New Straits Times
Soft bristles and large handles
Dr Ahmad Faisal Ismail lists what to look for when choosing a toothbrush for a child
HAVE you ever found yourself standing at the oral care section of a pharmacy, looking for the best toothbrush for your child? Good dental care should start at a very young age. Here are some tips to consider when you go shopping for the appropriate toothbrush for your child.
1. AGE OF CHILD
Age is an important factor in determining the right toothbrush. For a very young child and baby, you don’t really need a toothbrush. A damp cloth or gauze can be used to clean the child’s teeth and gums.
You can also consider finger brushes to clean and stimulate the gum. Introduce gentle brushing when you see a tooth emerging from the gum. In general, you want a toothbrush that is small enough to fit easily in your child’s mouth. Children need to brush their teeth under parental supervision to make sure effective brushing takes place.
2. CARTOON AND DESIGN
colours and designs. Most have cartoon and animal characters on their handles to attract a child’s attention. Getting a toothbrush with your child’s favourite cartoon character might help make brushing teeth a fun activity.
If you think the harder the bristles the cleaner the teeth, you are wrong. Harder bristles can damage your child’s gums, so choose a brush with soft bristles.
When used properly, it will do the same job as a medium or harder brush and still keep your child’s gums from becoming irritated or injured.
4. TOOTHBRUSH HANDLE
Children generally find larger handles easier to grip. It will also allow them to be more effective when brushing their teeth.
5. TYPES OF TOOTHBRUSH
Manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective at removing plaque when used correctly.
However, for disabled children, an electric toothbrush offers an advantage when compared to a manual toothbrush. * The writer is Assistant Professor in Paediatric Dentistry, Kulliyyah of Dentistry, International Islamic University Malaysia.