The Right Toothbrush: 3 Tips for Buying the Right One

Choosing a toothbrush is somewhat like deciding on a new cereal for your family. Too many options, and very little information on the package that aids in helping you make an informed decision. We’re here to help with the top three concerns you need to address when choosing a toothbrush for your kids. And, as you might imagine, not one of them deals with the cartoon character on the handle, the color, sparkles, or the latest whiz-bang bristle and handle gadgetry.

  • Match the brush to the mouth: When it comes to toothbrushes, one size does not fit all. A small mouth requires a smaller brush, and a bigger mouth a larger brush. A good frame of reference is to pick one that allows the bristles to adequately reach around the backside of the furthest molar in the mouth on each side.  Likewise, when using a circular motion to brush the surfaces of the teeth, the brush should be able to clean the entire surface of the tooth while not missing any spots. Larger teeth may require a larger brush to make up for this factor. Toddlers would require a brush with a very small brush head, soft bristles, and a handle they can grip and hold onto with ease.
  • When in doubt, opt for a softer brush: It seems kids are always in a rush – especially teens. And rushing through an oral care routine usually means your child will end up brushing too fast, and therefore too hard. Since over-aggressive brushing can lead to sensitive teeth, dentists recommend using a “medium” or “soft” brush to dampen the side-effects of this bad habit. Adults should follow the same advice!
  • Powered or manual? Some kids love the whirl of a powered toothbrush, while others could care less, so you’ll have to cater to what they think is “cool” and, of course, effective. Preferences aside, children with braces will likely have difficulty brushing in a circular motion because of the obstruction caused by their orthodontic brackets, so for them, an electric-powered toothbrush may help clean those hard-to-reach areas more effectively.

Lastly, our best advice on buying a toothbrush isn’t even our advice. It comes directly from the American Dental Association … and, what’s their top tip? Buy a toothbrush your kids will actually use. Pretty simple.

A toothbrush that sits in its cradle because it’s too big, too plain, too soft, or too hard, does no one any good, so be sure to get your child’s feedback. You may have to experiment with a few different styles to land on the correct choice – and it’s never too late to change from one brush type to another – but with their input and your due diligence, you’ll no doubt land on a brush that they’ll use, and use correctly. Happy shopping!

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For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…

You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am

The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.

We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.

Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.

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