Good oral care is essential at any age, especially in the early years when children’s teeth are weaker and more vulnerable to dental caries or cavities. According to SingHealth, an estimated 40% of preschool children in Singapore can be affected by tooth decay before the age of 6.
Untreated or delayed treatment for tooth decay in kids can also cause more severe issues such as gum disease in kids, painful and swollen gums, or permanent damage to their ‘adult’ teeth later on in life.
As tooth decay can be largely prevented through lifestyle changes, it is important to help your child develop a good dental care routine that they will stick to as they grow up.
This routine should include introducing your child to proper toothbrushing which is one of the core fundamentals of daily dental care. Whether you get a manual or electric toothbrush for your kids, rest assured that it is an important step in maintaining their future dental health.
If you are considering getting an electric toothbrush for your child, here’s what you need to know:
Whether your child’s toothbrush is manual or electric does not matter as much as the regularity of their brushing and whether they’re using proper toothbrushing technique. Nonetheless many children will find themselves drawn to the variety of bright and colourful electric toothbrushes for kids that they will see on the shelves. However, some kids might not be suitable for electric toothbrushes due to factors like:
For both electric and manual toothbrushes you should look at factors like the stiffness or softness of the bristles as well as the size of the toothbrush.
The recommendation for children under 3 years of age is to use a manual toothbrush. This not only helps them build up their toothbrushing technique but can prevent choking or injury as well.
After the age of 3 you can assess if your child is suitable for an electric toothbrush and ensure that you supervise them during the brushing process.
Electric toothbrushes can actually encourage proper brushing habits if supervised correctly – many electric toothbrushes for kids come with lights, bells, or musical sounds that encourage the child to brush for the full two minutes and make it a fun activity. Children with limited mobility may also find an electric toothbrush a great step to becoming more independent.
Regardless if your child does use an electric toothbrush you should still encourage proper brushing techniques to avoid them getting complacent. It takes time to build up good dental habits and you should always encourage your child to follow recommended brushing times and techniques so that they form a healthy habit.
If your child appears to have pain, discomfort, or other issues when brushing their teeth, you can bring them in to any of our FDC dental clinics in Singapore for a thorough children’s dentistry checkup. Families in the North-east and East of Singapore can visit FDC Victoria Hougang or FDC Harbour Point Hawhere our resident kids dentists are exceptionally well-liked by our young patients and will help them feel comfortable throughout the visit!