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How Do I Choose the Best Toddler Toothbrush?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2014
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Toddlers who are just learning to brush their teeth need toothbrushes that are different than the toothbrushes adults use. It is important to never buy an adult-sized brush for a toddler and to check toothbrush packaging to be sure you choose one specifically made for small children. A toddler toothbrush should also be recommended by a pediatric dental association. Flexible handles are best and safer than standard plastic. Although an electric or battery-powered toothbrush may be appropriate for an older child, it's best to choose a toddler toothbrush that operates manually.

When shopping for a toddler toothbrush, you may find choices of soft, medium, or hard bristles. It's best to purchase a toddler toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid injury or gum irritation. Even the medium bristles may be too firm and could irritate a toddler's sensitive mouth and gums.

Teaching toddlers how to brush their teeth effectively is important. To encourage routine brushing, choose a colorful child's toothbrush or one that is designed with a cartoon superhero that your child will enjoy. You'll find a wide selection of toddler toothbrushes at most pharmacies.

To make your child more inclined to brush regularly, consider ordering a custom-made or personalized toothbrush. You can find companies online that specialize in personalized toothbrushes for kids of all ages. You can have your child's name or nickname, or even a short phrase inscribed on the toddler toothbrush. For more fun and encouragement, order a personalized toothbrush holder.

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When selecting a toddler toothbrush, look for one with a wide grip handle. The handle should be contoured and preferably made with a non-slip material, such as silicone. The materials should be easy to maintain and sanitize. In addition, the toothbrush head should be the right size, which means not too large and not too small. The toddler toothbrush should also be designed to reach between teeth where particles of food often become trapped.

A toddler toothbrush may incorporate a learning system with timer and flashing lights. The lighted timer generally flashes for approximately 60 seconds then shuts off to let your child know he's done a thorough job. This system can be an encouraging and fun way for kids to brush. Before buying this type of toothbrush however, read the age recommendation, as some models may pose a choking risk.

As a precaution, check your toddler's toothbrush periodically for damaged bristles. Tattered or shredded bristles can pose a choking hazard. For sanitary purposes, the toothbrush should be replaced every few months, or after an illness.

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