Parents often struggle to select their own toothbrushes with so many to choose from, and it's even harder to make the proper selection for their kids. Because not all children's toothbrushes are created equally, it's not as simple as just picking one. Let's review a few consideration factors when searching for the perfect toothbrush for your child.
The Experts on Toothbrushes
As a pediatric dentist, who works with young patients, it's my top goal to provide better dental care for families, and for me, that includes knowing which toothbrushes will be the best option in helping take care of their own teeth as they learn. I've put together a few handy tips to help you navigate the toothbrush aisle as you look for the best toothbrush replacement, which should be every few months and most certainly by the time the bristles look bent.
Manual Versus Electric
You might be asking whether to get a manual toothbrush or an electric one for your child. While both toothbrushes have the same capacity to clean teeth, recent studies show that electric toothbrushes remove as much plaque as manual toothbrushes. However, for some kids, electric toothbrushes might be the better choice. For instance, a child with a tendency to brush too hard, limited dexterity, need help to get to their molars, or has unique needs and difficulties may be more effective in brushing with an electric toothbrush.
Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance
Only looking for toothbrushes with the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance is an excellent way to reduce the options of toothbrushes to choose from. The ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs awards the seal to toothbrushes every year. This council is supported by a team of more than 750 leading scientists in fields like pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, and toxicology. This is why I can trust an ADA-approved toothbrush!
The hardness of the Bristle
This one might seem a little counterintuitive. We are prone to think we get more effective scrubbing power from firm bristles. However, brushing our teeth isn't like scrubbing tile grout; overbrushing with hard bristles can cause damage to the gum tissue and teeth. This is why, especially for young children, I recommend soft-bristled brushes to our patients. Soft bristles are still effective against plaque and food debris and better for gums.
It's essential to find a toothbrush that fits your child's hand and mouth. If the toothbrush is too big, they won't brush effectively, so make sure it's a child-sized brush. If they have a tendency to drop their toothbrush, A non-slip grip might also be a good idea.
Input From Your Dentist and Your Child
If you'd like our recommendations for great toothbrushes, we are happy to give them, but don't forget to ask your child which toothbrush they want too! Once you've narrowed the options down to a few that meet all the requirements you're looking for, let them choose their favorite color or cartoon character. They're more likely to brush with a toothbrush they like!
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.