Dr. Rubin and Dr. Sentelle take a few minutes to answer a question parents frequently ask:
"What's the best toothbrush for kids?"
This is a great question! So let's talk about toothbrushes…
Electric toothbrushes do the best job, however there’s nothing wrong with a manual toothbrush!
Electric toothbrushes, like Sonicare or Oral B, do a great job brushing teeth! However, if your little ones are under 4-5 years old, they may not be ready for that intensity. While the smaller, kid-sized electric toothbrushes are great options to start with, sometimes kids don’t like the stimulation or vibration of an electric toothbrush. If your child doesn’t, that’s ok, an electric toothbrush may not work for them. If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with a manual toothbrush.
Whether you’re getting an electric or manual toothbrush, look for one that has a small, kid-sized head. The size and shape of the toothbrush should fit in your child’s mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Make sure you get the ‘soft’ bristles so they won’t hurt the gums. Never get ‘medium’ or ‘hard’ bristles because that can cause more damage than good … that includes moms and dads too, not just kids!
Replace the toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Worn toothbrushes won’t clean teeth properly!
Taking care of your child's smile
When that first baby tooth comes into place, it’s time to start caring for them! Get a small soft-bristled toothbrush designed for kids and fluoride toothpaste (any flavor will do). For children under 3 years old, smear a small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) on the toothbrush. For children 3-6 years of age, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride-toothpaste on the toothbrush. Brush your child’s teeth gently twice a day (morning and night). When your child is 6 or 7 years old, permanent teeth should start coming in and will continue to erupt throughout the teenage years. Have them brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and floss between their teeth. The American Dental Association has some helpful tips on proper brushing techniques. Download these tooth brushing tips and post a copy on your child’s bathroom mirror as a visual reminder.
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Supervise children while they brush. A good rule of thumb, if they can’t tie their shoes, they shouldn’t brush their teeth alone.
Shopping for Toothbrushes
When shopping for toothbrushes, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the package. This Seal is given to products that have met the ADA’s guidelines for safety and effectiveness. Kid-friendly toothbrushes on the ADA Kids Shopping List include:
- Colgate Classic (Pokey) Toothbrush
- RADIUS Kidz Toothbrush
- Radius Pure Baby, Totz, Totz Plus Toothbrushes
- Quip Kid’s Electric Toothbrush
Got more questions? We're here to help!
Frisco Kid’s Dentistry, along with the American Dental Association, recommends bringing your child in for their first dental visit no later than their first birthday. Why so early? This initial evaluation gives Drs. Rubin and Sentelle a chance to check for early tooth decay and discuss other habits, such as thumb sucking, that may affect the teeth as your child grows and develops. It’s also the perfect time to learn how to clean your child’s teeth properly. We believe a key ingredient in children maintaining good health is parental involvement! Our goal is to educate both parents and patients to create life-long, positive dental habits. Call (214) 618-5200 during our office hours and our team will be happy to answer questions, schedule an office tour, or book an appointment.