Best Toothbrushes for Kids
This is a question we are asked often at VK Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Peter weighs in on his favorite kids toothbrushes and best oral habits.
First and foremost, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time is essential so regardless of which brush you are using, just make sure you’re brushing!! We have a few recommendations of brushes that work well at all stages of children from infants to teens.
There are a lot of products on the market that do a relatively similar job. Most are made of soft silicone and their function is to gently massage the baby’s gums.
The former is great for parents to use to gently massage and clean their child’s gums and the latter is great for kids to get used to holding a brush on their own. There are many different brands but we recommend you look for one that is BPA free. These ‘brushes’ aren’t great for cleaning teeth but they help establish a routine early on so brushing is a normal part of your and your child’s day. As soon as teeth start coming in, we’d recommend using a brush with bristles.
Once a child's teeth start coming in (usually beginning at 6-10 months of age) start incorporating a small, soft bristled brush. Consider one with a wide handle that the child can hold onto and “brush” by themselves such as the Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush. The wide handles can also be used as a teether. Putting the brush in the fridge/freezer beforehand can help if your child is extra fussy during teething. You will still need to help them brush but letting them also do it themselves starts the journey of taking ownership of caring for their teeth.
When you feel your child is ready, you can transition to regular manual/electric toothbrush (usually after age 3). We love the Kids Quip in our office for a few reasons. There are multiple colors that kids enjoy and the vibration/brushing strength isn't as strong as other electric toothbrushes so it's easier for kids to acclimate and transition to an electric toothbrush. Because it is relatively thin/sleek, even if kids aren’t ready for the vibration, they can still use it manually. Another option is the Oral-B Kids’ Electric toothbrush. It uses a gentle mode and extra soft brush head. This brush is great for slightly older kids who can handle a bit more movement from their toothbrush.
Getting Older (Ages 7+):
Although the Quip is perfectly fine at this age, our favorite brush is the Oral-B 1000 (or higher models if you want apps/functionality - though the brushing is the same). Children can generally clean their own teeth independently (though we recommend parents check in every so often to make sure they are doing a good job and not forgetting to floss!). The Oral-B 1000 is relatively affordable and offers some of the best cleaning at its price point. It uses dual cleaning vibration as well as oscillation which cleans teeth better than the conventional vibration in most other electric toothbrushes at this price.
Questions about toothpaste? Check out our post on that here.
VK Pediatric Dentistry
5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207