The Right Toothbrush and When to Replace

Buying the right toothbrush for your child involves looking at the packaging for the correct age guidelines. The brush should fit in the mouth well, be comfortable to hold and be fun for them to use. Unless otherwise advised by your dentist, always choose a soft-bristled toothbrush. Our Kids Smiles team describes the brushing ability and proper toothbrushes for the pediatric age ranges below. The American Dental Association (ADA) also stamps toothbrush packaging that passes their tests with their Seal of Approval.

Babies and Toddlers

Toothbrushes for babies come in bright colors and have very small heads designed to fit inside your baby’s mouth.
By age two, your toddler will most likely want to participate in toothbrushing time. Toddler toothbrushes have small heads and large handles with soft grips for small hands to hold. Dr. Frank Sierra advises, “You should brush your child’s teeth, but let them practice brushing as well.”
Age 5 to 8

Children between the ages of five and eight are getting ready to be independent about their brushing and flossing. You will find that toothbrushes for kids this age have slimmer handles than toddler toothbrushes in order to fit their more dexterous grip and larger mouths. Children at this stage can brush their own teeth, but should be observed doing so. Many toothbrushes for children in this age range (and younger) are based on popular cartoon or movie characters.
Age 8 and up
Kids aged eight and up have toothbrushes that look similar to adult products, but still have slightly smaller heads and larger handles. Both powered and manual toothbrushes are appropriate for preadolescent children. Dr. Mark Dawoud adds, “It’s still a good idea to let your child pick out their own brush so that they feel a part of their dental health.”
Replacing Your Child’s Toothbrush
You should replace your child’s toothbrush every three or four months or even sooner if the bristles fray. Choosing a fun toothbrush design will also make brushing more fun and more effective.
If you have any further questions about children’s toothbrushes or best pediatric dental practices, contact anyone on the Kid Smiles team. Dr. Frank Sierra summarizes, “Whatever toothbrush design you choose, the most important thing is that you or your child uses the toothbrush at least 2-3 times a day. At least two minutes should be spent brushing for the best results.”











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