4 features to look for in your child’s toothbrush.
While you should be supervising brushing at this age, it can be fun for kids to try it out for themselves! Letting them take a crack at cleaning will help to connect them to the process and make brushing more fun. For that reason, you want the grip to be child-friendly.
As you are well aware from the constant dropping of everything from his spoon to anything within reach on your coffee table, your small child’s dexterity and motor control are still very much under development. A good toddler toothbrush should have a thicker handle than an adult toothbrush, in a rubbery, grip-friendly material that will help your child to control the toothbrush. As a bonus, the thicker handle will make it easier for you to wield as well.
Size and shape
Little mouth means little toothbrush! Be sure to choose a brush with a small head that won’t be uncomfortable inside your toddler’s mouth. Adult toothbrushes often feature a rectangular head because this shape covers more surface area, but this benefit for adults is exactly why a round shape will be more comfortable and easier to manoeuvre inside your child’s small mouth.
The size and shape should allow you to brush your little one’s teeth without hitting the surrounding gums, cheeks, and teeth as you do so.
If you take a look at your toothbrush, you’ll likely find that it has between 11 and 12 rows and 3 and 4 columns of bristles. Since your child has fewer teeth and much smaller surfaces to clean, extra bristles just get in the way. Look for something without about half as many bristles to start, and gradually increase the amount as your child grows.
Be sure to choose a toothbrush with very soft bristles that will be gentle on teeth and gums, and replace the toothbrush when bristles become worn or frayed.
Every kid has a favourite colour, a favourite TV or movie character, a favourite animal… children’s toothbrushes are made with these favourites in mind! Make picking out a toothbrush a fun event and choose something your child loves and will be excited to use. If they love their toothbrush, they’ll love brushing their teeth.
Many options for kids also come with great features that can be fun AND helpful. For example, some kids’ toothbrushes come equipped with a flashing light that tells them how long to brush, or a song that changes when it’s time to switch to another quadrant. There are even apps for your smartphone or tablet that are designed to help kids brush better and longer! If you’re struggling with your child when it comes time to clean his teeth, a fun toothbrush or app can make a big difference.
Let us help!
If you have any questions about your child’s toothbrush or are looking for recommendations, just ask us! Your dentist will be happy to talk through the pros and cons of different options. And be sure to book your child’s first check-up with us as soon as teeth start to come in. For more on your child’s dental care and development, read our Parents’ Guide to Children’s Dental Health.