• drToothChampion

Which toothbrush to buy for your child?

Updated: Sep 19

This is a common question among parents. There is no hard and fast rule on which particular brand to use. A lot of it depends on what the child’s oral hygiene routine is like before an appropriate toothbrush can be recommended.

Toothbrushes for infants to young toddlers.

Go to a kiddy store and you might find all types of toothbrushes – small, big, electric, 360 degree bristle, long, short etc. When starting brushing for an infant and toddler around 6 months to 2 years of age, a small brush head is recommended. Nothing fancy needed. Brands like Pigeon, Oral B and Kodomo have toothbrushes which are suitable for small mouths. If your child loves brushing his/her teeth because of the design of the toothbrush, please go ahead and buy these toothbrushes. Children toothbrushes are usually soft so that it would not hurt the gums. But the downside is almost every toddler will bite and chew the toothbrush during brushing so you might have to change the brush often when it frays. A frayed or splayed toothbrush is no longer effective in removing plaque (that sticky germ-filled film on the teeth) so change it immediately.

Toothbrushes for different age groups.

Electric toothbrush or manual toothbrush?

Generally electric toothbrushes will be more suitable for those who are around 6 years old and above because of the relatively large size of the brush head. So far as scientific evidence has shown, there is not much difference between electric or manual toothbrush for children. As children below 8 years of age have poor manual dexterity (or lack of fine motor skills), parents or an adult must brush the child’s teeth. The few occasions that I may recommend an electric toothbrush for a child is when:

1. The child loves brushing because of the fancy lights, music and vibration that usually comes with kids electric toothbrush

2. The child has sensory issues, so the vibration of the brush may help the child familiarize better with dental examination and cleaning in the dental office

3. The child has physical disability and hence has difficulty maneuvering the toothbrush around the mouth.

And if you want to choose an electric toothbrush, go for one where the brush head rotates (eg Oral-B 3+ or Oral-B Junior) because it removes plaque more effectively than other types.

The key things to remember are:

  • Choose a toothbrush with a small brush head which can reach all the way to the back of the mouth.

  • Change the toothbrush if the bristles are splayed or frayed.

  • Help (adult assistance and supervision) to brush your child's teeth daily until he/she is about 8 years old (presumably by this age, the child's motor skills are good enough).

  • Electric or manual toothbrushes will only work well if you help your child brush his/her teeth.

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