the Right Toothbrush for Your Child
If you’ve ever walked down the dental hygiene products aisle, you’ll realize how choosing the right toothbrush for your child can be an overwhelming task. There are numerous types, sizes, and shapes, depending on your child’s age, needs, and abilities. So how can you choose a toothbrush that’s just right for your little one?
Choosing the Perfect Toothbrush
Children love choosing their toothbrushes, which helps them feel motivated and excited about brushing their teeth. They also love to mimic their parents, so make it a habit to brush your teeth alongside your child. Creating a fun oral hygiene routine will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
What Is the Right Toothbrush for Your Child?
Infants: Start your little one’s oral hygiene routine right from birth. Simply wipe the gums with a clean damp cloth or gauze after feedings. Once the first tooth comes in, choose a baby toothbrush with soft bristles and a tiny head that fits comfortably in your little one’s mouth.
Toddlers: Help your child select a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a large, soft grip that is easy for those tiny hands to hold. Your tot doesn’t have the motor skills necessary for effective teeth brushing at this age, so you’ll need to take turns cleaning those pearly whites.
Elementary School-Aged Kids: Between ages 5-8, your child is ready for more independence. Toothbrushes for elementary school-aged kids have slimmer handles than toddler ones. Some toothbrushes are designed for kids with a combination of baby and adult teeth. While your child has the skills needed to brush effectively, it’s still important to continue supervising brushing time.
Tweens and Up: Children can brush their teeth without supervision starting at age eight. Their toothbrushes look very much like the adult products at this stage, with the difference being slightly smaller heads and larger handles. Once again, make sure to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.
When Should You Replace Your Child’s Toothbrush?
Replace your child’s toothbrush about every three months or as soon as the bristles become frayed, matted, or curl out at the edges. Also, swap it out after an illness, especially one that involves a bacterial infection, such as strep throat. If someone accidentally uses your child’s toothbrush, it’s time for a new one. Everyone’s mouth harbors different bacteria, so it’s always better to be safe.
Brushing Best Practices
Emphasize to your children that it is not about how hard they brush but how long and how frequently they do so. Ideally, children should brush at least every morning and before they go to bed for a whole two minutes each time. A two-minute favorite song can help encourage your child to stay on track.
Proper tooth brushing techniques are essential to remove plaque and food debris, lowering the risk of cavities and gum disease. Demonstrate holding the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45-degree angle. Encourage your child to use a gentle, circular motion to brush a small group of teeth at a time. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including their outsides, insides, and their chewing surfaces.
Quality Preventive Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ
Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about choosing the right dental hygiene products to make the most of your child’s brushing time. We look forward to working alongside you to establish oral hygiene habits for long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!