Does your child still make a big deal out of being asked to brush their teeth? You’ve done your best to explain to them how important it is, but they aren’t quite there yet on being motivated to do it without you urging them along. You may be considering upgrading their manual toothbrush to an electric one to get them excited about brushing, but are you unsure whether your child is ready? Read on to learn more from a pediatric dentist in Scottsdale about electric toothbrushes for kids and at what age you can make the switch.
When Is a Child Old Enough to Handle an Electric Toothbrush?
Getting children to stay on top of their oral hygiene routine can be a battle for some parents. Luckily, using an electric toothbrush can make preventing cavities a fun experience. Children often find them much easier and more comfortable to use. However, it’s recommended to wait until your child is at least 2-3 years old before introducing them to one.
It’s important not to force an electric toothbrush on children as it could leave a lasting negative impression. Most parents know their child is ready for one when they ask for it. And if the parents use one too, it can make brushing a fun family activity that entices children to practice good oral care!
What Is Important Regarding an Electric Toothbrush for Kids?
Buying a high-quality electric toothbrush is of utmost importance for children and adults. That’s primarily because lower-quality brushes can be abrasive and damage the enamel. Some factors to consider when shopping for an electric toothbrush for your child are:
- Head shape and size: Select an electric toothbrush with a child-sized head to ensure it effectively reaches all areas of the teeth. Children’s mouths are small and still developing, which is why choosing the right toothbrush is essential for a thorough cleaning.
- Plaque removal: The American Dental Association states that both manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective at removing plaque. However, electric toothbrushes can make it easier to reach tricky spots, meaning less plaque and healthier smiles.
- Power source: Compared to battery-powered ones, rechargeable electric toothbrushes tend to be of higher quality and much safer for kids to use.
- Bristle quality: Higher-quality toothbrushes have bristles that gently, yet effectively, clean teeth. Alternatively, lower-quality bristles are typically made of a cheaper material that can wear down enamel quickly. Investing in a good electric toothbrush is essential to prevent damage to your child’s teeth.
Why Go Electric Toothbrush Over Manual?
One of the main benefits of your child using an electric toothbrush is their newfound enthusiasm for brushing their teeth. Their excitement makes it easier to encourage them to follow their daily oral care routine. Plus, since the toothbrush uses small movements to dislodge food and remove plaque, it’s much more effective at keeping their teeth clean.
Electric toothbrushes for kids are a great solution to help them maintain good oral health habits from an early age. But remember – children often model their parents’ brushing habits. So, be vigilant about staying on top of your oral hygiene routine, and they will follow suit.
About the Author
Dr. Veronica Martinez earned her dental doctorate from Marquette University. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and maintains an Arizona state sedation license. A board-certified pediatric dentist, she will be happy to talk electric toothbrushes during your child’s next checkup and cleaning. Schedule an appointment on her website or call (480) 282-6746.