There are so many brands, types, shapes and sizes of children’s toothbrushes available that choosing a toothbrush for your child can be daunting. The needs and ability of your child continue to change as they grow, why is why toothbrushes vary greatly in size and shape. To help you choose a toothbrush that cleans your child’s teeth effectively and encourages good dental care habits, we’ve put together some helpful tips.
Your Child’s First Toothbrush
Your child’s first toothbrush should have a small head which allows it to reach all parts of an infant or toddler’s mouth easily and comfortably. Look for a rounded head as brushes with rectangular heads make it harder for kids to brush all surfaces of their teeth. Choose a brush with soft bristles, as medium or hard bristles can scrape the inside of your child’s mouth and damage delicate gum tissue with repeated use. A cushioned handle is also preferable. Always look at the packaging to check which age range the toothbrush is appropriate for.
Toothbrushes For School Aged Children
As children start at primary school, they are also likely to start brushing their teeth themselves. Whilst you should still supervise your child whilst they are brushing, they can now start to be more independent in the brushing routine. Choose a brush that has a cushioned head that is designed to help protect tender gums. Bristles should now be more prominent, making it easier for them to clean hard-to-reach back teeth. Choosing a toothbrush that is colourful and fun, perhaps with one of their favourite movie characters, to help maintain their engagement in teeth brushing. Buying a toothpaste that they like will make the process easier too.
Toothbrushes For Teenagers
Teenagers can start to use a medium or hard bristled brush, still with a small head. Keep in mind, however, that brushing too hard can also cause dental issues. Teenagers with braces can choose to use an orthodontic brush, designed specifically to assist in cleaning around wires. Children with braces will likely have difficulty brushing in a circular motion because of the obstruction caused by their braces, so an electric toothbrush may help to clean those hard-to-reach areas more effectively.
When To Change Your Toothbrush
Your child will need a new toothbrush when the bristles look flat or worn down. Most experts recommend that toothbrushes be replaced every two to three months, but children’s brushes may need to be replaced more often. If your children brush their own teeth, keep an eye on the state of their brush regularly.
Choosing A Toothpaste
There are many toothpastes designed for specific purposes, such as gingivitis control, tartar control and whitening toothpastes. Most of these are made for adults, rather than children. When choosing a toothpaste for your child, make sure that it contains fluoride to strengthen teeth. Children under 6 should use toothpaste with a lower amount of fluoride in case they accidentally swallow a large amount.
For more information about choosing a toothbrush or toothpaste that is right for your child, speak to your dentist.