from age 6


It is important that he starts brushing the upper and lower teeth separately. Then, he will make a rotating or rolling movement to brush the teeth and gums from pink to white. Then, he should brush his teeth obliquely by tilting the brush at a 45° angle to the gum. He must also follow a circular path to go around all the teeth without forgetting the top of his teeth.

Evening brushing completed by the F.I.L method


The first step is to give your child some dental floss. Then, your child should gently insert the floss between two adjacent teeth. He/she should slide the floss along these teeth. However, it is important that he does not use too much force in order not to damage his fragile gums. He should then remember to clear the space by removing the floss and repeat the process on all the spaces between his teeth.

Additional tips to make him autonomous

1) Make him use a Time Timer

The Time Timer is a totally different tool from ordinary timers. It's a visual tool that has a colored disc that shrinks to show how much time is left to brush your teeth. And it's this feature that makes it particularly effective. He'll know not to stop brushing until the time is up.

2) Create a visual aid


A visual aid will detail to your child all the brushing gestures to perform in order to brush correctly. You can therefore offer him a visual sequence that will detail all the steps of brushing his teeth. The pictograms will facilitate the daily gestures, but also allow the child to anticipate to gain in autonomy.

3) Choose a toothpaste that he likes


Children have a much higher gustatory hypersensitivity than adults. They will therefore find it more difficult to bear the strong taste of fluoride contained in toothpaste. You can therefore, if they wish, opt for a low dose fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride-free toothpaste that allows a gentle approach to tooth brushing.

Here are the main advantages of fluoride-free toothpaste for children:

  • It is natural, i.e. without coloring agents, synthetic flavors or chemical preservatives.
  • It provides good oral hygiene without damaging the teeth and respects the pH of their oral mucosa.
  • It is composed of ingredients from plants such as aniseed, green tea or essential oils that prevent the formation of cavities and plaque.
  • It carries for example the labels: Cosmébio, BDIH or Nature et Progrès

You can choose the Y-Brush toothpaste without fluoride. It is a toothpaste which allows to decrease the acid attack on the teeth, to act against bacteria, to fight against the dental plaque and to give a fresh breath.

4) Show him how to brush his teeth


You can play the mirror game or imitation game. Indeed, it is a good learning tool. Indeed, his brain is activated by mechanisms that allow him to reproduce actions. He will imitate your gestures in order to reproduce what he sees if you brush your teeth at the same time. Knowing the technique will undoubtedly make him more independent.

We hope this guide has helped you understand how important it is for your child to know all the brushing instructions before he or she starts toothbrushing. We also hope that your child will be able to reproduce the age-appropriate brushing technique. All the little tips will help motivate your child to brush. 

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