Are Electric Toothbrushes Really Better for Kids?

When your child visits his family dentist in Leesburg, he probably goes home with a smile, sticker or toy, and a goody bag that includes toothpaste and a toothbrush — a manual toothbrush. That doesn’t mean a manual toothbrush is the best option for a child. Your family dentist will confirm that using an electric toothbrush offers key advantages that a manual brush does not.

Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

A main focus of preventative dentistry for children is on fostering healthy habits that will last into adulthood. One issue to overcome in this pursuit is kids’ limited attention spans. Many kids’ electric toothbrushes are designed to keep their attention with colorful graphics, character themes and even music. They’ll brush longer when they’re having fun! Another perk of going electric is that kids lack the dexterity to reach all areas of their teeth when using a manual brush. A vibrating electric brush covers more surface area, which more effectively removes plaque.

Features to Look for When Choosing a Kid’s Electric Toothbrush

The more “bells and whistles” an electric toothbrush offers, the more your child will be motivated to use it. Why not encourage your child to help choose his own toothbrush? Better yet, purchase a few different brushes and allow your child to choose which to use for each brushing session. Always select a brush with soft bristles that won’t irritate the gums. Ideally, any child’s toothbrush should feature a smaller head to reach all the way to the back teeth without causing discomfort.

Instruct Your Child on Proper Brushing Techniques

An electric toothbrush is only as effective as the hand guiding it! Ideally, the brush head should be at a 45-degree angle toward the gums. Demonstrate proper positioning to your child or ask your family dentist to. Always supervise his brushing. Even though an electric toothbrush vibrates, your child still needs to move it back and forth in slow, short motions as he would a manual toothbrush.

Maintain Your Electric Toothbrush so it Will Last Longer

After brushing, rinse your child’s toothbrush with water and store it in an upright position. Keep it on its charging stand and plugged in, if applicable. Otherwise, change its batteries whenever the power of the brush seems to be waning. As with any toothbrush, electric or manual, after any contagious illness such as flu or strep, replace the brush. Some electric toothbrushes are disposable. With others, you simply discard the old brush head and attach a new one.

Contact us if you have any questions about your child’s oral health!