April 29, 2021
Is your son or daughter getting to the age where they can brush their teeth pretty well on their own? If so, it might be time to consider upgrading their at-home dental products. One question in particular that a lot of parents have is, “Should I buy my child an electric toothbrush?” In short, yes, but you should be smart about it. Read on as a pediatric dentist in Birmingham tells you what you need to know when buying electric toothbrushes for kids.
At What Age Can a Child Use an Electric Toothbrush?
Kids can start using an electric toothbrush at age two – with supervision and without toothpaste – but many families don’t introduce electric brushes until at least age six. You can certainly do it earlier, but don’t force it – bad experiences with brushing could leave lasting negative impressions.
In most cases, you can tell your child is ready for an electric toothbrush when they ask for one, which may occur after they see a parent using one.
Things to Know Before Buying Your Child an Electric Toothbrush
Before purchasing an electric brush for your son or daughter, keep these things in mind:
- Kids might be scared at first – It’s not unusual for kids to feel frightened by the buzzing and vibrations that electric brushes make. Children also have more sensitive gag reflexes than adults do, which can make introducing a new brush uncomfortable.
- Set an example – Kids love copying their parents. If they see you acting excited to use an electric toothbrush, chances are higher they’ll want one for themselves.
- Notice the way your child breathes – Children who primarily breathe through their mouth, rather than their nose, they’re less likely to enjoy brushing their teeth. It can become hard to breathe and brush simultaneously, and they might gag as a result.
What to Look for When Buying Electric Toothbrushes for Kids
When you walk through the oral care aisle of your local grocery store or pharmacy, you’ll quickly notice that there are plenty of electric toothbrushes for kids on the market. However, not all of them are created equal.
Make sure to choose one with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. This means it has been tested for effectiveness and safety. Additionally, pick one with soft bristles and a brush head small enough to fit comfortably in your little one’s mouth. You could also look for extra features, like a timer or pressure sensor to ensure they’re cleaning their teeth correctly.
Switching to an electric toothbrush should be a positive experience in your child’s life. If you still have questions about choosing the right dental products for your son or daughter, reach out to your pediatric dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner is a Board-Certified pediatric dentist in Birmingham, AL. After graduating from dental school, she completed a specialized pediatric dental residency and achieved an advanced degree in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a mother of four herself, Dr. Rohner understands the importance of choosing the right dental hygiene products for children. To learn more about buying an electric toothbrush for your little one, visit her website or call 205-870-0892.
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