Often, our patients will inquire about which toothbrush is optimal for a child’s oral health. With a dizzying array of options on the market today, it can be confusing to know what product is right for your child. We hope these tips will help make selecting the right toothbrush for your child simple and enjoyable.
Children’s Toothbrush Tip #1: Size and Shape
The best way to judge what size toothbrush head your child needs is to consider which will fit most comfortably in your child’s mouth. A too-large toothbrush head will make reaching back teeth challenging and uncomfortable.
If your child is young, opt for a children’s toothbrush with a small head and a wider handle. It can also be helpful to choose a toothbrush which features a rubberized surface on the handle. This helps young brushers literally get a grip on the process without the brush slipping out of their small, less-dexterous hands. Older children can graduate up to a narrower handle that looks similar to an adult’s toothbrush.
Children’s Toothbrush Tip #2: Embrace the Variety
Inviting your young child to choose from a selection of appropriately-sized toothbrushes before you purchase one is a great way to give them some autonomy over their oral health and even have some fun, especially if the selection features fun colors or popular characters. The American Dental Association endorses this approach, saying “Let your child pick out his own toothbrush and toothpaste. (We recommend ones with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.) Choosing a character toothbrush might make brushing more fun, and fluoride toothpastes come in a variety of flavors and colors.”
For older kids, choice still matters! You can also introduce electric toothbrushes, some of which even come with coordinating apps to track brushing in an engaging way.
Children’s Toothbrush Tip #3: Replace Often
From toddlers to tweens, children are still learning how to apply the right amount of pressure to brush their teeth effectively. This may result in greater wear, requiring that toothbrushes be replaced more often than you might be inclined to switch out your own. Writing for Colgate, Jenny Green explains: “When the bristles fray and no longer stand up straight – or after three months, whichever comes first – it’s time to buy a new toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adults’.”