The toothbrush as we know it today has a long and storied history dating back thousands of years. The first known toothbrushes were sticks or twigs with frayed ends, and later toothbrushes were made from bone, wood, or ivory, and hair from various animals. Toothbrushes have come a long way since then, and modern toothbrushes are very effective at removing food and plaque. Toothbrushes also help keep your child’s teeth and gums clean to prevent tooth decay.
Why Brush Your Teeth?
Brushing your child’s teeth helps remove food and plaque, which is bacteria that eats away at their teeth, and can eventually build up and become tartar (a hardened form of plaque). Without frequent brushing, plaque and tartar can build up and produce acid that can erode their tooth enamel and irritate their gums. Frequent brushing can help prevent cavities and gum disease, so be sure they brush every day! The ADA recommends brushing a minimum of twice a day (usually in the morning and before bed).
Types of Toothbrushes
There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and powered. Both types of toothbrushes are effective at cleaning your teeth, but powered toothbrushes can be fun for children and easy to use for people who have trouble using manual toothbrushes. Use whichever type is easiest for them.
Bristles on toothbrushes come in a variety of toughness, from soft to hard. Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush because hard bristles can actually damage their enamel, irritate their gums, and contribute to tooth sensitivity.
No matter which type of toothbrush your child uses, they should brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. It is also recommended that you replace your child’s toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles seem frayed. Some toothbrushes even have indicators on the bristles that will lose or change color when the toothbrush needs to be replaced.
For recommendations on how to choose a toothbrush that is best for your child’s individual needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist. Remember, brushing at home is not enough to ensure proper dental health. Be sure to visit a pediatric dental office like Carson City Pediatric Dentistry in Carson City, Nevada, or Payton Pediatric Dentistry in Payton, Nevada at least every six months for a professional cleaning, which will help clean the areas that brushing can’t reach. We offer a full range of pediatric dental services for your child that will provide them with the best possible oral health. We may even throw in a free toothbrush!