Smart Shopping Guidelines When Buying Your Child’s Next Toothbrush
One of the most important tools in your child’s mouth-health arsenal is their toothbrush. Often overlooked and under considered, it is vital that you take the time to buy the right toothbrush for your child. Below are some tips to look for when buying your child’s toothbrush.
Bristles come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know that most dentists think that soft, rounded bristles make the best toothbrushes? This is because soft bristles effectively clean teeth without damaging sensitive gums. Hard rubber bristle liners (called burs) can cut your gums and do not provide any extra cleaning power. Additionally, the rounded shape is easy on sensitive teeth and gums while sharper-shaped tooth brushes can easily fray as well as harm sensitive gums. So, when you’re looking for a new toothbrush, look for soft, rounded bristles.
The toothbrush head should be sized to comfortably fit in your child’s mouth and small enough to clean all of the spots that are tough to reach. The toothbrush head should fit comfortably between their back molars and their cheek. When purchasing their toothbrush, take your child with you so that you can accurately size their new toothbrush. Try to choose a toothbrush that is specifically designed for kids, or your child’s age bracket.
There are straight handles, curved handles, angled handles and even handles that vibrate, but the most effective handle isn’t based upon shape, but comfort. When choosing your child’s new toothbrush, you need to make sure that the handle is large enough and comfortable enough for them to hold and brush for two minutes. If the handle is the wrong size, it may not be easy enough for them to grasp and effectively brush their teeth. Look for toothbrushes with a rubber grip so that it is easier for your child to grasp.
Selecting the Right Electric Toothbrush
Using kid-friendly electric or battery toothbrushes is a smart way to care for teeth and gums. Oscillating brushes, pressure sensors and timers help kids do a better job than if they were to use a manual brush. Plus, they make brushing lots more fun. And when kids enjoy something, they’re more likely to make it part of their everyday routine.
In addition to electric toothbrushes for adults, manufacturers offer a whole line of kids’ electric toothbrushes with special features designed for children of 3+ years old. While they have similar brush movements and timers to their adult counterparts, child toothbrushes are available in bright colors featuring their favorite animated characters to make brushing more fun.
When to Exchange It
Toothbrushes face a couple of different problems that can cut their lifespan short. First, general use wears down bristles and impedes their effectiveness over time. Worn down bristles begin to lose their shape and become obviously frayed. You should exchange your child’s toothbrush when the head begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, usually around three months of use.
When your child gets sick, it’s time to get a new toothbrush. Bacteria can buildup on the handle and bristles of their toothbrush and can extend their sickness or reignite it at a later date. If your child has a cold or the flu, immediately buy a new toothbrush once they are no longer sick.
Get Your Kids Involved
When your child is old enough, you should allow them to help pick out their toothbrushes. The more involved they are in the process, the more excited they will be about brushing their own teeth.
All of the above criteria applies to adult toothbrushes in addition to those used by children. If you are unsure of the exact toothbrush your child should use, then consult our office! We will be able to help you choose the best toothbrush for your child, and we can suggest a specific model most of the time.
Sources: KidsHealthyTeeth.com, OralB.com