HERE’S A HANDY GUIDE that can help parents navigate the kids’ toothbrush aisle the next time they need to replace a child’s toothbrush (which should be every few months — certainly by the time the bristles look bent). Start out by choosing from kids’ toothbrushes with the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.
You may even choose to take your child along to pick out their toothbrush. If they hand select a favorite color or character, then they are already an owner in the process of brushing their teeth.
Manual or Electric Toothbrush?
The big question: electric or manual? While both types of kids’ toothbrushes have the same capacity to clean teeth, electric toothbrushes might be a better choice for some kids. A child with a tendency to brush too hard, who has limited dexterity, who needs help getting to their molars, or who has special needs and difficulties may do better with an electric toothbrush. On the other hand, children who have shown theyare great at brushing is just fine with a manual brush. Your goal of using a toothbrush is to massage the area where the gums and teeth meet; either type of toothbrush is able to do that.
Soft Bristles Are Better
What about bristle hardness? We recommend soft-bristled brushes to our patients, especially for young children. The softer the better. Soft bristles are gentle on gums but still effective against plaque and food debris. A medium or hard bristled toothbrush could cause gum trauma and lead a child to want to avoid brushing around the gums. You may even choose to user a softer bristle toothbrush for yourself. These toothbrushes are effective regardless the age of the patient. What matters the most is using correct methods in brushing your teeth.
One Size Does NOT Fit All
Size is also important. A child’s toothbrush should fit their hand and mouth, or they won’t be able to use it effectively. An adult toothbrush is too large for a small child to use. A non-slip grip might also be a good idea if they have a tendency to drop their toothbrush.
Brushing teeth effectively is supposed to be a two minute exercise. Once your child has a toothbrush that fits their hand and mouth, brush your teeth together. Teach your child how to make circular motions and how long to brush. Reinforce that they should brush their teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. That said, if you have something super sugary, it never hurts to brush after eating something sweet so that the sugar doesn’t sit on their teeth.
Their Favorite Toothbrush Is the One They Choose
We are happy to give specific kids’ toothbrush recommendations. A child can also pick their favorite from a selection that meets the other requirements. They’re more likely to enjoy brushing with a kids’ toothbrush that’s their favorite color or has their favorite character on the handle. In the end, the best toothbrush is the one they use!
Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the East Tennessee Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in Kingsport at 1741 Moreland Drive. To make an appointment with one of Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry‘s doctors, please call: 423-247-1994.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.