Choosing the Right Toothbrush for Your Child

Here at Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point WA, our staff fields numerous questions from patients. When it comes to children’s dental care, one of the most frequent inquiries we get is how to choose the best toothbrush for a child. Follow these suggestions and your child is sure to have a healthy mouth and a bright smile.


Even before your baby’s first tooth erupts, you can begin a gentle regimen of tooth brushing.   This keeps their mouth clean, and accustoms them to a daily healthy dental routine. Brushes for babies are bright in color, soft, and are small enough to fit into tiny mouths. Once your child turns two or three and enters the toddler stage, they can begin to participate in their own tooth brushing.  Preschoolers can start brushing their own teeth but are not yet ready to be responsible for thorough brushing.  They need supervision to ensure that no areas are missed.


Because a child’s mouth is smaller, it does not make sense to buy an adult toothbrush for them. For this reason we recommend buying a toothbrush specifically designed for a child.  We recommend a brush that is an inch long and half an inch wide for optimal performance. The brush’s surface should be large enough to enable complete cleaning of the tooth when brushing in a circular motion.  Be sure that the one you choose adequately reaches behind the molars that are located furthest back in your child’s mouth.  Children’s toothbrushes often have a fatter handle that makes gripping easier for kids, whose manual dexterity is not yet fully developed.  Many models have kid-friendly designs that feature cartoon characters and popular movies. It’s just one more way to motivate young people to brush thoroughly and regularly.


At Seven Lakes Dental we recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush as an adult, and the same is true for children.  Always choose the softest bristles. This is because hard and even medium bristles can damage delicate gum tissue and strip your child’s teeth of enamel.


Here at Seven Lakes Dental we recommend the Sonicare toothbrushes. Most other battery-powered toothbrushes do not perform that much better than their manual counterparts. However, they can be more fun for kids to use, thus increasing the brushing time that they put in during each session. Some models even beep to let them know when the recommended two minutes is up.  This can help get young people into better habits. A power model can also be helpful to adolescents with braces since it can be difficult to brush in a circular motion around their orthodontic brackets. The bottom line, however, is that good technique must be employed regardless of what type of toothbrush you use. Be sure to ask your dental professional to show you and your child the most effective way.

Walk down the dental health aisle of any pharmacy and you will be overwhelmed by the variety of toothbrushes that are available. If you’re still unsure of which one to get, look for one that is stamped with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. Also, feel free to contact our friendly staff at Seven Lakes Dental to set up an appointment. We would be happy to help you choose the best toothbrush for your child’s optimal dental health.