How To Find the Best Toothbrush for Your Child Based on Their Age
From the First Tooth to Adulthood
For a first-time parent, having to find the right toothbrush for your child is the last thing you want to be stressing about. When your little one cuts their first tooth, usually when they’re somewhere around six months, it’s like you’re thrown into a teething hurricane without a life jacket. To make this just a little easier, here is a quick guide on what toothbrush is best suited for each age group.
That Adorable, Gummy Smile
Many parents do not realize that dental care starts before your baby even cuts that first tooth. Before teething officially begins, it is best to wipe their gums with a clean damp washcloth. Infants produce less saliva than adults, so they need a little help keeping the bacteria down. This also helps your child get used to the sensation of having something in their mouth before it’s time to introduce the toothbrush.
The First Toothbrush
As soon as that first pearly white tooth peeks through, it’s time to break out the infant toothbrush. These are equipped with soft bristles, making them easy on your child’s gums. They are smaller than a children’s toothbrush, making it easier to get into those hard-to-reach places. They come in all sorts of designs and colors, some even have three sides to help get every nook and cranny in one go. This is definitely helpful when your toddler refuses to sit still. These infant toothbrushes are best used until your child is around three.
For toothpaste, it is best to use the child-safe, non-fluoride variety. These come in all sorts of colors and flavors, making it just a little more fun for your child to pick their favorite when they are old enough.
Big Kid Toothbrush
When your child is around three, it’s time to graduate to a full-sized kid toothbrush. There are countless options available in stores, some decorated with their favorite characters, or even preloaded with a song to brush to. These singing toothbrushes are often made specifically to help your child know when their two-minute brushing session is complete.
At this age, it is common for your child to avoid the toothbrush. They’ve got so much to do, and the last thing they want to do is sit there and brush their teeth. To help with this, try making it part of your own personal daily routine. Bring them into your bathroom while you are getting ready. Floss together, brush together, and set a timer to see if you both can make it to the two-minute mark. While you do this, make funny faces or act as one of their favorite characters to pass the time. Another idea that parents have found effective is to create a reward system to keep track of how many times they have brushed.
This is also about the time that your child can switch to normal toothpaste. As long as they understand that they need to spit it out after brushing.
At the age of 10, it is time for your child to move to an adult toothbrush. Though these aren’t nearly as cute as the kid-sized ones, you can help with the transition by making a big deal out of it. Their mouths are big enough to accommodate the larger toothbrush, why not celebrate?
Electric or Manual?
In the long run, it doesn’t really matter whether your child uses an electric or manual toothbrush. Whatever is the most effective for each individual child is the best option.
Electric toothbrushes have a stronger brushing power and can be considered “cool” by your older child, but they are expensive, and usually need to be charged. Let’s face it, kids aren’t always the best at remembering to plug things in—especially something like a toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes can have built-in timers to help your child brush for the whole two minutes. They can also make brushing more fun in general, holding your child’s attention and making it more likely that they will take the time to thoroughly clean each tooth.
But in the end, brushing with the proper technique and length of time is what matters the most.
Tooth Enamel Note
To protect the enamel of your child’s teeth, it is recommended you only buy soft-bristled toothbrushes. As your tooth’s enamel helps fight against the bacteria in plaque, we definitely want to take care of what we have.
We also recommended you only buy ADA-certified toothbrushes. You can learn more about the ADA seal of acceptance here. These products have been tested to ensure that they are able to remove plaque safely and efficiently.
Start your child’s oral health journey with Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry.
From the day your child’s first tooth pokes through, life can become a whirlwind. This can make finding the right toothbrush for your child a rather stressful ordeal. We hope this guide helps take some of the pressure off, letting you choose the right toothbrush with confidence. If you have questions or your child is ready for their first dental appointment, feel free to contact us at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry. We are always here for you and your family.