By the time your child is ready to brush his teeth all on his own he will also be ready to learn how to take care of his toothbrush, how to use mouthwash and how to floss his teeth. Most kids are ready to start a regimen for good oral health by the time they are eight years old, some even sooner.
A wet toothbrush is an invitation to germs and putting it away in a dark closed-in environment just increases the risk. Children should learn to rinse their toothbrush with hot water after brushing to get rid of any excess toothpaste. It should then stand in an upright position in a container that is open to the air so that the bristles can dry out asap before the next use. This may present a problem when traveling, however. An alternative is to pack a few disposable toothbrushes for the trip.
It is very important that everyone in the family have their own toothbrush. Learning to share toys with siblings is one thing but the same rule should never apply to their toothbrushes. Kids are always coming down with the sniffles, or a cold or fever. Symptoms may be passed on to brothers or sisters but one way to reduce the risk is to keep their toothbrushes to themselves.
A toothbrush isn’t made to last forever. The fact is that the bristles begin to be less effective after three or four months and kids are even harder on their toothbrushes than adults. Check the brushes often to be sure.
An antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent the growth of bacteria on the teeth as well as on the toothbrush. Encourage your child to rinse before he brushes.
If your child is at higher than normal risk for infection talk to your pediatric dentist about other ways to keep his toothbrush as free of harmful bacteria as possible.
Some of the inquiries on the FAQ page of the Epic Dentistry for Kids, epicdentistryforkids.com, may also apply to your concerns. Call the office @ 303-367-1502 to make an appointment.