toothbrush for kids

How to Choose the Right Toothbrushes for Your Kids

Children’s teeth are more delicate than adult teeth, so selecting the right toothbrushes for your kids at different ages is essential in protecting their oral health. At Lifetime Family Dental, we want to help you and your children maintain bright, healthy teeth. Read on to learn at what age your child should start using a toothbrush and which type to choose.

What to Look for in a Kid’s Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Children need to start brushing twice a day as soon as their first tooth comes in. You’ll need to get them started when they’re babies, and teach them proper brushing habits as they grow. No matter how old your child is, however, there are a number of factors to look for in their toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Fluoride toothpaste is best for protecting children ages two and up from tooth decay. 
  • The toothbrush handle should be easy for your child to hold.
  • The brush head should fit comfortably in your kid’s mouth.
  • Soft bristles are gentler on your child’s gums.
  • Let your kid pick out a toothbrush that features their favorite character or color to make brushing more fun.

How to Choose the Right Toothbrushes for Kids of Different Ages

0-3 years old

Although your baby doesn’t require a toothbrush when they don’t have any teeth, it’s still important to take care of their gums. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe their gums after feeding. This will prevent tooth decay from occurring when their first teeth come in at around six months of age. 

Use a silicone finger-slip toothbrush or a toothbrush with a tiny head specifically designed for babies to brush your baby’s teeth twice a day. Babies don’t need much toothpaste, so only use about as much as a grain of rice until they are three years old. 

3-5 years old

Between the ages of three and five, toddlers become more independent and will likely want to start brushing themselves. Make sure your toddler uses a toothbrush with a large, easy-to-grip handle and a small brush head with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. 

Help your child to brush all of their teeth to properly prevent tooth decay—they may have trouble doing so on their own until they are a little older. Many kids at this age range also like to swallow toothpaste, but that means swallowing bacteria and fluoride. Supervising your child as they brush also gives you the opportunity to teach them to spit out toothpaste after brushing.

5-8 years old

As your child matures, they will get better at handling a toothbrush. The best toothbrush at this age range is one with a slimmer handle and larger brush head than the toddler size. Although kids are more independent between ages five and eight, they still require supervision when brushing to make sure they are brushing effectively. 

8-10 years old

At ages eight through ten, children can start managing their oral hygiene on their own. However, an adult toothbrush is still too large for them. Choose a toothbrush that has a slightly larger handle but a smaller head than an adult-sized toothbrush. You can also consider giving your child an age-appropriate electric toothbrush.

10 years old and up

Your child can most likely start to use an adult toothbrush when they turn 10 or when most of their adult teeth have grown in. However, it’s a good idea to consult your dentist about when it is time for your child to start using an adult toothbrush. Your child’s mouth could still be too small for a large toothbrush to properly remove bacteria and protect them from tooth decay.

Family Dentist in Gilbert

Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental visits are the three most important factors in a child’s oral hygiene routine. You can take the best care of your child’s oral health with help from Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona. We provide gentle cleanings and are happy to discuss which types of toothbrushes are best for your kids based on their ages. Call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/14/2021). Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels