Walk down any oral hygiene aisle these days, and you’re likely to be intimidated by the sheer volume of products you have to choose from. This can make picking out a toothbrush for your child a bit more daunting than you’d expect! Like adult toothbrushes, those designed for children come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These are created with specific needs and abilities in mind, both of which change as a child’s mouth develops. That’s where we come in! The expert team here at Children’s Dental Center has put together this simple set of guidelines to help you choose the right toothbrush for your child. Keep reading to learn more!
A toothbrush for every stage of development
Whatever your child’s age, you’ll want a toothbrush that is easy to hold and navigates comfortably in the mouth. Soft bristles are preferable since they do a great job of cleaning without being rough on a child’s teeth and gums. A personalized toothbrush featuring your child’s favorite characters or colors will appeal to them and make it fun to use every morning and night!
Did you know that you can begin an oral hygiene with your child when they’re only a few days old? It’s as simple as wiping their gums with a damp cloth after feedings. Once their first tooth erupts, you can switch to using a toothbrush designed for infants. These normally have very small head sizes to fit in a baby’s mouth easily. There’s no need for toothpaste at this point! A simple brush twice a day will keep their new teeth clean and their gums healthy. It will also help acclimate them to a twice-daily brushing routine when they’re older.
Toddlers over the age of two often want to participate in the brushing routine. The toothbrushes designed for this age group have small heads and large handles with soft grips, making them easy for little hands to hold. Very young children haven’t developed enough control to brush their teeth effectively, but you can still let them take a turn once you’ve finished! This is a great way to build their confidence and help them adjust to brushing on their own.
Between the ages of 5-8, your child will be working their way towards an independent dental hygiene routine. Toothbrushes for this stage have a narrower handle than toddler toothbrushes, as bigger kids have a more dexterous grip and larger jaws. Even if they have the skills to brush their teeth effectively, this age range will still require supervision to ensure the teeth and gums are clean.
Around age eight, a child should be able to brush their teeth by themselves. Toothbrushes designed for older children are essentially the same as those designed for adults, but they’ll have a slightly smaller head and handles that are a little bit bigger. Manual and electric toothbrushes are both appropriate for preadolescent children. The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that both types can effectively clean the teeth and gums, but electric brushes may make the process easier for some children.
Personalize your child’s toothbrush
When it comes to finding the right toothbrush for your child, the right features are important. But you don’t have to stop there! Helping them personalize their toothbrush will make dental hygiene more fun and encourage healthy habits. Here are a few ways to get creative with your kiddo’s toothbrush!
Let them choose the toothbrush
As mentioned above, most stores will have a wide variety of colors and characters available in the children’s toothbrush section. Once you’ve found the right size for your child, let them pick their favorite! This will motivate them to use it regularly and also gives them some agency in their oral hygiene routine.
Customize with stickers
Combine crafts with oral care! Purchase a plain toothbrush and add some fun stickers or splash out on a brand that includes stickers in the package with the toothbrush. Just keep in mind that tiny stickers can be a choking hazard for toddlers, so be sure they’re firmly attached to the toothbrush and check them frequently to make sure they aren’t coming loose.
Personalize with paint
If you don’t mind getting a little messy, paint can be a fun way to add a personal touch to your child’s toothbrush! Use non-toxic tempera paints and a small brush to add dots, swirls, or other shapes. You can even put their initials or name! Make sure the paint completely dries before use.
Put the right toothbrush to good use
You can spend time researching and buying the right kind of toothbrush for your child, but it won’t mean much if they aren’t using it regularly! A solid routine is essential for good oral health. Your child should be brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Plan to replace the toothbrush every three months or after the bristles have frayed. Follow the age range guidelines on the packaging to ensure the toothbrush fits their mouth and is comfortable to hold. This will go a long way towards setting your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Give your child’s smile the best start with Children’s Dental Center
Choosing a toothbrush that is perfectly suited to your child’s mouth is just the first step on a lifelong journey of good dental health. With so many toothbrushes on the market, it can seem a little overwhelming trying to pick the best one. Sticking to the guidelines here will help you find a toothbrush that will keep your child’s teeth clean and their smile bright!
In addition to brushing regularly, be sure to schedule your baby’s first visit with Children’s Dental Center around their first birthday. If you have an older child, seeing us twice a year for a regular check-up and cleaning will go a long way towards keeping their teeth healthy and cavity-free. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment or if you need more information about how to choose the best toothbrush for your child. We’re committed to creating the healthiest smiles for every patient!