An electric toothbrush can make the brushing teeth easier and more fun for children. Here are some tips for teaching your child how to brush with an electric toothbrush.
Before You Start
Choose an electric toothbrush with small, round, rotating head. This style makes it easy to access those hard-to-reach areas at the back of the mouth, and the rotating action mimics the ideal brushing motion. You’ll find many electric toothbrushes designed just for kids at your local Shopper’s Drug Mart and most other pharmacies. Select one for your child based on the age range on the package.
Show your child the electric toothbrush, and how it works, before she tries to use it. Show her how to turn it on and off, how to rinse it thoroughly, and how to place it on the charger.
Smaller children may feel a little scared by the sounds and vibrations of the electric toothbrush at first. If this is the case with your child, let her turn the brush on and hold it against her hand, so that she can see that it is soft and gentle, and won't hurt to use.
Divide & Conquer
Ask your child to imagine her jaws have 4 sections. Top-Left, Top-Right, Bottom-Left, and Bottom-Right.
That means that for two minutes of brushing, each section of teeth gets 30 seconds of attention. Depending on your child’s age, you can use this for a mini math lesson!
3 Steps for Successful Brushing
- Apply the toothpaste, and place the brush of the electric toothbrush horizontally against the teeth. Then, turn it on and move it slowly and gently along the gum line. Very little pressure is necessary; let the brush do most of the work!
- Spend a few seconds on each tooth, and angle the electric toothbrush to clean the interdental areas (between the teeth) as you move along.
- Be sure to brush the front, back and chewing surface of every tooth.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Spend some extra time on the backs of the lower incisors (the bottom front teeth), as plaque builds up readily in this area.
- Don’t forget to brush the back surface of your back molars; the small, rounded head of the electric toothbrush makes cleaning this area much easier!
- Replace your electric toothbrush head regularly; 3-4 times a year is recommended.