How to choose the right toothbrush for your child?

Are you using the right toothbrush for your child? Do you know the factors you should be looking for? Read more for some tips from a pediatric dentist.

Toothbrush – Not many people know the importance of this every day used instrument which has a huge effect on your oral hygiene. About half of the population, doesn’t take much care in selecting the right toothbrush. All they know is ‘I need a toothbrush to brush my teeth’ and doesn’t give importance to its quality.


Whether it is for an adult or a child, choosing the ideal toothbrush is more important to inhibit a good oral care.

Making toddlers brush their teeth is often problematic. Even if you do some tricks and get them to brush, choosing the right toothbrush is necessary to attain the perfect oral hygiene in your child.

Way to purchase a toothbrush- Best one or Right one?

Mommies always thrive for perfection in their children. Their quest in selecting a perfect item right from the diaper till the clothes and jewelry is really a challenging task. The advancement in technology, the eye catching items in the market, the heart piercing lovely advertisements make us drown in the ocean of confusion.

“Do I get this for my child?? Or Do I get that for my child??”

Finally everything will end in vain often compromising the quality.

I have seen mothers who are in active search for selecting the perfect tooth brush for their little ones. Now the query raises.

Do you want a costly, pretty, colorful tooth brush for your child?

Or

Do you want a clean, fresh, cavity free mouth for your child??

Simply quoting, do you want the best toothbrush or the right toothbrush?

Never choose a toothbrush relying on the cost, color and designs. Always consider the size, shape of the head, handle and firmness of the bristles.


Recommended : How to fix tooth brushing problems with your toddler?


Features of the right toothbrush

Are you using the right toothbrush for your child? Do you know the factors you should be looking for? Read more for some tips from a pediatric dentist.

Do you know what features a good quality toothbrush should have?

Shape of the handle

Image : Kids angular toothbrush

Image : Kids angular toothbrush

As per the laws of physics, if the cleaning ends of the bristles are in the line of long axis of handle of the toothbrush, there will be a better control on the movements during brushing. Specially more control will be there during rotatory movements of the brush. Therefore angular type of handle is better, in which the ends of the bristles are in the line of the long axis of the handle of the toothbrush.

Firmness of the bristles

The selection of type of the bristles depends on the texture of the gums.

  • The toddler gums are tender and bleed easily, so super soft bristles are recommended.
  • If the gums are normal and healthy then soft bristles should be used.
  • If the correct methods of brushing is used and gums are healthy then medium bristles should be used .
  • Hard and extra hard bristles are not recommended as they injure the gums.

Bristles and tufts

The cleaning efficiency of a brush depends on the direction of movement of the bristles and firmness of the bristles and tufts(clumps of toothbrush bristles are called tufts).

Image : Parts of a toothbrush

The firmness of the bristles depends upon three factors – material, diameter and length. The firmness of the tufts also depends upon number of bristles in a tufts.

Please check the below table for the range of dimensions of four sizes of toothbrushes. (Free Printable is available at the end of this post)

Are you using the right toothbrush for your child? Do you know the factors you should be looking for? Read more for some tips from a pediatric dentist.

Size of the toothbrush

Baby size: This is the smallest toothbrush. With this parents can clean the milk teeth of the babies and infants up to the age of 6 years.

Small size: This is smaller than the medium size. Children during their mixed dentition period from six to twelve years of age can use this toothbrush.

Medium size: This is little smaller than larger size. Boys and girls of twelve to eighteen years of age and females having smaller jaw can use this toothbrush.

Large or adult size: This is the largest tooth brush. Anyone above eighteen years of age can use this.

Finger toothbrush for infants

Image : Finger tooth brush for infants

Image : Finger tooth brush for infants

Infants have a specially designed finger toothbrush to take care of their milk teeth and very gentle gums.

When the front teeth erupts (6-9 months), you can use a finger tooth brush, which fits your index finder. You should gently do wet brushing(wash the brush in water, no need of a tooth paste).

Then when the back teeth erupt, you can use a small headed tooth brush with good grip(follow the guidelines mentioned above in selecting the right toothbrush). Continue wet brushing until the baby is 2 years.

When to change the toothbrush?

Permanently distorted or bent bristles of tooth brush do not clean the teeth properly and injure the gums. Therefore change the tooth brush as soon as the bristles show any deformation or for every 2-3 months whichever comes first. It is also important to change toothbrushes after you have cold or fever, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

Finally, spending hours in browsing different kinds of toothbrush,jumping from toothbrush to toothbrush looking for style, color, aesthetics will help you to get a toothbrush for your child. But none will get you the right one for the job. The right toothbrush you select for your child should have the handle, head and bristles that fits comfortably in the child’s mouth. It should conveniently reach all the teeth and clean all the teeth surfaces.

Dear Mommies, Always give the best for your little buddies! But the Best One should do the Right Job!

You can post your queries in the comments section. I will answer as early as possible.


Shop Kids Toothbrush


Free Printable

Print this chart detailing the Dimensions of the Right Tooth Brush for your future reference.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Are you using the right toothbrush for your child? Do you know the factors you should be looking for? Read more for some tips from a pediatric dentist.

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Are you using the right toothbrush for your child? Do you know the factors you should be looking for? Read more for some tips from a pediatric dentist.

 

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Image credits : Main image by nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


About Dr Uma Maheswari N, Pediatric Dentist

Dr Uma Maheswari N BDS., MDS., is an accomplished Pediatric Dentist and Professor in the department of Pedodontics and Preventive dentistry in J.K.K. Nataraja Dental College, Tamilnadu. Her interests are always centered around children. Her research areas include Management of dental anxiety in children and she conducts several health intervention programmes. She follows game based techniques to create dental health awareness in children.

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