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One thing that most children share in common is there little to no interest in brushing their teeth. As parents, we know that healthy oral habits should start early, which is why we try our best to encourage them to brush their teeth even if, often, it involves tear-filled tantrums and promises of reward before we could get them to cooperate.
One of the popular ways to boost your child’s interest in brushing their teeth is using an electric toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association, both manual and electric toothbrushes effectively clean and fight off plaque in the teeth. But, is your child old enough to use it? How old should your child be to start using an electric toothbrush?
How does an electric toothbrush work?
An electric toothbrush is the same as a manual toothbrush; only it needs to be charged or powered by electricity from a battery. Instead of manually gliding your toothbrush along with your teeth, the electric toothbrush will automatically move its bristles, maximizing its efficiency in cleaning your teeth.
Another great thing about electric toothbrushes is that it may pique children’s interest– just like how they get excited when their toy robot starts moving on its own. Plus, electric toothbrush manufacturers are now offering toothbrush models with character-themed handles and in fun colors to provide added motivation.
When can my child start using an electric toothbrush?
Dental hygiene should start from the time the first teeth erupt. However, if you are considering having your child use an electric toothbrush, it is best to wait until your child turns three years old. While an electric toothbrush is safe for both children and adults, at least by the age of three, your child will be able to hold the brush properly. However, you still shouldn’t leave your child at this age brushing his or her teeth unsupervised. Some children may feel a little scared with the vibration the electric toothbrush makes, especially on their first time to use it. Make sure to always be there to guide your kids as they brush their teeth.
Moreover, an electric toothbrush requires maintenance too. Don’t forget to replace its cleaning head every three months or when the cleaning head starts showing signs of wearing out.
How to pick the right electric toothbrush for my child?
Most electric toothbrushes are geared towards specific age groups and in a variety of colors and characters to choose from. Opt for an electric toothbrush within your child’s age group so that the cleaning head will fit properly in his or her mouth. Try involving your child in selecting their electric toothbrush. This small gesture will empower them and motivate them to observe their daily dental care. You can even let them have one more brush, especially if they have a hard time choosing among the wide array of character-themed toothbrushes.