August 22, 2022
Do you ever find it confusing trying to decide what kind of toothbrush to buy for your children? Did you know that there are specific toothbrushes for children at various ages?
Some parents are unsure about what to do for their infants who don't have teeth yet. As a mother I felt the same way; I didn't know if it was necessary to clean my infant's mouth when she didn't have teeth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the sooner you start cleaning your baby's teeth (or gums) the better. You can start as early as birth. Cleaning your infant's gums is going to be beneficial when their baby teeth start to erupt. What should you use to clean your infant's gums? It’s recommended that you use a soft infant toothbrush with water, or you can take a damp cloth and gently rub their gums with the cloth. When choosing a toothbrush make sure it has a small head, so it fits inside your infant's mouth. Some may think it is silly to brush your babies gums, but whether your infant is breastfed or formula fed, sugars for either can sit in your baby's mouth, so it’s important to keep their gums clean, as it gets your infant used to having a brush in their mouth. As your baby's teeth begin to erupt, a soft bristle toothbrush and small smear of toothpaste is recommended.
As you children get older they will need a toothbrush that is a little bigger. If you are unsure about the size, ask your pediatric dentist. Look at the cases the toothbrushes are in because they often have an age range. When your child turns two, they may be ready to participate in brushing their teeth. My daughter just turned two and having her help brush her teeth is the only way to make it less of a struggle. If brushing your two year old's teeth is still a struggle, you can try using an electric toothbrush made for their age as this may make brushing their teeth more exciting. Once your child reaches the age of five, they may be more capable of brushing their own teeth, however they will still require some supervision. At this age their toothbrush will be fairly similar to your toddlers toothbrush, but the main difference will be a slimmer handle. This will make it easier for your child to grip, and as they get older less supervision will be required as they better learn to navigate with the toothbrush. Children eight years of age and older most likely will have some of their adult teeth, and should use an adult size soft bristle toothbrush. If your child still struggles with using a manual toothbrush the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a powered toothbrush as it can make brushing their teeth easier.
As important as finding the correct toothbrush for your child is, it is equally important to make sure their teeth are getting brushed twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. If you have any other questions or concerns about finding the right toothbrush, ask your pediatric dentist who will be more than happy to help you find the right one. Or you can visit the links below for more information.
~Jenna, the anonymous blogger