It is common for adults to wonder if an electric toothbrush offers enough benefits to offset its cost. But when it comes to children, many parents assume that children should learn to use a manual toothbrush and then graduate to an electric toothbrush once they have a solid understanding of the basics of oral healthcare, similar to the way children are taught handwriting before they learn to type. However, there are many reasons that young children will benefit from an age-appropriate electric toothbrush.
Electric Toothbrushes Require Less Fine Motor Control
Brushing your teeth properly requires a high level of fine motor control. Not only do you need to control your hand while producing small, controlled, repetitive movements, but you also need to be able to do that without watching where your hand is or by using a mirror. This can be extremely difficult for a toddler who is still building their fine motor skills.
The best solution is for you to brush your toddler's teeth for them, but you may find that a toddler or preschooler asserts a high level of independence and demands to brush their teeth on their own. Since an electronic toothbrush only needs to be held to each tooth at various angles as opposed to being constantly moved, a child will be more likely to master this skill at a younger age.
Electric Toothbrushes Can Be Gentler On Your Child's Teeth and Gums
While not brushing enough can be damaging to your child's oral health, brushing too aggressively can also damage the enamel on your child's teeth and their gums. Many children tend to press too hard with a manual toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will allow your child to learn to hold the brush lightly against their gums and teeth, and some models automatically stop brushing if your child presses too hard.
A Fun Toothbrush Can Inspire Regular Brushing
Many young children want to copy exactly what their parents do. This means that if you have an electric toothbrush, your child will also want to brush their teeth with an electric toothbrush. However, most child-specific electric toothbrush models come with fun lights, designs, or music that can make your child excited to brush their teeth twice a day.
Efficient Cleaning Means Less Brushing Time
Getting a young child to sit still for an extended period of time can be difficult. The fast-moving bristles on an electric toothbrush can remove more plaque in the same amount of time than a child's hand. This means that your child may be able to clean their entire mouth during one two-minute session. However, it is important that you monitor their brushing and make sure that your child spends time cleaning each quadrant of their mouth, even if they have to restart their toothbrush.
Prepare Your Child for Dental Visits
An electric toothbrush may introduce your child to the sound of powered brushes being used in their mouth. They will also get used to the tickling sensation caused by fast-moving bristles. This may make it easier for your child's dentist to use a variety of instruments in their mouth during their dental visits, making trips to the dentist quicker and less traumatizing for your child.
While there are many reasons you may want to invest in an electric toothbrush for your child, it is important to remember that clean teeth and healthy gums are the desired result. If your child can properly maintain their oral health with a manual toothbrush, then you may not want to spend the money on an electronic version. However, if they are struggling with a manual toothbrush, an electronic brush may be just the thing they need to keep cavities at bay.