The toothbrush has a long history that spans thousands of years and many different designs. The first ever toothbrushes were made of sticks and twigs that had frayed ends. Later on, toothbrushes were made from bone, wood or ivory, and hair from various animals. Over time, toothbrushes have advanced in design and effectiveness. The toothbrushes we use today help remove plaque and food from your child’s teeth, as well as keep your gums healthy to prevent tooth decay.
Why Brush Your Teeth?
When your child brushes their teeth, they remove food and plaque, which is bacteria that eats away at their teeth. If plaque is not removed from their teeth, it can build up and eventually become tartar, which is hardened plaque. If plaque and tartar are not removed, they can build up and produce acid that erodes their tooth enamel and irritates their gums. Brushing frequently helps to prevent gum disease and cavities, so make sure they brush every day! The ADA recommends brushing a minimum of twice daily (usually in the morning and before bed), or anytime after eating.
Types of Toothbrushes
The two types of toothbrushes available today are either manual or electric/powered. Both types of toothbrushes are capable of cleaning your teeth effectively. Electric toothbrushes can be fun for children and can be easier to use for those who have difficulty using manual toothbrushes. Dentists recommend that your child use whichever type of toothbrush makes brushing easiest for them. Toothbrush bristles come in a variety of firmnesses that range from hard to soft. Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for their teeth because hard bristles can possibly damage their enamel, irritate their gums, and contribute to tooth sensitivity.
Whichever type of toothbrush you choose for them, be sure they brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Dentists also recommend that you replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles seem frayed or worn. Some toothbrushes even have indicators on the bristles that lose or change color when the toothbrush needs to be replaced. Dentists also recommend that you change their toothbrush after experiencing illness.
If you need assistance in selecting the type of toothbrush best suited to your child’s needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for recommendations at your next dentist appointment. Remember that brushing at home is not enough to ensure optimal dental health. Make sure your child visits their dentist here at Dentistry For Kids Reno at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning, which will help clean the areas that brushing can’t reach.