Selecting the Right Toothbrush for Your Child

To leave a fun and lasting impression, finding the best toothbrush to do the job and make them smile is important.

Pediatric Dentist in St. Louis

The oral health habits that your child develops early on will likely set the tone for their oral health well into adulthood. Although it might not seem like a huge concern, the way that you introduce oral care is critical to a growing mind.

Having positive brushing, flossing, and dental exam memories will affect the attitude children take toward caring for their teeth. Getting them excited about brushing will make it more likely that you won’t have a continuous battle on your hands every time your children need to brush their sparkly whites.

To leave a fun and lasting impression, finding the best toothbrush to do the job and make them smile is important. There are a few things to keep in mind as you are choosing your child’s toothbrush.


If you get a toothbrush that is bulky and doesn’t fit right, you run the risk of your child hurting the inside of their mouth and limiting how well they can get into those smaller places where bacteria can hide and grow. Find a toothbrush that fits their mouth; that way, they can manipulate it better and learn how to be more independent when brushing their teeth in the future.

Brush Texture

The mouth is a highly sensitive place. This is even more true for your children. If you want to make sure that brushing isn’t overwhelming or painful, then choose a toothbrush that has soft bristles. A softer touch will limit the potential for any rubbing against the cheeks or scraping of the gums, which will be painful and leave a bad impression on your child.

Child-Friendly Grips

Your child’s first toothbrush should fit their hand like a glove. Children have a low frustration tolerance. If they can’t grip a brush correctly or it is difficult to maneuver when they are brushing, they may not want to brush. An easy grip with a child-friendly handle will make them feel more successful. If you find one that has their favorite character on the handle, even better! The more you can engage them in brushing, the more they will respond positively.

Electric Brushes

If your child wants to try an electric toothbrush, there are many on the market that are specifically designed for younger mouths. It isn’t exactly necessary to find an electric one, but if it gets them excited about trying something new, then it might be worth the cost. Electric brushes are more effective than regular brushing, which will limit cavity development.

If you are concerned about the toothbrush that you chose for your child, it is a good idea to take it with you to your child’s next oral exam. Not only will your dentist give you the thumbs up or down, but they will also use your child’s actual toothbrush to show them how to brush well and keep those pearly whites white. Brushing should be all about fun and self-sufficiency for your child, so let them be the guide as to what they want, and you will find them brushing with a whole lot less “push” from you.

How to Establish Excellent Brushing Habits for Your Children

One area that parents often have trouble with is establishing an oral care routine for their kids. Something about brushing and flossing makes some children very unhappy, and they often choose to rebel. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you follow a few simple tips, you can make your children want to brush and floss rather than having to force them. Once you get their oral care routine down, the rest can be taken care of by a St. Louis pediatric dentist. The first step is to solidify that routine, though. We explain how to do that below.

Show Them How It’s Done

Your child will be more likely to brush and brush effectively if they feel that they are doing a good job. To ensure this happens, you need to teach them the best cleaning methods. Once you do, they can try these methods for themselves, and you can give them positive reinforcement for it.

Help Them

If your children are especially young or challenging, you may need to provide hands-on assistance. To do this, you can physically hold their brush or floss and show them how it’s done.

Incentivize Brushing

Think of some reward you can give to your children to show them how great their oral care habits are. Choose something that your child enjoys. An alternative strategy is to use a simple tally system. Every time your children brush and floss, they get a tally or a star under their name on a piece of paper. You’d be surprised by how useful these simple incentives are.

Give Them Responsibility

You don’t want your children to feel like their oral care routine is a chore. You also don’t want them to think that they are doing it all for you. A great way to keep them involved and interested is to give them some responsibility and choices. These come in the form of choosing the color or design of their toothbrush. This will do a lot to make the brushing experience more fun for them.

You don’t want your children’s oral care routine to be a battle every night. That isn’t good for their teeth and, maybe more importantly, for your sanity. What you can do to avoid this is to follow our tips to establish good habits.

Schedule your child’s dental exam today by calling (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!

Updated: January 31, 2024

Leave a Comment