If you’re a first time parent, or it’s been awhile since you had to buy a toothbrush for a child, you might not be sure where to start. Some people mistakenly think that kids can use the same type of toothbrush as teens or adults. However, to ensure proper oral hygiene and comfort, it is essential for your child to be using an age-appropriate toothbrush and the pediatric dentists at Alligator Dental have some wisdom to share on the topic. As your Top Rated Local® dentist in the San Marcos and Seguin area, we partner with hundreds of families to provide a solid foundation for a lifetime of dental health! Contact us today to learn more about our office, staff, and children’s dentistry services! In the meantime, we’ve detailed a few important things to consider as you shop for the right toothbrush for your little one.
Bristles and Size
Because they have smaller mouths and developing gums, you should look for a toothbrush that will comfortably fit in your child’s mouth, allowing him or her to reach the far back teeth for thorough brushing. The head of the toothbrush should be short and narrow, and the bristles soft and flexible. Many children’s toothbrushes have bristles that are pre-formed to help you and your child get the most benefit from brushing sessions. For example, the bristles on the tip and outer edges may be longer than those in the center to ensure adequate contact with those tiny teeth. If you have questions about the proper sizing, many manufacturers have age and size guides on the label, or you can always call one of the friendly pediatric dentists at Alligator Dental!
Handle Size and Grip
Many adult toothbrushes come with long, slim handles to accommodate even the largest of hands. As they are still developing their grip, fine motor skills, and dexterity, children’s hands are smaller and require a wider, shorter handle in order for them to keep a firm grasp on the toothbrush as they learn proper brushing technique. If you can, try to find a toothbrush that also has some type of rubber grip on the handle to keep your child’s hand in place when water or toothpaste slides down the brush. Take your kiddo with you to pick out his or her new toothbrush to help them feel involved in the process, and he or she will be enthralled with the wide variety of characters and colors there is to choose from!
Children’s dental care is so important because it paves the path for a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene habits. Having the right toothbrush can make all the difference, and the American Dental Association (ADA) tests hundreds to thousands of toothbrushes each year. Surprisingly, not all of them are stamped with the ADA Seal of Approval. When undergoing this rigorous evaluation, toothbrushes are tested for usefulness, safety, and effectiveness. You’ll know if a kids toothbrush is ADA approved if you see a small white square on the packaging that reads “ADA Accepted.” While some parents might disagree with the importance of this approval for a child’s toothbrush, Alligator Dental highly recommends any brush with this qualification.
If you have questions about choosing the right toothbrush for your child, feel free to call and speak with a friendly member of our staff! We’d be more than happy to review this with you and schedule an appointment for your child’s first dental exam with one of our fun and friendly pediatric dentists at either our San Marcos or Seguin location. Contact us today!