Kids Toothbrushes: Choosing the Right Toothbrush at Every Age

Picking the right kids toothbrush can feel overwhelming at times. There are so many options these days, so you may be unsure which toothbrush is right for your child. This guide explains the right toothbrush for each age group so you can find the perfect fit for your child.

Toothbrushes for Babies and Toddlers

When a baby’s teeth first come in, you can clean them with a damp cloth, gauze, or a finger toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also use a baby toothbrush, which will have a very small head. These usually come in bright colors, and their handles are still large enough for an adult to grip onto.

Toddler toothbrushes have a small head, similar to baby toothbrushes. They have soft grips that a toddler can hold onto, but the toothbrushes are large enough for adults to use as well. This allows you to do the bulk of the brushing, but your toddler can participate as a learning experience. You can have your child practice brushing his or her teeth before you perform a more thorough cleaning.

Toothbrushes for Age 5 to 8

Around the age of five, your child will be ready for an upgrade. Kids toothbrushes for this age group have small handles and slightly larger heads than toddler toothbrushes. They are designed for children who have baby teeth but are starting to develop adult teeth as well. Your child may already have the skills necessary to brush his teeth on his own, but you’ll still need to be there for supervision.

Toothbrushes for Age 8+

Toothbrushes for children over eight are almost identical to adult toothbrushes, but they have slightly smaller heads. They usually have fun characters and colors to encourage children to brush their teeth. Children at this age can use power toothbrushes or manual toothbrushes. They can usually be left to brush their teeth without supervision.

When to Switch to Adult Toothbrushes

Most children can transition to adult toothbrushes around age 10. This is when they have most of their adult teeth, and they have plenty of practice brushing their teeth on their own. However, if your child has a small mouth or finds it difficult to use an adult toothbrush, you may need to wait until he or she is older.

General Tips for Choosing Kids Toothbrushes

No matter what age your child is, select a toothbrush that comfortably fits in his hand and mouth. Most children’s toothbrushes are designed with soft bristles that are flexible enough to get between teeth but soft on a child’s developing gums. Children typically do best with toothbrushes that have a narrowed top that tapers down. This allows them to reach the back of their mouths.

Also keep in mind what your child’s personal taste is. If he or she likes a certain cartoon character, try to find a toothbrush that meets the practical needs but still features a fun character. This will make brushing teeth as exciting as possible.

Don’t Forget to Replace Your Child’s Toothbrush!

Remember to replace your child’s toothbrush at least twice a year. Because children get sick more often than adults, you may need to replace your child’s toothbrush multiple times a year. Check out our guide on When to Replace Your Toothbrush to learn more.

Looking for a trusted child dentist near you? Contact Clinton Dental Center at (586) 949-5363 to learn about our child dentistry services.