The toddler timeline of oral hygiene is certainly one that is fast-paced. Dentists recommend regular brushing as soon as your little one gets their first tooth, and flossing right when their teeth start to touch. Helping your toddler develop proper oral hygiene habits is half of the battle, and the other half is finding the perfect toothbrush to suit their needs.
You know your toddler’s needs and preferences best, but there are some universal suggestions to keep in mind when choosing their next toothbrush.
Here are some tips to help you choose:
1) Make sure that the toothbrush bristles are soft and round
Purchasing a toothbrush with soft bristles is essential in the protection of your child’s tooth enamel, gums, and root surfaces. It isn’t uncommon for toddlers to brush too hard when they’re first learning how to successfully brush their teeth. Brushing too aggressively with hard or medium bristles can be too abrasive on anyone’s gums, especially when it comes to toddlers.
It is also important to buy a toothbrush that has what are called, “end-rounded” bristles. End-rounded bristles are smoothed out during the manufacturing process in order to provide a more gentle brushing experience. These end-rounded bristles will provide more of a light impact, even when your toddler brushes too aggressively.
2) Look for an easy-to-grip handle
Toddlers are typically at a stage where they are just developing their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are used during the brushing process because of the need to pick up the toothbrush and maintain a grip during brushing. There are many toddler-friendly toothbrush varieties that come with widened handles with easy grip material. When looking over any toothbrush review, be on the lookout for mentions of how easy the product is to grip.
3) Be sure it’s the right size for your toddler
It is of course no surprise that toothbrushes are not one size fits all due to every toddler’s mouth varying in size. If you’re unsure as to which size to choose, it may be wise to just default to a smaller toothbrush brand. Most toothbrushes that are specifically designed for toddlers are flexible in nature, allowing them to reach their two-year molars with their small and flexible designs.
4) Pick a design that makes brushing fun
Oral companies generally offer both toothbrushes and toothpastes in a wide range of themes to accommodate almost any child’s interests.
By purchasing a toothbrush that has your child’s favourite character on it, you may find that they will be really keen to brush their teeth.
5) The big question: Manual or an electric toothbrush
Many parents find themselves wondering if a manual or electric toothbrush would be more beneficial to their toddler’s oral health. Both manual and electric toothbrushes can provide the same level of cleanliness, but they do differ in some areas. Electric toothbrushes can create even more enthusiasm in your child when it comes to brushing their teeth by playing music while they brush. Some are even made to play music for the recommended amount of time needed to properly brush. Electric toothbrushes do, however, require more time due to the fact that they are meant to clean each individual tooth independently. Both types of toothbrushes can provide adequate levels of cleanliness, so it boils down to whatever you think will work best for your toddler.
Toddlers aren’t usually super enthused when it comes to being active participants with their oral health, but choosing the right toothbrush for them will indefinitely increase their motivation to do so.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential in keeping your child’s smile happy and healthy, and these tips are sure to make this task much more effective and toddler-friendly.
What works best for your child? Do you have any tips to share in the comments below?
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