Toothbrush and Toothpaste Products as Your Child Grows

Toothbrush and Toothpaste Products as Your Child Grows
Posted on 02/03/2022
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Which toothbrush and toothpaste should your child use? The right brush and paste combination contributes to your child's healthy mouth. Before you buy your young child new dental care products, take a look at what you need to know about your next toothbrush and toothpaste purchase and pediatric oral health.

Does a Baby Need a Brush?

Your baby's first tooth just broke through the surface. Even though your infant's mouth is mostly gum tissue, they still need to clean their teeth (or tooth). Instead of a brush, wipe your baby's gums with a soft cloth twice a day after their morning and evening feedings. You can also use a small, soft-bristled brush to clean their only tooth or first few teeth. 

Does a Baby Need a Toothpaste?

The answer to this question depends on your baby's age and the dentist's recommendation. Talk to the dentist before you buy a toothpaste — especially if it contains fluoride. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that infants visit a dentist when they turn one or their first tooth breaks through. 

When you brush your child's teeth with a paste, use the product sparingly. Children under age the age of three only need a small smear that is about the size of a grain of rice. 

What Type of Toothbrush Does a Toddler Need?

Your child's dental needs will change as they grow. Now that your toddler has more teeth, you will need to pay more attention to brushing. Like infants, toddlers need small-sized brushes with soft bristles. Avoid brushes made for adults or anything that's battery-powered. 

What Type of Toothpaste Does a Toddler Need?

Like infants with teeth, toddlers also need to visit the dentist for regular checkups. When your tot goes into the office for a routine visit, re-visit the toothpaste conversation. Again, children under age three only need a small smear of toothpaste to clean their teeth. If your toddler frequently swallows the paste, talk to the dentist about the pros and cons of a fluoride-containing product. 

While you don't want your child to ingest fluoride, this type of paste can reduce the risks of dental decay. A pediatric dentist has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you find the best way to brush your toddler's teeth and the right products to use.

What Type of Brush Does a Child Need?

After age three, children can take on more responsibility for their oral health routine. Your preschooler's or grade-schooler's improving fine motor skills allow them to handle a toothbrush. Even though they can brush their teeth, your young child may still need help reaching each area of their mouth. They may also need you to time them to make sure they brush for the full recommended two minutes.

Your preschooler or young elementary school–aged child may still need to use a smaller-sized brush. Choose a brush marked as kids’ or children's size and that has soft bristles. If your child resists brushing or has no interest in their dental care, a brush with bright colors or a cartoon character might be a good motivator. 

By the time your child reaches the upper elementary years, they'll have some permanent teeth. Older children can use a larger toothbrush — but may feel more comfortable with softer bristles. Before you move your child up to an adult brush or select an electric model, talk to the dentist. The dentist can recommend an upgrade based on your child's age and individual dental needs.

What Type of Toothpaste Should a Child Use?

Children between the ages of three and six can use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. This paste should contain fluoride and contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Some children prefer a sweet paste, but this can also lead to accidental ingestion. If your child regularly swallows the paste, avoid fun flavors (such as bubble gum or cotton candy). 

Does your child need a dental checkup? Contact Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for more information.