Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

Picking the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Many Colored Toothbrushes On Purple Background. How To Choose Toothbrush

Picking the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Many Colored Toothbrushes On Purple Background. How To Choose Toothbrush

Kids grow so fast and right before our eyes. One day you are bringing them in for their first dental exam and the next, they no longer need your help brushing or flossing. Unfortunately, we can’t slow down the passage of time for you, but our Grandville, MI, pediatric dentists can recommend how to go about choosing an appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste for your child.

Here are our toothbrush recommendations based on age, advice on electric vs. manual, and more.

Keep Your Child’s Age in Mind

For ease of use and safety, toothbrushes come in different sizes depending on the age of your child. There are specially designed toothbrushes made specifically for toddlers, preadolescents, and even babies. It’s important to give your child(ren) the tool that’s most comfortable for them and easy to use while they’re learning how to brush their teeth.

We recommend using the following style of brush for these age ranges:

  • 0-3: silicone finger slip toothbrush once teeth begin to erupt. After age 1, parents can use a toothbrush with a small head
  • 3-5: kid-sized toothbrush; typically, one with a larger handle
  • 6-9: kid-sized toothbrush: one with a slimmer handle than those for toddlers
  • 10+: adult sized toothbrush

Remember, our dentists are always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re not sure what to select for your child and want a little more information before you make that final purchase, give our Grandville pediatric dental office a call today and we can work something out!

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Walking through the aisle of dental products at the store can be a lot to take in. Seems like endless options, right? Stripping away brands, it all comes down to two major groups: electric toothbrushes or manual toothbrushes.

Is one better than the other? Not necessarily. While your less-than-dexterous young one may have an easier time clearing plaque with an electric toothbrush, manuals are just as effective.

When picking out a toothbrush of any kind, focus on whether:

  • It has a soft grip that is comfortable for your child to hold.
  • The brush has soft bristles that are gentle on teeth and gums.
  • The toothbrush suits your child’s individual needs.
  • Your child is excited about the toothbrush; don’t just focus on features.

Note: Keep in mind that when bristles become frayed and or the toothbrush is at least 3 months old, it’s time to buy a new one.

Fluoride Toothpaste for the Win

No matter which toothpaste you choose, it’s always best to go for the options that contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent unwanted cavities, strengthen tooth enamel, and reverse early tooth decay.

Learn More → 4 Advantages of Using Fluoride

Toothpastes of this nature come in all sorts of flavors and colors bound to make brushing fun. You can allow your child to pick out the one they would like but it is up to you to make sure they’re using the proper amount.

Children do not develop the ability to spit until about age 3. So, no more than a rice-sized amount of toothpaste should be used. Once they are between the ages of 3-6, they can transition to using a pea-sized amount. Young children need to be monitored closely while brushing. This ensures they do not swallow an excessive amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Encourage Thorough Brushing

We know, 2 minutes of brushing can feel like forever especially when you’re dealing with an impatient child. Many toothbrushes for children have a built-in timer that helps keep track of the time but even then, it can be a stretch.

Our pediatric dentists recommend always aiming for that increment of time. But, if not possible, help your child to brush as thoroughly as possible. Even if you have to guide their brush across all teeth and in all nooks and crannies, it’s better than nothing.

Bonus Flossing Tips → How Do I Get My Child to Floss?

Be sure to also encourage them to brush all the way back to their molars. This is important because baby molars do not fall out until children have reached age 12 and, along with the rest of their teeth, should be cared for along the way. Both electric and manual toothbrushes provide a great cleaning experience but it’s up to you to instill the habit of brushing early on.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Dental Cleaning

When you’re not home teaching your little one the best brushing technique, we’ve got you covered. Our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI, recommend bringing your child in for a dental cleaning every 6 months unless we advise otherwise. That way, their teeth can shine bright, and we can check for any arising issues. Request an appointment today by calling Grandville Pediatric Dentistry at (616) 531-3430.

This blog has been updated.

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