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Dental Care / Teeth Issues > How to choose a toothbrush

How to choose a toothbrush

Choosing the right toothbrush can be confusing. It is important to start good dental habits at a young age.

Infants and Preschoolers

Infants can use a soft wet cloth or a finger brush until they get molars. After molars erupt, a soft toothbrush is recommended. Be sure it is an infant or toddler size. Too large of a head can create pain while brushing and damage the mouth. It also creates more resistance of brushing if it is uncomfortable for the child.

Be sure to brush your infant and preschooler’s teeth (they often enjoy doing it themselves first, but you must finish the job!) Supervise the brushing and flossing of school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.

For older children

Look for a toothbrush your child will like that is approved by the ADA. Manual or powered are both effective. Choosing a toothbrush that fits your child's mouth is important. Favorite characters or colors encourage young children to enjoy brushing. When choosing a manual toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one specifically designed for children's smaller hands and mouths. Look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush.

Other Information

We recommend using only soft-bristled toothbrushes.

Throw out a toothbrush after 3 months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm the gums and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

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