Choosing the right toothbrush for your child depends on a variety of factors, including age, ability, and dental health needs. Follow these simple guidelines to choose the right toothbrush for your child.
Whatever the age of your child, the toothbrush you pick should fit comfortably in the mouth, and be easy for your child to hold and manipulate. In general, it’s best to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles, with rounded or ‘polished’ ends, as these will be gentler on the gums and tooth enamel.
Aside from these factors, it can be a good idea to allow your child to choose a toothbrush that suits his or her tastes in terms of colour, pattern, and so on. This will help make brushing more fun, and encourage your child to do it more often.
Babies & Toddlers
For infants, many parents use a soft, damp cloth to clean the gums before the teeth erupt. However, you can also start using an ultra soft toothbrush on your baby’s gums before the teeth emerge. Choose a toothbrush for your baby in a bright colour with an extra small head that fits easily inside your baby’s mouth.
Toddler toothbrushes also come in bright, fun colours to encourage them to take an interest in their brushing and flossing routine. They also have small heads, and larger handles that are easier for toddles to grip.
Age 5 to 8
Kids this age can more or less brush their teeth on their own, with some supervision. Toothbrushes for this age range tend to look more like adult toothbrushes, but still tend to have smaller heads. The grip will be smaller than that of toddler brushes, though, as their dexterity will have advanced.
Many toothbrushes for children this age will be cartoon character-themed, so your child can pick a brush featuring his or her favourite animated character, whether it’s Olaf from Frozen or Spongebob Squarepants.
Children aged 8 and up can mostly be trusted to brush independently. Brushes for children this age will look more or less like adult brushes, though the heads will still be somewhat slimmer.
Electric toothbrushes are available for children of all age groups. Talk to your dentist before choosing an electric toothbrush for your child, though, to make sure it’s the right choice.