What is The Best Toothbrush for Children?
Starting with proper oral hygiene from an early age is essential for your kid’s dental health, yet it’s often followed by many challenges and obstacles. There will be days in your life when each attempt to get your child to brush or floss will appear doomed from the beginning, despite your best efforts. But if you help them pick the proper toothbrush, this will motivate them to be more consistent with their oral care day in day out. Below we list some of the most important things to consider when choosing the best toothbrush for kids to help them establish the optimal level of dental hygiene.
Electric vs. Manual
Even though the American Dental Association says there are no major differences between electric and manual toothbrushes – at least in terms of their effectiveness – an electric option has proven to be more suitable for some children due to their still underdeveloped manual dexterity. A child might be reluctant to use an electric toothbrush though, especially if they don’t feel comfortable with the sounds and sensations it creates. On the other hand, all children under 3 should exclusively use manual toothbrushes since their spitting reflex won’t be entirely developed until then. As always, pay close attention to your child’s needs, skills, and preferences to be able to help them pick the most suitable option.
One of the main differences between adult and child toothbrushes is regarding their respective sizes. While adult toothbrushes have bigger heads and grips, the ones designed for the younger population are made to fit smaller jaws and hands so that kids can brush as efficiently as possible. Going for small-headed models will ensure they can reach problematic areas in their mouth too, especially their molars. Although your child will be able to brush independently once they are 8, they will still require regular supervision from you until they can entirely do it on their own, and picking an age-appropriate size of a toothbrush could reduce your supervisory efforts to a minimum.
Regardless of the model or brand, you should always decide on a toothbrush with soft bristles, as per the official recommendation by ADA. A soft-bristled toothbrush will provide your little one with a pleasant brushing experience, minimizing the risks of gum irritation and enamel damage until they become well-versed with brushing.
Read the label carefully to be sure you’ve picked the healthiest option. Looking for BPA and phthalate-free models should be high on your priority list. There’s no denying that hi-tech products enhanced with attractive design will probably make your child more eager to brush, but you should choose a perfectly safe product for your kid and your environment as well. These days, manufacturers are coming up with eco-friendly and child-friendly toothbrush models that are often made from vegetable-based materials, and are 100% safe for your kid.
Compare various brands and their prices to make sure you receive the best value for your money. Keep in mind that you will have to replace both toothbrushes or replacement heads (in case they use electric ones) every three to four months or the moment you notice that bristles become fray. There’s no denying that manual toothbrushes are a more budget-friendly option but some children achieve better results with electric ones when it comes to plaque removal, which renders them a better long-term investment in your kid’s health. That said, try to figure out your child’s dexterity level to see which one would suit them better.
Nowadays, there are a plethora of toothbrushes featuring your kid’s favorite movie, cartoon, or comic book characters. If your little one is an avid fan of Frozen, allow them to pick a model with Elsa on it to better connect with their dental product and be more motivated to brush every morning and evening. Some electric toothbrushes even offer various app integrations containing songs and timers to ensure your child not only brushes for two minutes but also dedicates enough attention to all areas in their mouth.
Personalized Kids’ Toothbrushes
If you believe you can’t find what you’re looking for in the sea of available brands and models, perhaps it’s high time you opted for a personalized toothbrush. When it comes to personalization options, you can order a model that will have your kid’s name engraved on it, paired with a motivational or funny message that will serve as an additional brushing inspiration. Or, you can pick an ordinary white toothbrush and a child-safe paint. Then you can have your child draw on it, write their name on it, or attach stickers to its grip. Either way, it could be a fun way to additionally bond with your kiddo via joint activity and hopefully have them use something they made themselves.
What kind of toothbrush does your child use? Are you satisfied with the results? Does it keep them motivated to brush regularly? Share your experience below!