Teaching your child to brush their teeth properly is an important part of teaching them good, healthy habits. Kids dental care can be confusing though, and a lot of questions come up from parents who aren’t sure how to go about it. What toothpaste does your child need? What toothbrush would work best for them? How often should they see the dentist? Here’s how to choose the right toothbrush for your child and how to get more information about the best oral care for your little one.
Toothbrushes for Babies
Contrary to popular belief, babies need their gums brushed to remove sugars from breast milk and formula. Even though your baby doesn’t have any teeth yet, keeping their gums clean is an important step in their overall care. Choose a soft bristled “gummy” brush made specifically for babies. These usually fit over your index finger and allow you to reach in your baby’s mouth and wipe their gums. You don’t have to do a lot — a quick swipe or two is sufficient. If you don’t have a special toothbrush made for babies, you can simply use a soft washcloth. When your baby cuts their first teeth, you can still use this method until they have several teeth and are interested in brushing their teeth. Toothpaste isn’t necessary at this age.
Toothbrushes for Toddlers
Toddlers who are becoming curious about oral care habits by watching you should get their own toothbrush. Typically, toddler toothbrushes are small and will fit easily into a child’s mouth. They usually have soft bristles and may have your child’s favorite cartoon characters on them, which may give your child more incentive to brush their teeth. Set up a routine with your toddler where you’re brushing twice a day — morning and night. At this age, fluoride-free toothpaste is recommended until your child learns to spit their toothpaste out instead of swallow it.
Toothbrushes for Children
Children between the ages of 4-11 can use a child size toothbrush. These toothbrushes are larger than toddler brushes, but still smaller than adult brushes. They may come in spinning or electric versions, but may still have cartoon characters on them to entice your children to brush their teeth. You may be able to choose between soft and medium bristles. You may introduce fluoride toothpaste during this time when you are confident that your child has gotten into the habit of spitting their toothpaste out when they are finished brushing.
Toothbrushes for Teens
Teens can typically use adult size toothbrushes. You may want to purchase a toothbrush with special features, such as flossing bristles or gum massage. Traditional toothpaste is perfectly fine at this age, and your child may even share yours — that is, when you can get them to brush. Ask your child what their preferences are — teens are at a stage where if they have the ability to choose what they want, they are more likely to brush often.
Learn more about dental care for babies, toddlers, children and teens by contacting FUNtastic Pediatric Dental. Call now to book your child’s appointment at (562) 912-2007.