Choosing a toothbrush for your child is already a daunting experience due to the numerous options available. Luckily, the right toothbrush can be broken down into a few simple categories. These include traits like bristle softness, length, manual vs. battery-powered, and so on.
Your pediatric dentist in Bergenfield wants to simplify this process for you and your child. The more positive you make your child’s first brushing experience, the easier it will be for them to keep the right habits for years to come.
From Babies to Toddlers
You might avoid using toothbrushes for your baby and rely on a damp cloth instead, but according to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry at the Washington University School of Dentistry, gentle toothbrushes can also be used on your child before they even have teeth.
As they hit the age of two, look for toothbrushes with small heads and large handles with soft grips to make brushing easier. You can also find battery-powered toothbrushes to help them remove plaque more effectively.
When Your Child Becomes An Independent Brusher
At ages 5-8, upgrade to a longer and skinnier handle as it suits your child’s larger mouth. They will be more dexterous than they were only a few years ago. Keep a watchful eye as they brush to make sure they aren’t feeling unnecessary discomfort.
After 8 years of age, their toothbrushes will look more like an adult toothbrush, but it will still have a slightly larger handle and smaller head. As your child’s mouth continues developing, you’ll need to adjust the size of the toothbrush to fit.
Comfort is Key to Consistent Brushing Habits
When choosing the best toothbrush for your child, you’ll need to consider three main factors:
- Manual vs. Battery-Powered
Some bristles may prove to be to harsh on your child’s gums. If they always associate this discomfort with brushing, they’ll be less likely to make brushing a part of their daily routine. Pay attention to the packaging of toothbrushes you find and compare brushes to see what they enjoy most.
Another aspect of comfort includes the handle of your child’s toothbrush. Just like how you determine the right chef’s knife, the key to comfort is in the handle. As your child ages, both the handle and brush head will grow in tandem with their hands and mouth.
Finally, if your child is struggling to develop proper brushing technique, you may want to let them try a battery-powered brush. This allows them to focus on individual teeth and removing as much plaque as possible. They also might find brushing more fun with an electric toothbrush over a manual one, so alternate as necessary to determine their preference.
Keeping this in mind, you’ll easily be able to find the right toothbrush for your child. Begin your child’s oral health regiment and consult your pediatric dentist in Tappan today!
About the Author
Dr. Darren Tong DDS earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. He went on to earn his pediatric specialty license to provide safe and effective oral healthcare to children during every stage of development. To learn more about his practice and pediatric dental checkups, visit his website or contact him at (845) 859-6060.