The right toothbrush makes a difference.

Once your child’s teeth start to come in, it’s always amazing to see how quickly those teeth start popping through. As they grow, their dental needs change, both in the autonomy level your child can take with their brushing, and in the dental tools they need.

No two mouths are the same, and each mouth will require a different type of toothbrush. Children, for example, require a toothbrush with a smaller head than an adult toothbrush.

If you ever need tips on your child’s oral health routine and dental care, you can always seek the guidance of the dental team at We Make Kids Smile in Prince Frederick, Maryland. Our practice focuses on pediatric dentistry, maning we specialize in little smiles.

Types of Toothbrushes

As mentioned above, there are different types of toothbrushes for different ages. They include:

  • Infant toothbrushes for those up to age two
  • Toddler toothbrushes for ages two to four
  • Child toothbrushes for ages five to seven
  • Preteen toothbrushes for those eight and up
  • Adult toothbrushes for those who have all their adult teeth

The main difference between these toothbrushes is the size of the toothbrush’s head. Smaller toothbrush heads are made to be easily maneuverable in a child’s mouth, allowing for all surfaces of the teeth to be cleaned thoroughly. Infant and toddler toothbrushes also have softer bristles on them that help to massage a smaller child’s gums to clean them properly.

Once your child begins brushing their teeth on their own, pay attention to the type of handle on the toothbrush you choose. Making sure your child has a comfortable hold on their toothbrush handle will help them with the way they brush their teeth.

When to Replace a Toothbrush

Knowing when to retire or replace a toothbrush is an important step to a proper dental hygiene routine. The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends replacing toothbrushes every three months. This is because, during this time, the bristles on the toothbrush can start to break down. Bristles that are frayed or broken down are not as effective at toothbrushing. Flared-out bristles on a worn-out toothbrush are not effective because they don’t brush all surfaces of the teeth. You may need to replace your toothbrush sooner than three months if you brush aggressively, which can break down the bristles sooner.

If your toothbrush starts to smell bad, you should change it out. A foul odor could mean that there is a buildup of mold and bacteria in the bristles. Another time you should toss out your toothbrush is after you have been sick. Bacteria and viruses can live on the toothbrush, so using a toothbrush after you have been sick can reinfect you.

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

Many people may be wondering if a manual or electric toothbrush is better to have your child brush their teeth with.

The downside to an electric toothbrush can be the cost. An electric toothbrush costs much more than a manual toothbrush, and replacing the toothbrush heads every few months can get expensive. However, an electric toothbrush, when used correctly, can clean better than a manual toothbrush, if only slightly. Many people like the fact that electric toothbrushes have timers on them, which help little mouths brush for the proper amount of time, each time. Some electric toothbrushes can even alert users every 30 seconds to change quadrants in the mouth, which helps to ensure the entire mouth is being brushed for the proper amount of time.

Manual toothbrushes, however, are much easier to find. If you need a new toothbrush in a pinch, you can usually find one at the local convenience store, as well as the pharmacy or grocery store. Finding the correct toothbrush replacement head for your electric toothbrush might require planning, as it may need to be ordered online.

Whatever type of toothbrush you choose for your child, it is important to make sure they are using it correctly. The proper toothbrushing technique involves brushing at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time. While brushing, use small, circular motions, making sure to cover all surfaces of the tooth, including the backs and sides.

Visit We Make Kids Smile For Brushing Advice

When it feels like your child is growing up too fast, staying on top of the stages in their oral health can feel overwhelming. If you have any questions about your child brushing their teeth or are looking for tips on their dental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to the We Make Kids Smile team. Our offices are conveniently located in Prince Frederick and Waldorf, Maryland. If your child hasn’t seen us in the last six months, reach out today to schedule an appointment!

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