Your Child’s Toothbrush
By Strongsville Smile Keepers | February 15, 2022, |
THESE DAYS, THERE are so many toothbrushes that it’s hard to find the right one for ourselves, let alone our kids. It’s not as simple as picking one because not all children’s toothbrushes are created equal. Let’s go over a few factors to consider when searching for the perfect toothbrush for your child.
The Experts on Toothbrushes
Our top goal as dentists who work with young patients is to provide better dental care for families, including knowing which toothbrushes will be most helpful for children who are learning how to take care of their teeth. Here’s a handy guide that can help you navigate the toothbrush aisle the next time you need to replace a toothbrush (which should be every few months — certainly by the time the bristles look bent).
Electric Versus Manual
The first big question you might be asking is 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, electric toothbrushes might be the better choice for some kids.
A child with a tendency to brush too hard, limited dexterity, need help to get to their molars, or has special needs and difficulties may be more effective in brushing with an electric toothbrush. If your child is great at brushing and wouldn’t benefit in this way, a manual toothbrush will be great!
Search for the ADA Seal of Acceptance
A good way to narrow down the pool of toothbrushes to choose from is to only look for toothbrushes with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. The Seal is awarded to toothbrushes every year by the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs, supported by a team of more than 750 leading scientists in fields like microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology, and chemistry. You know you can trust an ADA-approved toothbrush!
This one might seem a little counterintuitive. We tend to think that firm bristles mean more effective scrubbing. However, we’re not trying to scrub out tile grout when we clean our teeth; teeth and gum tissue can be damaged by overbrushing, particularly with hard bristles. We recommend soft-bristled brushes to our patients, especially young children. Soft bristles are better for gums but still effective against plaque and food debris.
It’s important to find a toothbrush that fits your child’s hand and mouth. They won’t be able to brush effectively with something too big, so make sure it’s a child-sized brush. A non-slip grip might also be a good idea if they tend to drop their toothbrush.
Help your child brush for two minutes with this catchy toothbrush song:
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!
We love seeing those healthy little smiles!