Less Whining and More Fun: Electric Toothbrushes Encourage Children to Brush Their Teeth

If you have ever had to convince your kids to brush their teeth, in the midst of all of their convincing that they don’t need to, the struggle can get downright frustrating. Having a tool in your arsenal that makes them want to brush their teeth would probably be an invaluable resource. Imagine getting your child excited about their dental care! Electric toothbrushes are that coveted tool.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay and cavities are more common in American children than any other chronic infectious diseases.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that electric toothbrushes are the solution to ensuring your kids are practicing good oral health.

In our office, children’s dentistry requires us to use a completely different approach than when we care for grown up teeth. Children are naturally curious but also quite intimidated by things that are new. To help ensure your child’s dental appointments go as smooth as possible, proper brushing at home is the key. And often, a special, fun toothbrush can make all the difference.

Still not sure how a special toothbrush can help with brushing woes? Here are some helpful things to know about electric toothbrushes.

Helps improve their brushing

Electric toothbrushes have been shown to help children remove up to 41% more plaque from their teeth than cleaning with a regular toothbrush alone (Vanderbilt University Psychology Department). The reason lies in kids ability, or lack of, to reach all of their teeth. Experts at Vanderbilt go on to say that a 5 year old only reaches about 25% of their tooth area and an 11 year old still only reaches about 50% of their tooth area. Electric toothbrushes give kids the movement and coordination to focus more on moving the brush around and less on “just getting it done.”

The answer to physical limitations

There is a reason parents and caregivers are told to supervise children’s tooth brushing habits until they are 8 or so. Young children simply do not have the fine motor skills required for brushing their teeth effectively. And with children who are disabled, this may extend even beyond 8 years old. Electric toothbrushes can be the guide that children need to brush their teeth until they develop these essential skills.

Preparation for dental visits

Children can often be very intimidated by a visit to the dentist and they react by crying or throwing a tantrum. This makes it very difficult to properly exam their mouths, let alone care for any decay that may be occurring. The University of Hawaii has come up with a solution that works by imitating what happens at a dental visit. Electric toothbrushes simulate the sounds they may hear, so they may be less fearful when and if the time comes for them to have any kind of dental work done.

Electric toothbrushes are fun

If you don’t see the fun in an electric toothbrush, you must not have seen the Spongebob Squarepants one or the Spiderman ones yet. Or how about the ones that play music. The truth is, kids see brushing their teeth as a chore, as something that takes away from their playtime. As much as parents can talk and even threaten them, nothing works as well as putting a positive spin on a boring chore. A fun toothbrush with their favorite character or favorite tune means they might actually look forward to brushing their teeth.

Our approach to children’s dentistry focuses on making children comfortable and helping them understand the process. If there is a tool that can make caring for their teeth more enjoyable, then we highly recommend it. Electric toothbrushes encourage the proper brushing techniques that can prevent major dental problems.

So if getting your kids to brush their teeth has been a struggle, try an electric toothbrush and show them how much fun it can be.

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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If it's been more than 6 months since your last teeth cleaning, give us a call today to schedule your check-up.

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