Choosing Your Baby’s First Toothbrush

The appearance of your child’s first tooth is a monumental and exciting time, but its growth signifies you now have a new task to add to your ever-growing list of parenting responsibilities. Now, you must start brushing your child’s teeth.
Before the development of your child’s first tooth, all you had to do was wipe our child’s gum with your finger or a damp towel. With the appearance of your child’s first tooth wiping the gums isn’t going to be enough. It is now time to start using a toothbrush to keep your child’s teeth, mouth, and gums healthy.
Picking out a toothbrush for your child isn’t like shopping for a toothbrush for yourself. There are a lot of factors, such as how cooperative your child is, your child’s comfort level, and the size of their teeth, that will influence which type of toothbrush you should use. To help make this task easier, we have gathered valuable information that will help you determine what type of toothbrush is right for your child.
Deciding Between a Traditional Handled Toothbrush and an Over-the-Finger Rubber Toothbrush
Parents will have the opportunity to choose between two different styles for their child’s first toothbrush. Parents will have to choose between a smaller version of the traditional handled toothbrush or a small rubber toothbrush that fits over your finger. Both toothbrush styles are designed to do the same thing – clean your child’s teeth and remove plaque buildup – but their differences can be found in how they are used.
The smaller version of the traditional handled toothbrush works the same way as a larger adult-sized toothbrush. It contains smaller-sized soft bristles that are uniquely designed to clean the front, back, and sides of the teeth. These smaller versions of toothbrushes are often recommended for cooperative children who have the ability to sit still for longer periods of time or those who have multiple teeth growing in.
The over-the-finger rubber toothbrush is soft and flexible. Its flexibility and soft material make it ideal for children who have difficulty sitting still to have their teeth brushed or who don’t have a lot of teeth. A parent can easily slip the toothbrush over their finger and gently clean both the teeth and gums in a way that is comfortable for their child.
If you are trying to decide between a traditional handled toothbrush or an over-the-finger rubber toothbrush, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many teeth does my child have? The over-the-finger rubber toothbrush is great for children who have very few teeth while the traditional handled toothbrush works for children with more teeth.
  • Can my child sit still for at least 2 to 5 minutes? Children who squirm or are restless may find it uncomfortable for you to use a traditional handled toothbrush. The over-the-finger rubber toothbrush is soft and flexible, so your child won’t be poked with hard plastic while they squirm or move around.
  • How comfortable if your child with having their teeth brushed?

The answers you provide for these questions will help you determine which style of toothbrush you should use for your child.
Tips for Picking Out the Right Traditional Toothbrush for Your Child
Once you have decided that you will use a traditional toothbrush for your child, you then must decide which size and style to use. Choosing the wrong toothbrush could make brushing painful and uncomfortable for your child.
Use these tips to pick the best traditional toothbrush for your child:

  • Choose a longer handled toothbrush if you will be brushing your child’s teeth for them. The longer the handle, the easier it will be to reach the teeth in the back of their mouth. Smaller handled toothbrushes are great if your child is old enough to brush their teeth on their own.
  • Pick a toothbrush with a small toothbrush head. If the head is too big, it won’t properly clean your child’s teeth. Due to the smaller size of your child’s teeth, the toothbrush should contain no more than three rows of bristles.
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrushes.

Need help picking out a toothbrush for your child? Let the dentists at The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida help you. Call to schedule an appointment for your child and our friendly dental staff will not only perform a routine checkup to make sure your child’s teeth and gums are healthy, but we will help you pick the best toothbrush for your child and even show you how to properly brush your child’s teeth. Call us today to schedule an appointment!