When Should My Child Change Their Toothbrush?

Pediatric Dentists Grand Rapids MI

Your child’s favorite toothbrush has been around for awhile. The characters on the toothbrush are from a movie that came out a few years ago, yet your child refuses to throw it away. Does this sound familiar? It’s only normal for children to cling onto objects that are familiar. However, when is it time to take your child shopping for a new toothbrush? It may be sooner than you think. A Grand Rapids pediatric dentist can help you and your child develop healthy oral habits that will last a lifetime.

In this blog post, you will learn when you should swap out your child’s toothbrush for a new one.

Three Months Have Passed

The American Dental Association recommends parents replace their children’s toothbrushes every three months. Over time, the bristles on your child’s toothbrush get worn and aren’t able to remove as much bacteria or plaque as they did when they were new.

The “3 month rule” is merely a suggestion based on average toothbrush usage. Some people may brush their teeth more vigorously than others and require their toothbrush to be replaced sooner. We recommend parents pay special attention to the shape of the toothbrush bristles. If the bristles are pointing out in all directions, you’ll need to replace your toothbrush, even if it hasn’t been three months yet. The next time your child needs pediatric dental services, you can ask their dentist for more oral health tips.

Bristles are Worn

If you notice the bristles on your child’s toothbrush are beginning to point in different directions, it’s time for a new toothbrush. A frayed toothbrush won’t be able to remove bacteria and plaque as efficiently as a new toothbrush. New toothbrushes have straight bristles, which will be able to easily clean in between teeth and other hard-to-reach places.

Bristles are Flat

Whenever you go on a trip, it’s important to store your child’s toothbrushin a protective travel case. Otherwise, the bristles will become flattened in your child’s suitcase. Similar to worn bristles, bristles that are flattened are unable to clean your child’s teeth as efficiently as they did prior to being crushed.

You’re Concerned with Bacteria Growth

Did you know that all sorts of nasty things can grow on your children’s toothbrushes? Some examples include flu, strep, staph, and e-coli. As parents, it can be easy for us to forget about the condition of our child’s toothbrush when we’re so focused on trying to get them to brush in the first place.

Make sure you replace your child’s toothbrush every three months so they aren’t brushing their teeth with a bacteria-infected toothbrush. An easy way to remember is to buy a new toothbrush at the beginning of the four seasons. Make sure you buy a new toothbrushfor yourself too. To make things even easier, most reputable pediatric dentists offer their patients new toothbrushes at the end of their appointments.

It’s Flu Season

Your child can’t re-infect themselves with the flu or other viruses by continuing to use the same toothbrush. This is because their body creates antibodies that make them immune to that specific strain of illness. However, this doesn’t mean that their toothbrush can’t harbor germs that could spread to toothbrushes belonging to other family members.

It’s relatively easy for germs to spread if your family’s toothbrushes are all stored in the same place, which is why you may want to consider replacing your child’s toothbrush. If one of your children just got over a bad bug, you may want to consider toothbrush replacement so that they don’t share their germs with anyone else, including you.

If you are interested in our pediatric dentistry services, please feel free to give our Grand Rapids pediatric dentists a call at (616) 942-9840. Dr. Kingma DDS has dedicated his career toward providing the highest level of pediatric dental care services for his patients, as well as offering helpful dental tips for parents.