Often overlooked and under considered, it is vital that you take the time to buy the right toothbrush for your child. By selecting the proper toothbrush, you can help your child obtain a healthier smile with ease and comfort. Below are some smart shopping guidelines to consider when buying your child’s next toothbrush.
The toothbrush head should be sized to comfortably fit in your child’s mouth, between their back molars and their cheek and small enough to clean all of the spots that are tough to reach. 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.
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 gums and do not provide any extra cleaning power.
When you’re buying your child’s next toothbrush look for soft, rounded bristles and be sure that it doesn’t have any rubber burs.
Aim for Comfort
It’s important to buy them a toothbrush that they are comfortable using. Monitor their mouths for any minor bleeding, and ask them about how it felt to use their new toothbrush for the first time. To establish the healthiest oral care routine, be sure that they are brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. Try to only buy toothbrushes and toothpaste that have the ADA seal of approval, so that they receive the best product possible for their oral health.
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 frayed, making it difficult to clean under the gumline and in deep crevices. You should exchange your child’s toothbrush when the head begins to lose its shape and/or 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, sore throat or the flu, immediately buy a new toothbrush once they are no longer sick.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a new toothbrush for your child every three months.
Visit a Pediatric Dentist Near You
A pediatric dentist will be able to help you choose the best toothbrush for your child, and can suggest a specific model most of the time. Pediatric dentists will also work with you to help your child establish a healthy brushing routine, and teach them about the lifelong benefits of a healthy mouth.
You can find a pediatric dentist in your neighborhood by using our pediatric dentist locator tool.