They used to be perceived as luxury items, but time and technology has reduced the price of electric toothbrushes.
Nowadays, an estimated 40% of all toothbrushes sold are of the electric variety – be they rechargeable or battery-powered – and a lot of them are aimed at kids. But are they the right choice for your child?
Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we get a lot of enquiries from concerned parents on the subject, so here are our thoughts on the subject…
Electric v manual
First things first: yes, in a like-for-like comparison, electric toothbrushes beat the traditional version hands-down. Multiple studies have confirmed that, when used properly, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than their manual counterparts.
All the original fears about electric toothbrushes – that they contribute more to gum recession, tooth abrasion and gingivitis – have been dispelled.
Are electric toothbrushes safe for kids?
In almost every case, yes. The Oral Health Foundation approved them for one simple reason – that they make a regular chore more fun for children. As long as they meet the basic requirements of an adequate child’s toothbrush – small head, soft nylon bristles, and a handle suitable for the age of the child – there’s nothing to worry about.
However, there are provisos. Firstly, just because the brush is up to the job, it doesn’t necessarily mean the brusher is too.
Dentists recommend that you supervise your child’s brushing regime until the age of 7, but some parents assume that the electric toothbrush will do the job. Obviously, it won’t, if it’s not being used on every tooth for an adequate amount of time.
Secondly, there is a chance that an electric toothbrush will aggravate loose baby teeth. Most children will start to lose theirs between five and seven, but it can happen earlier – and when that happens, it’s wise to switch to a manual one for a while.