Should Your Child Be Using An Electric Toothbrush?
As a parent, you want to introduce your child to certain beneficial habits as early as possible—with the idea that these habits will encourage behaviors that last a lifetime. This is the case with oral hygiene, and specifically, how your child brushes their teeth. Now that your child is old enough to be brushing their teeth by themselves, you might be wondering if it's a good idea for them to use an electric toothbrush.
No Universal Age
There's hardly a universal age when a child can brush their teeth without assistance or supervision. It can happen when a child's eye-hand coordination has reached a level when their brushing efforts will be comprehensive enough. For some children, this may not be until they reach the age of six to nine. As your child's brushing efforts become more independent, should this independence rely upon a manual or electric toothbrush?
A Better Choice
Some dentists have a strong opinion about electric toothbrushes, considering them to be superior to manual toothbrushes in many ways. The rotations of the brush head, sometimes combined with ultrasonic vibrations (depending on the model), mean that an electric toothbrush can be far more effective at removing plaque than its manual equivalent. This prevents plaque from hardening and becoming tartar, which can only be removed by the children's dentist at your local clinic.
Consult Your Dentist
The automated functions of an electric toothbrush can even mean that optimal eye-hand coordination may not be necessary for your child to effectively clean their teeth with an electric toothbrush. You may wish to talk to your child's dentist if you're unsure if your child is old enough to use an electric toothbrush.
Your child's dentist is likely to recommend an electric toothbrush intended specifically for children (and there is a wide range of options). These serve the same basic purpose as an adult's model, with a few child-friendly additions. The brush head may be slightly softer to prevent your child from inadvertently damaging their gums or stripping away their dental enamel by brushing too hard. The grip is designed for smaller hands and may have a design that's more appealing to children. You should also consider a model with a timer, encouraging your child to spend no less than two minutes brushing their teeth—which is one of those habits that will hopefully become the norm for a lifetime.
Although you should discuss the matter with a children's dentist during one of their regular checkups, allowing your child to use an electric toothbrush at the earliest possible opportunity can give them a clear advantage when it comes to maintaining the health of their teeth and gums.