When is my child ready to start brushing his teeth on his own?
You'll need to continue helping your child brush and floss his teeth until he's at least age 5. Some children may need help brushing until age 10. Your pediatrician or pediatric dentist will let you know when your child is able to brush on his own. The important thing is that your child brush his teeth at least twice a day and floss before bedtime. Flossing is the only way to remove the plaque that accumulates between the teeth and below the gum line -- areas where a toothbrush can't reach and decay often begins.
Should I give my child fluoride supplements?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends fluoride supplements for children who live in communities that don't have optimally fluoridated drinking water. However, overfluoridating children can lead to fluorosis -- disruption in enamel formation during tooth development. Fluorosis can cause tooth discoloration or surface irregularities.
Ask your dentist to determine whether fluoride supplements would be appropriate for your child.