Toothbrushes have a long history dating back thousands of years. The first toothbrushes were made of twigs and sticks with frayed ends. Later on, toothbrushes were made from bone, wood or ivory, and hair from animals. Over time, toothbrushes have advanced in design and effectiveness. Modern toothbrushes remove plaque and food from your child’s teeth, as well as keep their gums healthy to prevent tooth decay.

Why Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your child’s teeth removes food and plaque, which is bacteria that eats away at their teeth. Plaque can build up and eventually become tartar, which is hardened plaque. When your child does not brush frequently, plaque and tartar can build up and produce acid that erodes their tooth enamel and irritates their gums. Frequent brushing helps to prevent cavities and gum disease, so make sure they brush every day! The ADA recommends brushing a minimum of twice a day (usually in the morning and before bed), or anytime after eating.

Types of Toothbrushes

The two types of toothbrushes available today are either manual or electric/powered. Both types of toothbrushes are capable of cleaning your child’s teeth effectively. Electric toothbrushes can be fun for children and can be easier to use for those who have difficulty using manual toothbrushes. It is recommended that your child use whichever type makes brushing easiest for them. Bristles on toothbrushes come in a variety of firmnesses that range from hard to soft. Many dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush because hard bristles can possibly damage their enamel, irritate their gums, and contribute to tooth sensitivity.

Whichever type of toothbrush you choose for your child, be sure they brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Dentists also recommend that you replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles seem frayed or worn. Some toothbrushes even have indicators on the bristles that lose or change color when the toothbrush needs to be replaced. Dentists also recommend that you change your child’s toothbrush after they experience any illness.

If you need assistance in selecting the type of toothbrush best suited to your child’s needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for recommendations. Remember that brushing at home is not enough to ensure optimal dental health. Make sure your child visits a pediatric dentist like Magic Smiles Dentistry in El Dorado Hills, California at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning, which will help clean the areas that brushing can’t reach. We offer a full range of pediatric dentistry services to provide your child with the best oral care possible!

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