You might know the best toothbrush for your needs, but how do you pick the best one for your child? Don’t fall into the trap of only choosing toothbrushes based on their color or any favorite cartoon characters emblazoned on the handle.
Part of your decision will depend on the age of your child, however, for all children, toothbrushes with soft bristles are best. When bristles are too hard, they can cause damage to the gums or wear to the enamel. Choosing soft-bristled toothbrushes is always the right option. Beyond that, here’s what else you should know about picking the best toothbrush for kids.
Toothbrush Size Matters
When choosing a toothbrush for your child, you need to think about the size of their mouth. Children have smaller mouths, and what you’d select for your mouth will be too large.
But you don’t have to wander the aisles of the store aimlessly trying to figure out which toothbrush will be a good fit. Most of the major toothbrush manufacturers have age recommendations listed on the packaging.
Keep in mind that your child will not need to use kids’ toothbrushes for all that long. Usually, by age 9 or 10, they can switch to one made for adults.
What About Electric Toothbrushes for Kids?
Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective for removing plaque from your child’s teeth. Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference, though for many parents, an electric toothbrush helps their kids get all the tough-to-reach spots more easily.
If you have a toddler, it may not be the right time to give them an electric toothbrush. The noise can make them nervous, and the best course of action is to always brush with them to ensure they’re using the proper technique.
As your child gets older, switching to an electric toothbrush can give you greater peace of mind that they are brushing effectively. Just as with a manual toothbrush, you will want an electric toothbrush for kids to have soft bristles and be a suitable size for their age.
There are battery-operated electric toothbrushes that may look fun but do not have the ADA seal of approval. The seal will ensure you’re buying a toothbrush that will be safe and effective. Your dentist’s guidance can also help when trying to determine the best toothbrush for your child.
One last thing you should know about electric toothbrushes for kids is that you will still want to assist them with brushing. You won’t have to do this for too long, generally until they are 7 or 8 years old when they are comfortable brushing and can do so properly without your assistance.
Whether you choose manual or electric toothbrushes for your kids, always remember that children copy what they see. If you want to establish proper brushing habits, brush with them during their younger years. You’ll help them brush the right way and be a positive influence on their oral health care.