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Baby teeth mark the position for adult teeth to come through, that’s why it’s important to take care of your little one’s teeth from the moment they appear.
Teeth play many vital roles in kids’ overall health and development – whether it’s making sure they can eat a nutritious diet, helping them to form speech sounds or supporting the growth of their face and jaw.
Problems with baby teeth can affect adult teeth beneath, and helping your child get into good oral hygiene habits early can help to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Fortunately, there are many tools and products available to help take care of kid’s teeth. Here are some recommendations from our kids dentists in Perth for all ages.
Best manual toothbrushes for kids
Twice-daily toothbrushing helps kids to reduce the risk of developing tooth decay, cavities and fillings. Younger children need help to brush their teeth until they have enough dexterity to brush effectively by themselves – usually from the age of 6 or 7.
Children should have experience with a manual toothbrush before you consider moving on to an electric brush. The most important considerations when choosing a toothbrush for kids are that it’s the right size for their mouth, has soft bristles and is comfortable to hold.
Oral-B® Stages Extra Soft Toothbrush
Oral-B’s Stages range makes it easy to choose the right oral care products for kids’ changing needs as they grow. Stage 1 (4 to 24 months) and Stage 2 (2 to 4 years) toothbrushes are designed specifically for young brushers whose tender teeth need a soft touch.
These toothbrushes for young children feature extra soft bristles to avoid scratching the teeth, narrow heads for small mouths, cushioning to protect the gums and handy coloured bristles helping parents to apply the right amount of toothpaste.
Colgate® Kids Youth Soft Toothbrush
Older kids who have started to brush their teeth by themselves have plenty of options to choose from, and it’s important to find a toothbrush they’ll want to use.
Colgate kids’ toothbrushes are affordable and designed to be easy to use for kids aged 6 and older who have a combination of both adult and baby teeth. As well as its comfortable grip, a major draw is the suction cap on the bottom that makes storage hygienic and fun.
Best electric toothbrushes for kids
Some children may find electric toothbrushes easier and more appealing to use. Kids’ dentists may recommend trying a powered toothbrush if your child finds a manual one hard to use or uncomfortable.
Electric toothbrushes are usually recommended from the age of 3, but they can sometimes be suitable for younger kids too. Look for a brush head that’s an appropriate size and has soft bristles.
Oral-B Stages Power Electric Toothbrush
Oral-B electric toothbrushes for kids are powered by the same charger as the adult range and are designed for two age groups – age 3–5, who still need a helping hand to brush, and age 6–12, who can usually brush by themselves.
To encourage good brushing techniques, these toothbrushes come in a choice of character designs with a matching timer app that helps kids to brush for the recommended two minutes.
Philips® Sonicare for Kids
A more expensive option, the kid-friendly version of the Philips Sonicare may be the answer if your child is a reluctant brusher or their technique needs improvement.
As in the adult model, the toothbrush uses sonic technology to move water between the teeth and break up plaque. Like other electric toothbrushes, it has an associated app that guides kids through the brushing process and offers rewards for a job well done.
Best toothpastes for children
Fluoride is the key ingredient in toothpaste for kids and adults, but children’s toothpaste contains a lower concentration of it – around 500ppm or less. This is to prevent fluorosis, a cosmetic condition that can cause teeth to discolour if regularly swallowed while teeth are still developing.
Your dentist may recommend that your child switches to standard toothpaste around the age of 6–7, or earlier if used in smaller amounts. Before then, children’s toothpaste is the best choice for protecting their teeth against plaque from around the age of 18 months.
Oral-B Kids Sugar Free Fluoride Toothpaste
Oral-B toothpaste for children was developed with dentists to ensure it offers the best protection against plaque as well as acids and sugars in food and drink.
Recommended from age 3 to 6, the toothpaste has a mild flavour to appeal more to children’s tastes.
Colgate Sparkling Mint Gel Sugar-Free Fluoride Children’s Toothpaste
Older kids aged 6 and over who prefer a stronger minty taste should enjoy Colgate’s mint gel toothpastes – just make sure they know not to swallow!
To make toothbrushing more appealing, Colgate has partnered with Disney Pixar and other studios to feature favourite characters on the packaging.
Best floss for kids
Daily flossing is important to remove plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach. Children’s teeth should be flossed as soon as they start to touch side by side, though they’ll need a grown-up’s help for longer than with brushing – usually until the age of 8–10.
Like toothbrushes, kids’ floss should be soft for a gentle clean. Like toothpaste, it’s available in tasty flavours to make flossing less of a chore.
For children who want to start flossing by themselves, a floss stick can be a lot easier to use than the traditional dental tape, especially for reaching the back teeth.
Floss sticks or threaders can also be more comfortable than standard floss for kids and teens with braces.
Piksters® Interdental Brushes
Another alternative to dental floss is interdental brushes that clean gently between teeth. Piksters products were designed by a dentist and are sold in many dental clinics across Australia.
Your family dentist can give you more advice and recommendations about toothbrushes, floss and other oral care products for kids during your regular check-up and clean.
See a kids’ dentist in Kelmscott and Armadale
If it’s time for your child’s check-up or you want to talk to our family dentists about anything that’s on your mind, make an appointment at Kelmscott Dental today.