There’s a reason that the earliest years of a person’s life are called “formative”. It’s when personality traits, outlook, patterns and habits start to take hold – and the earliest habits are among the hardest to break. That can be a good thing. Everyone wants their children to be as healthy as possible – fresh air, exercise and eating well are all great habits to instil – but don’t forget about your little one’s oral health!
Why Kids Should Use an Electric Toothbrush
Many children are highly resistant to new routines, like toilet training, bathing – and learning to brush their teeth. To teach your children to brush twice a day is to invest in their future health. Teeth, left uncared for, are prone to decay, discolouration, degradation, and even infection. Gum disease can set in, causing pain, bleeding and tooth loss.
Thankfully, all of the above can be prevented by flossing and brushing. A manual toothbrush is an affordable option – though the cost of replacing them really adds up over the years, and the correct brushing technique may be difficult for children to master. Consider a kid-friendly electric toothbrush instead!
- Kids’ electric toothbrushes are inexpensive – most sell for under £20. Compare that to the cost of purchasing disposable manual brushes for the next five to ten years.
- Most kids’ electric toothbrushes feature large, grippy handles that are easy for young hands to hold onto.
- Bright colours, sounds, apps and kid-specific branding – often including images of cartoon and movie characters – add interest and encourage daily use.
- But most importantly, power brushes remove more plaque, reduce risk of cavities and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Tips for Encouraging Your Little One to Brush
The right toothbrush is one part of the equation – but you have an equally important role to play:
Let your child choose. A child that chooses their own toothbrush and paste will be more inclined to use them. Don’t be dissuaded by what may appear to be an over-the-top or excessively colourful design – be enthusiastic, and thankful that it will create an interest in brushing.
Cut them some slack. Correct brushing technique is important, and reaching a point where your child uses it consistently should be a goal – but be patient as your little one learns.
Brush together! Everyone needs a little moral support. Brushing your teeth alongside your child provides an opportunity to monitor their technique, offer advice – and simply have a good time. Creating a positive association with an activity encourages its continuation.
Get professional help. Don’t worry, that suggestion isn’t as dramatic as it sounds. Ask a hygienist or dentist to make a positive remark about your child’s regular brushing – his or her confidence, and desire to stick with it, will likely be bolstered by such high praise!
Which Toothbrush is Right for My Kids?
If I had to suggest only one oral hygiene brand, it would be Oral-B. The company is a world-leader in dental products, and their Stages range – designed especially for children – features many of the same innovative technologies found in the high-end Oral-B products made for grownups.
Let’s look at two particular models of electric toothbrush: Stages Vitality Avengers and Stages Vitality Princess. Both of these highly rated rechargeable electric toothbrushes are available on Amazon for £17.47 – a very reasonable price – and feature large, easy-to-hold handles with textured, slip-resistant rubber inserts, making them easy for young and sometimes clumsy hands to grab.
If your child aspires to be a superhero, they should be thrilled with the Stages Vitality Avengers toothbrush – featuring the Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Ironman, it’s ready for the heroic feat of destroying dastardly plaque, and keeping those young teeth in top condition for whatever challenges lie ahead.
On the other hand, if your youngster grins at glamour, they’ll love the Stages Vitality Princess toothbrush – featuring Rapunzel, Ariel and Cinderella, it promises a dazzling smile that will melt even the hardest of hearts.
Both variations use 2D cleaning action – a pared-down version of Oral-B’s highly renowned 3D action found in its larger, full-featured brushes. 2D cleaning doesn’t pulsate, but does oscillate and rotate, and is still highly effective at removing plaque. And the included rotating PowerHead uses extra-soft bristles that are gentle on developing teeth and gums, preventing irritation and cleaning effectively while your child learns.
To keep kids interested, the Disney MagicTimer App – found on all Stages products – reveals a secret image. The longer the toothbrush is used, the more the image shows itself. Research demonstrates that the app helps ninety percent of children brush longer.
Maintaining Interest with New Brush Heads
For peak performance, replace brush heads when indicator bristles fade or become splayed and worn. Changing brush heads regularly won’t just keep a toothbrush in good working order – it will help you child remain keen on brushing! Oral-B manufactures a number of Disney-themed, soft-bristled children’s brush heads, featuring characters from the movie Cars, as well as Avengers superheroes, princesses, and the iconic Mickey Mouse.
When they’re old enough, children can be introduced to larger Oral-B electric toothbrushes and brush heads, including CrossAction, Precision Clean, FlossAction, Pro White, Sensitive Clean, and more. In the meantime, keep them interested with colourful characters, fun games – and your enthusiastic encouragement.