Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

Should Kids Use an Electric Toothbrush?

Should Kids Use an Electric Toothbrush?

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are electric toothbrushes good for kids? If you are a confused parent wondering if it’s time to upgrade your child’s manual toothbrush to an electric one, you are not alone.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using an electric toothbrush, how to choose the right toothbrush, and tips to encourage them to develop healthy brushing habits.

Key Takeaway

Electric toothbrushes are suitable for kids with enough dexterity to use them correctly. Ultimately, the most important thing is that they are brushing their teeth correctly and for long enough. Kids might be more inclined to brush their teeth with an electric toothbrush because of their fun designs and built-in timer. However, manual toothbrushes are just as effective. Whatever you choose, encourage consistency and proper brushing techniques.

Pros of an Electric Toothbrush for Kids

Electric brushes offer several benefits for kids, including:

  • More effective cleaning: Oscillating and sonic technology have been proven to be more effective in removing plaque than manual brushes when used properly. This means improved gum health and a reduced risk of gum disease, especially important for children as they establish their oral hygiene habits.
  • Fun and engaging: Many come in a wide range of colors and designs and even offer fun sounds and music to make brushing more enjoyable for kids.
  • Timer feature: Most have a built-in timer feature to help kids brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. This can be helpful for children who have a hard time gauging time or get easily distracted.
  • Ease of use: The larger handle and rotating bristles can make it easier for some kids to maneuver compared to a manual toothbrush, which requires more dexterity and coordination.

Cons of an Electric Toothbrush for Kids

Despite the many benefits, electric might not be the best option for every child. Some potential drawbacks include:

  • Feeling: Some kids might not enjoy the vibrations or noise of an electric toothbrush. This might discourage them from brushing their teeth.
  • Possibility of misuse: Properly maneuvering the brush could be tough for little hands. This could limit the effectiveness of their brushing. Or, it can sometimes be too intense for some children’s delicate gums and teeth.
  • Cost: Electric brushes are more expensive than manual ones, which may not be a cost-effective option for families with multiple children.
  • Maintenance: The brush heads need to be replaced every three months, just like regular toothbrushes. They may be more costly than regular brush heads, and some models require specific replacements, making it harder to find replacements in stores.

Dental Professional Recommendations

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using an electric toothbrush – or a manual one that has the ADA Seal of Approval – for all children as soon as their first tooth erupts. They also say that both types of brushes are equally effective at cleaning teeth and removing plaque.

Ultimately, when choosing a toothbrush for your child, take into consideration the child’s age, preferences, and oral health needs when deciding on a toothbrush.

How to Choose an Electric Toothbrush for Kids

When selecting toothbrushes for kids, parents should take into consideration:

  • Age and size of child: Choose a toothbrush designed specifically for kids, as adult models may be too large or powerful for their smaller mouths and hands.
  • Head size and bristles: Opt for a toothbrush with an appropriately sized head and soft bristles suitable for your child’s age group. Extra-soft bristles are especially important for young children with sensitive gums.
  • Fun features: Look for brushes with fun designs, colors, and sounds to make brushing more enjoyable. Let them help pick out their own toothbrush to get them excited to use it.
  • Battery life: Check how long the battery lasts and whether it is rechargeable or needs replacement batteries.
  • Price: Consider your budget when selecting an electric toothbrush. Remember that pricier models may not necessarily be better.

Tips to Encourage Kids to Use an Electric Toothbrush

Here are some ideas to help make brushing fun and successful:

  • Make it part of their daily routine: Set reminders or brush together as a family to reinforce the importance of regular brushing.
  • Use music: Play your child’s favorite songs while they brush to make it a more enjoyable experience.
  • Use rewards: Create a sticker chart to track their progress and offer small rewards for reaching certain milestones.
  • Make it a game: Set challenges or races to see who can brush the longest or get the most toothpaste foam.

For more great ideas, read our blog, Creative Ways To Encourage Your Child To Brush Their Teeth.

Pediatric Dentist in Phoenix, AZ

Your child’s oral hygiene is an investment in their future health. If you’re still unsure about which toothbrush is the right choice for your child, or if you have any other dental concerns, Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry is here to help.

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Henry Martinez, believes that every child deserves a healthy smile. That’s why we offer comprehensive dental care for children of all ages in the Phoenix area. From routine cleanings and check-ups to more complex procedures, we are dedicated to providing gentle and compassionate care for young patients.

Schedule an appointment with the top pediatric dentist in Phoenix today! Call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form.

For more tips on how to maintain your child’s oral health, check out our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are electric toothbrushes safe for kids?

According to the ADA, electric toothbrushes are safe and effective for children of all ages. However, parental supervision is recommended for younger children.

Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes vs. manual ones?

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective at cleaning teeth. Parents should consider their child’s age, preferences, and oral health needs when deciding on a toothbrush.

How often should I replace my child’s electric toothbrush head?

Just like traditional toothbrushes, the ADA recommends replacing the brush head every three months or when the bristles become frayed.

If you are searching for a ‘kids dentist near me,’ contact Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.