Your little one isn’t so little anymore!
They’re testing boundaries more often. They want to do things for themselves. At 4-5 your child will be able to handle their very own toothbrush without any extra help – but for now, they still need your help picking one out and learning to use it.
With your help, this is a chance for your child to take on some new responsibility, all while learning the proper and healthy ways to take care of their teeth. When heading out to buy your child’s first toothbrush, there are many options. It’s important to take your time and find the one that’s right for them. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The Old-Fashioned Approach Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Look for brushes with slimmer handles that will fit better in your child’s hands. The head of the brush can be smaller. Their jaw has probably grown with all their new teeth. It’s better to avoid toothbrushes with hard or even medium bristles. The ones labeled ‘soft’ will still get the job done without possibly harming the outside of your child’s teeth and gums.
The Electric Touch Powered toothbrushes are also available at this age. These add an element of fun to brushing your teeth and your child will be the first to agree. They’re also able to reach the tight spaces in between, cleaning the areas that your child may be more likely to miss. As an added bonus, some electric toothbrushes even have a timer built right in, letting your child know exactly when they’re done brushing.
Looking the Part Both regular and electric toothbrushes can be bought styled after one of your child’s favorite cartoon or superheroes. Some even come paired with matching toothpaste. This extra layer of excitement should help motivate them and maintain your child’s interest in brushing their teeth from breakfast, to dinner, and all the way to breakfast again!
The Second Toothbrush As important as your child’s first toothbrush is, it will eventually need to be replaced. Knowing when to make the call can be just as important. Children’s brushes will need to swapped out more often than adults – usually within 3 months. Keep an eye on the bristles. Once they stop standing up straight, it’s time to start the search for your child’s second toothbrush!
Just be sure not to brush off flossing, too!
Smilestones Photo Tip: Try to catch your child in the middle of brushing their teeth, toothpaste all around, as they’re getting to use their very first toothbrush. www.teethfirstri.org/smilestones/