We’ve all stood in the toothbrush aisle at the store weighing out the many options available to us. But how do we choose the best toothbrush for our children?
How often your child brushes their teeth, the thickness of the bristles and the type of toothpaste used may all affect removing plaque and bacteria and preventing tooth decay and cavities.
So how do you know if you’re choosing the right one?
Here are a few considerations recommended by the board certified pediatric dentists at Jenkins and LeBlanc.
Toothbrush bristles are commonly made of either nylon or nylon-polyester blend bristles.
While toothbrushes are available in many shapes, sizes, and textures, finding the best toothbrush starts with choosing the right type of bristles.
Soft Vs Hard Bristles
For young children especially, we recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for their developing teeth.
Soft bristles are best for applying gentle pressure to remove plaque and debris from your child’s teeth and gum line, whereas a toothbrush with hard bristles may be too rough on the gums.
Toothbrush Shapes & Sizes
Comfort is key! Choose a size of brush which coincides with your child’s age and growth development.
Most toothbrush packages will identify an appropriate age for usage. You not only want the toothbrush size and shape to fit comfortably in the mouth, but also want to ensure it is easy to hold and use for your child.
And have fun with it! Using a toothbrush with bright colors or favorite characters will help encourage your child to brush their teeth regularly.
Each child’s mouth will grow and develop differently, so be mindful of your child’s comfort as they brush their teeth. Explore different toothbrushes and adjust accordingly to accommodate their comfort needs.
Another option to consider is an electric toothbrush for your child.
Electric toothbrushes provide more movement and cover more of the tooth’s surface area. Its flexible head movement allows your child to reach areas that are harder to brush.
Many brands of electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer, so your child knows they’re finished brushing, which will help them develop their oral health routine in the long run.
Remember to replace toothbrushes or brush heads every three to four months or when the bristles are visibly matted or frayed. And don’t forget to floss, too!
Check for the ADA Seal of Acceptance
When deciding on the best toothbrush for your child, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
The seal assures that the product has been tested and evaluated for safety and efficiency by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
To earn the ADA seal, the manufacturer of the toothbrush must provide the ADA with the evidence that:
- All toothbrush components are safe for the use in the mouth.
- Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints.
- Handle material demonstrates durability under normal use.
- Bristles won’t fall out with normal use.
- The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.
Schedule an Appointment
Is it time for your child’s dentist appointment? At Jenkins and LeBlanc, we’re committed to helping your child develop a healthy smile.
Our board certified pediatric dentists and registered dental hygienists are proud to be a leading pediatric dental practice in the Kansas City Metro area with five convenient locations.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.