Is an Electric Toothbrush for Kids Right for my Child?

Should My Child Use an Electric Toothbrush?

Anything that boosts your child's interest in oral care can be helpful in preventing plaque and cavities. An electric toothbrush for kids may be the answer for a child aged 8 years and older who doesn’t like to brush.

For example fun perks like brushing along with your child or teaching them how to use the Colgate® ProClinical® 250R Deep Clean Electric Toothbrush, also encourages proper oral care. With its slim, sleek design and two distinct sonic cleaning motions - up-down and side-to-side, this toothbrush supports healthier teeth and gums.

However, if your child is between the ages of 3 and 8 there are a range of battery-powered toothbrushes that come in a variety of character-themed styles, such as the Colgate® Barbie Battery-Powered Toothbrush, which can entice your child to practice good oral health care.

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush

As with a standard toothbrush, it is important to select the right size and style for your child. Be sure to select an electric toothbrush with a child-sized head so that it fits properly in your child's mouth and can reach all the way to the back teeth comfortably.

Another important contributor to successful brushing is letting your child select the toothbrush. For children who are reluctant brushers, picking their own toothbrush will empower them in the process. You may even want to keep more than one toothbrush available at home so that they can decide between them each brushing session.

Proper Technique Is Key

Remember that an electric toothbrush cannot do all the work on its own. You will still need to help your child practice proper brushing technique to prevent cavities. Show your child how to reach all of the tooth surfaces right up to the gumline. Even with the movement of the electric toothbrush, your child will still need to move the brush slowly from tooth to tooth holding the bristles gently against the tooth surface. 

Proper maintenance of a manual and an electric toothbrush is identical except for the need to charge the latter. Rinse your child's brush well after each use, and store it upright. Replace the brush head every three months and after a cold, flu or other infection you may be best to throw the brush head out. Be especially careful if brushes are stored with those of the family as microbes can be transferred between brush heads. A child's toothbrush often needs to be replaced more frequently than an adult's brush, especially if your child has a tendency to chew on the brush.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush

With so many shapes, sizes and styles of toothbrushes on the market, deciding which kind to buy can be confusing.

Here's what you should look for:

Soft-bristles – most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth and along the gum line.

Comfort is key – pick whatever shape and size is most comfortable for you. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily.

Powered toothbrushes versus regular brushes – powered toothbrushes are fun and may remove more plaque than regular toothbrushes. Regular toothbrushes work fine, but powered toothbrushes make brushing easier.

Tips for Choosing Toothpaste
Here are some tips to make your choice easier:

  • Children’s toothpaste – when buying toothpaste for your child, look for one that contains fluoride and has an appealing taste.

  • Adult toothpaste – when deciding which toothpaste to buy for yourself, or another adult, look at the benefits. For example, if you are looking to whiten teeth, whitening toothpaste could be a great option, or of you have sensitivity teeth, then toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth is a good idea.

Choosing Mouthwashes and Mouth Rinses

Mouthwash and fluoride mouth rinse are two different products. Here are some of the differences:

  • Antibacterial mouthwashes – these mouthwashes are more effective in controlling plaque than fluoride rinses, and also freshen breath.

  • Fluoride rinses – these rinses coat the teeth with fluoride to strengthen teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities. They also freshen breath.

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