Establishing good oral hygiene practices while your children are very young is an important step to setting them up for optimal oral health. Tooth decay is a serious issue for young children – approximately 20% of kids have at least one cavity before kindergarten. Therefore, it’s never too early to start thinking about the right toothbrush for your child.
Children’s teeth have slightly different properties than adult teeth, and kids often have more sensitive gums. Therefore, it’s important to choose a toothbrush that is specifically made for children.
What Properties Should I Look for in a Children’s Toothbrush?
Regardless of your children’s age, they should be using a toothbrush that fits comfortably in their mouth and is easy to hold. In addition, you should choose a toothbrush that has the following properties:
- Small head – This will make it easier to reach every area of the mouth and clean all surfaces of each tooth.
- Big handle – Children often struggle to grip smaller handles, so a large handle will make it easier for them to hold and manipulate the toothbrush.
- Good grip – This will minimize the likelihood that your child will drop the toothbrush.
- Soft, round-ended bristles – This will reduce the likelihood that their gums will be irritated while brushing, and your kids are much more likely to brush regularly if it is a comfortable experience.
- Bright design – This will make the brushing process more fun for your kids.
The Right Toothbrush for Your Kids Depend on Their Age
Your children’s teeth will change as they get older. Therefore, the right type of toothbrush for your kids will change as they get older. Always make sure you are choosing an appropriate option for your child’s current age and level of development.
As your children grow, their teeth will become stronger and their gums will become less sensitive. Their ability to hold and use a toothbrush will also improve over time as their hands grow and they gain more experience with the brushing process. These factors will all impact the right toothbrush for your child at a particular age.
Best Toothbrushes for Babies and Toddlers
There are several good toothbrush options available for babies and toddlers. You may want to consider using a silicone baby toothbrush that fits over your finger. These are very effective at cleaning a baby’s gums and it may be less scary than a larger toothbrush.
You can also choose to use a regular toothbrush with your baby or toddler. Some of the best options for children ages 0-2 include:
- Baby Banana toothbrush – This toothbrush is easy to hold and provides a comfortable experience while babies and toddlers are teething.
- Baby Buddy toothbrush – This toothbrush is also excellent for teething babies, and it soothes sore gums as early baby teeth emerge.
- Oral-B Pro-Health Stage 1 baby toothbrush – This toothbrush can be used to clean gums before any teeth emerge, and it is also effective at cleaning baby teeth as they start to come in.
Best Toothbrush for Children Ages 3-7
At this age, your kids will be able to grip a toothbrush better, and they will start to be able to brush independently. They will be able to use toothbrushes with slimmer handles than toddler toothbrushes due to their larger hands and increased dexterity. While they may become able to clean their teeth on their own at this age, you should still supervise your young children while they brush.
Some of the best toothbrush options for children ages 3-7 include:
- Oral-B kids’ toothbrushes – These are popular among young children because they come in an assortment of Disney and cartoon characters. These toothbrushes come in different “stages,” and you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one for your child’s age (0-2, 3-5, or 6+).
- Totz Plus toothbrushes – These are made for children age three and older, and the grip is ideally suited for kids with small hands.
- Colgate kids’ toothbrushes – These have soft bristles which won’t irritate your children’s teeth and gums, and they come in a variety of cartoon characters which make brushing fun for kids.
Best Toothbrush for Children Ages 8 and Older
By this age, your children should be able to brush on their own. They will still benefit from a smaller toothbrush than an adult would use, so you should look for an option with a smaller head and soft bristles that is specifically designed for this age group.
One of the highest rated toothbrushes for older children is the Oral-B Pro-Health Control Grip toothbrush. It’s an ideal option to use before transitioning to an adult toothbrush, which can occur around age 10 or 11.
Contact our East Houston Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Khavari has made children’s dentistry a primary focus of her practice, and she is committed to educating parents about the best oral hygiene practices for young kids. During your child’s dental appointment, she’ll answer any questions you have about the best toothbrushes for kids, and she’ll provide some useful tips to help make the brushing process more fun for them.
Please contact Love Brushing Dentistry using the form on this page or call 713-490-2088 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Channelview, Baytown, Pasadena and throughout East Houston.