When it comes to your child's oral hygiene, the best tool she has is her toothbrush. Seeing as how it is used twice a day to keep tooth decay at bay, it is important to choose the right one. Despite this, parents don't take a lot of time when purchasing a toothbrush for their children. Instead, they simply go to the store and grab one, or allow their children to grab the one that they like the best (often based on a favorite character from a TV show or movie). However, there are several things that should be taken into consideration when selecting a toothbrush. Here are a few guidelines to follow when shopping for your child's first toothbrush:

1. Type of Bristles

Just like adult toothbrushes, children's toothbrushes are available with different types of bristles. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a general rule, it is recommended that children use bristles that are soft and rounded. Gums are very sensitive, so soft bristles won't hurt the gums, but they will still manage to clean them effectively. However, hard bristles could actually cut into the gums, and they don't offer additional cleaning abilities.

2. Head Size

Another thing that you need to consider is the size of the toothbrush head. It needs to fit comfortably inside your child's mouth and be small enough to reach all of those hard-to-reach spots. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you always choose a child-sized toothbrush, and you should look for toothbrushes that are within your child's specific age bracket. This is going to get you the closest to the accurate size for your child's mouth.

3. Handle

This particular one is when you need to have your child with you. Let your child hold the toothbrush in her hand and see what feels most comfortable for her. If it doesn't feel comfortable, let her try another one. She needs to be able to grasp it easily and effectively brush her teeth. Keep in mind that there are going to be various types of handles, such as straight handles, angled handles, curved handles, vibrating handles, and more. So, there will be a lot to go through, but the important thing is that it is comfortable for your child. For many kids, despite the shape of the handle, the best kind is one with a rubber grip because it allows for a firm grasp on the brush.

If you have tried to go shopping for a toothbrush and are still having difficulty finding one that your child can work with or are just unsure of the one your child should use, reach out to your pediatric dentist for assistance. Contact a dental office like South Shore Smiles for more information and assistance.