Learning to brush their own teeth is one of the most exciting milestones that your child could go through. It signals yet another rite of passage which takes them a step closer to becoming a ‘grown-up’. What about some tips for brushing toddler teeth?
Having the right toothbrush makes the experience seamless and enjoyable, and enables them to develop healthy dental hygiene from an early age. Unfortunately, purchasing a kid’s toothbrush is not as simple as it once was.
As a parent, you have a HUGE assortment of options to choose from. You have to take into account your child’s specific age, as well as their design preferences; Frozen or Spiderman?
While you may have to ask your child what their preference is when it comes to the latter, here is a list of tips when purchasing a toothbrush for your child.
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Tips for Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth & Choose the Correct Toothbrush
There is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing your kids toothbrush, but having the right size toothbrush will make it a comfortable experience for your child to brush their teeth.
Not only will it be easier for them to handle, but a correctly sized toothbrush will effortlessly get into teeth crevices and gums to thoroughly clean without causing harm.
Most manufacturers actually write the age for which the toothbrush is suited on the packaging. For example, it could be written as 6-12 months or 2-3 years etc., and will be designed to suit the dental needs of that age gap.
So be sure to look out for the age sign when shopping for your child’s toothbrush.
If it doesn’t have one, use the rule of thumb which is that a child’s toothbrush should at least be an inch long and ½ an inch wide.
Children have very sensitive gums and their teeth enamel is not hardened like an adult’s yet. Which is why their toothbrush needs to have soft bristles, as hard bristles can feel painful and even lead to bleeding.
Even medium bristled brushes can be harmful for a child, so always opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to ensure that your little one enjoys brushing their teeth pain-free.
You’ll notice when shopping for your kid’s toothbrush, that most of them feature a large rounded handle. This makes it easier for your child to maintain a strong grip on the brush while moving the bristles back and forth.
A thinner handle might work, but it’ll make it harder for them to get an accurate grip of the brush. And their tiny hands aren’t skillful enough to manoeuvre a skinny handle while focusing on brushing at the right time.
To ensure that they brush in all the right areas without straining their arms, purchase a brush with a wide handle to ensure an effortlessly steady grip.
Manual vs Electric:
Using an electrically powered toothbrush can give your child the upper hand to help them brush thoroughly, especially in the beginning. That said, there is very little difference between a manual and electric toothbrush.
While some children prefer it, others can get spooked by the vibrating sound it makes.
So keep that in mind and perhaps start simple with a manual toothbrush and then upgrade as the child gets older.
Is it ADA Approved?
Regardless of the type of toothbrush you choose, make sure that it comes with a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. When you see the ‘ADA Approved’ sign on a toothbrush, it means that the brush has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it meets the highest safety and quality standards as set by the ADA.
It gives you peace of mind knowing that your child is using an implement that is useful, effective and safe for use by someone of their specific age group.
Even if you’re purchasing a toothbrush according to the recommendations of a paediatric dentist, check for the ADA seal of approval for your own peace of mind.
Well, there you have it! The best tips for brushing toddler teeth. Plus quick and easy tips on what you should consider when shopping around for your little one’s new toothbrush.
It’s not rocket science, but you do have to be careful and mindful about it. Because it might just set the tone for your child’s relationship with dental hygiene and affect their experience of it for the rest of their lives.
On a lighter note, don’t forget to ask your child which cartoon character they want on it. Just so they can look forward to using it even more.