Bristle Strength – When it comes to toothbrushes, you’ll want to be mindful of bristle strength. Hard bristles are not appropriate for tiny mouths and their soft, delicate gum tissue. Since children are novice tooth-brushers, they should always use toothbrushes with soft bristles.
Side Note for Parents’ Teeth – If you brush your own teeth too vigorously, you can damage your gums, root surface, and even the enamel that protects your teeth, so be sure to teach your child to brush gently, as well. You can protect your teeth even further by using toothbrushes whose bristles have rounded tips.
Toothbrush Size – And speaking of tiny mouths, be careful to select a toothbrush that’s not too large to comfortably fit inside your child’s mouth. If a toothbrush is too big, then your little one won’t be able to reach those often neglected back teeth. If you want your child to adopt good dental care habits, be sure it’s not an uncomfortable experience or they won’t want to brush. Remember that there are different shapes for toothbrushes, so a rounded head may be a better fit than a rectangular-shaped toothbrush.
Get a New Toothbrush – Children can be tough on just about everything, and their tendency to inflict excessive wear and tear on their toothbrushes is no different. Flared bristles are a sure sign that your child needs a new toothbrush. Depending on the child, this could mean replacing a toothbrush every one to three months. And be sure to replace your young one’s toothbrush after an illness.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste – Believe it or not, your primary consideration for choosing the right toothpaste is simply choosing a flavor that your child likes! Once again, you don’t want anything to inhibit your child’s desire to brush, so no “yucky” or “hot” toothpaste flavors!
Side Note About Fluoride – Even toothpaste that’s specifically made for children should not be swallowed, because the idea is to teach your children good habits. But it is perhaps inevitable that a child will swallow some toothpaste, so be sure to choose toothpaste that contains as little fluoride as possible. For instance, the low end of the spectrum is one-tenth of one percent, which is ideal for kids. Fluoride is good for teeth but not so good for the body if swallowed.
A Little Dab Will Do Ya – And remember to teach your child that only a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste is sufficient for cleaning teeth.
Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste will go a long way toward helping your little one enjoy happy and healthy pediatric oral care.