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How to Choose a Toothbrush for Kids

choosing a toothbrush for kidsFrom day one parents are faced with many choices that involve the well-being of their kids. They read labels on food items, research what shoes are best for developing feet, and search high and low for the best preschool. However, one item that is often overlooked is how to choose a toothbrush for kids. We may be tempted to just grab the toothbrush with the moment’s most popular superhero or princess depicted on the handle, but there’s much more to picking the right toothbrush than the way it looks. Here’s what parents should know.

How to Choose A Toothbrush for Kids

  • The first thing to look for is the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This little label means that the toothbrush has passed the rigorous guidelines administered by the American Dental Association.
    Look for the ADA symbol when choosing a toothbrush

    Always look for this symbol first when choosing a toothbrush.

    According to the ADA website, with this seal you can be sure that:

  1. All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth
  2. Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints
  3. The handle material is manufacturer-tested to show durability under normal use
  4. The bristles won’t fall out with normal use
  5. The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque
  • Be sure the handle and the head is the right size for the kiddo to hold on to and fit in their mouth. Many manufacturers put age guidelines on the packages to help parents determine the right size. Keep your child’s size in mind – if they are built more like a 10 year old then an 8 year old – buy the 10 year old size toothbrush!
  • Make sure the bristles are soft. Medium to hard bristles can damage gums and the new tooth enamel, leading to bigger dental problems down the road.
  • Pick a toothbrush that your kids will use. Some kids love brushing with an electric toothbrush and some are terrified of the loud noise and vibrations, which can cause difficulties in the dental office in the future. The ADA doesn’t recommend one type over the other as long as both have the ADA Seal of Approval.

Let Your Children Help Choose

Parents know that developing good oral hygiene habits early can save their children a lot of trouble (and money) in the future, but getting them to brush regularly can be a bit of a challenge. This is why those superheroes and princesses can be great! They help make it fun for the kids and allow them to enjoy this twice-daily activity. Once you have narrowed the choices down to some ADA-approved options, let you kids pick out which colorfully-decorated toothbrush they want, and always be sure that you are there helping them when it’s time to brush. How do you choose a toothbrush for kids? Tell us.