If you use an electric toothbrush, you may be tempted to buy one for every member of the family. Perhaps the adults use them, but now the children have asked for their own. There are many benefits to an electric toothbrush, but neither you nor your child need one to effectively remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
Both Consumer Reports and the American Dental Association state that manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective at removing plaque and bacteria from tooth enamel. Some studies have determined that people tend to brush their teeth for a longer period of time when using an electric toothbrush, but they are not inherently better than manual brushes. An electric toothbrush may be an advantage for children who are particularly averse to brushing their teeth, or who need extra incentive to brush for a full two minutes each time.
If your child acts like brushing his teeth is absolute torture, an electric brush may make the process more fun and may make it easier for him to do a good job. It may also be ideal for children or adults who lack the manual dexterity that’s needed for brushing by hand.
If you choose to buy your child an electric brush, let him or her help you select the model. With children, good oral health starts with empowerment; letting them have a say in the style of brush goes a long way toward building a sense of responsibility and ownership. You do not need to buy a model made exclusively for children, but the brush does need to be the proper size for a child.
If you buy an electric toothbrush for your child, make sure you:
- Buy child-sized brush heads
- Get a brush for each child in the family (they will all want to use it!)
- Change the brush every two months
- Teach your child to clean the toothbrush after use
- Keep it charged
- Throw away brush heads after periods of illness (such as strep throat and the flu)
Many electric toothbrushes today come with an automatic timer, so they shut off on their own when two minutes have elapsed. Some even beep every 30 seconds to remind you to switch to the next quadrant of the mouth (or whatever your brushing routine suggests). This can help your children be methodical about brushing properly, so they do it right every time.
As with all toothbrushes, even an electric one will not do all the work for you. Teach your kiddo how to hold it right and how to move it over the teeth with the proper amount of pressure to get the full benefit of the brushing motion. Teach them to hit every surface of each tooth, as well. This means brushing the front and the back, as well as the chewing surfaces of the molars.
Looking for more information on how to keep your children’s teeth healthy and strong? Manhasset children’s dentist Dr. Kimmy has the knowledge and experience to help your kids stay cavity free and healthy.
Kimmy works exclusively with children and teens, and knows how to make every child feel special and well cared for. Call our dental practice at 516-365-4-KID to make an appointment for your child.Leave a reply →