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Should Kids Use an Electric Toothbrush?

Young boy crouches on a wooden boardwalk before a wire railing wearing a red cap, blue striped shirt, and sneakers

As adults, we hear with some regularity that electric toothbrushes are better for our teeth than manual ones. And as parents, we know that we should be brushing our children’s teeth regularly and keeping them just as clean and healthy as we do our own. But should we brush our kids’ teeth with electric toothbrushes? Or are they too harsh for their smiles? Actually, Dr. Bright thinks the right electric toothbrush can be a great asset to a child’s tooth brushing routine!

Pros of an Electric Toothbrush

While the American Dental Association has stated that manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective in cleaning children’s teeth, there are many reasons you may want to choose to use an electric toothbrush:

  • They are easier to use.
  • They provide more brushing power.
  • The powerful motion provides excellent plaque removal.
  • Many offer engaging technology, including timers and even app connectivity for fun and games.

Cons of an Electric Toothbrush

Because they are a bit more fun than the old stand-by manual brushes, electric toothbrushes are certainly a hit with kids. They do have a few drawbacks, though:

  • They are more expensive.
  • The toothbrush heads still need to be replaced periodically like standard toothbrushes.
  • They need to be charged or have the batteries replaced.

How to Choose an Electric Toothbrush

Just like with manual brushes, there are electric toothbrushes designed especially for kids. Looks for handles that are easy to grip and soft bristles that won’t be too abrasive on their teeth. Reluctant brushers often enjoy being able to pick out their own toothbrush. It gives them a sense of ownership, and for many children, this is an important step in starting a new healthy habit.

If you have a child who doesn’t seem interested in brushing, find a toothbrush that will play to his or her apprehensions. If it’s a short attention span doing in their smile, find one with a timer or that plays music for the two minutes they should be brushing. If boredom keeps kicking in or they would rather keep playing than brush their teeth, find one that connects to an app on a smart device and make brushing a game. Some even make it a competition, and what kid doesn’t enjoy a little healthy sibling rivalry?

3 of Our Favorite Electric Toothbrushes

At Bright Smiles, we love to share our favorite things with our patients. If you’re in the market for an electric toothbrush for your child, consider one of these:

The Oral-B Kids Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush — This brush has a small, soft head, perfect for reaching the hard-to-reach areas of kids’ mouths without being too harsh on their teeth or gums. The larger grip is comfortable, and the round head moves in an oscillating motion that is better for kids than the typical ultrasonic motion of adult brushes. Connect it to the Disney Magic Timer™ App to let your child brush along with their favorite Frozen characters.

The Sonicare for Kids Toothbrush — As the name suggests, this brush uses sonic waves to clean rather than the oscillating motion that the Oral-B brush uses. The app teaches kids about the importance of brushing and makes it a fun, interactive activity rather than just another thing to do before bed. The built-in KidPacer alarm lets your child know when it’s time to move to the next quadrant of their mouth.

The Kolibree Smart Toothbrush — Designed by a dad looking to build a great toothbrush for his daughter, the Kolibree interacts with smart devices to encourage the entire family to brush better. This light, comfortable brush does come with a hefty price tag, though.

Ask Us for Help Improving Your Child’s Oral Care Routine!

If you want to learn more about electric toothbrushes or even just how to encourage your child to be a better brusher, contact Bright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry today. Our friendly team members can provide you with dental tips and tricks. We can also schedule an appointment for your child and go over some pointers the next time you both come in.

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