Proper tooth brushing is an important part of your child’s daily oral hygiene routine. The right toothbrush can help your child form beneficial brushing habits and subsequently reduce the occurrences of tooth decay or other oral problems.
When selecting a toothbrush for your child, there are a few things every parent should consider:
• Make sure the toothbrush is a good size for your child’s mouth
• Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles
• Select a toothbrush with a strong handle that is easy to grasp and maneuver
• The head of the toothbrush should be round to keep your child from injuring their gums or cheeks
• Have your pediatric dentist recommend a toothbrush or select one with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval
When selecting a toothbrush for your child, make sure to choose a child-size toothbrush that will fit comfortably in your child’s mouth as well as reach all the tooth surfaces. There are a number of different toothbrushes available for specific age groups (4-24 months, 2-4 years, 5-7 years, and 8 years and older).
Younger children will need to have their teeth brushed for them until they are old enough to maneuver the toothbrush on their own and thoroughly clean their teeth. A good way to help prevent tooth decay and cavities is to clean children’s teeth after meals and sugary snacks. While brushing your children’s teeth, you can begin to instruct them on proper brushing techniques as well as teach them about the importance of good oral hygiene.
A good toothbrush for children should also have soft bristles and a rounded head. The soft bristles will help ensure the teeth are not brushed too aggressively. A toothbrush with a rounded head will also help keep gums and cheeks from getting injured.
If your children are old enough to brush on their own, make sure the handles on their toothbrushes are strong as well as easy to grip and maneuver. All of the surfaces of their teeth should be able to be reached with their toothbrush. Ask your pediatric dentist about the use of plaque disclosing tablets to help children learn to brush thoroughly.
A good way to get your kids interested in brushing their teeth is by letting them select the color and shape of their own toothbrush. There are many toothbrushes available on the market with popular cartoon and comic book characters, fun colors, shapes and designs. Allowing children to select their own toothbrush may help get them more involved in their own oral health and start good oral hygiene habits.
Your child’s oral health is an important part of their overall well-being and proper tooth brushing is a large part of a good oral hygiene routine. By teaching children the proper way to brush their teeth, and by using the proper toothbrush, you can greatly reduce the occurrences of tooth decay and cavities.
And as Dr. Cobb always says: good oral hygiene habits, combined with healthy food choices and bi-annual checkups, are the best way to prevent tooth decay.