Should My Children Use A Sonic Toothbrush?
Walking down the toothbrush aisle at your neighborhood drug store can be dizzying! Electric toothbrushes, spin brushes, sonic brushes, cartoon brushes, manual toothbrushes compete for your eye. Which is best? Should I consider a sonic toothbrush for my child?
What Is "Sonic" Anyway?
Some may be wondering what exactly is a sonic toothbrush compared to an electric toothbrush. Sonic, by definition means a frequency heard by the human ear relating to sound waves and vibrations. Sonic sound waves break down cell walls. Electric toothbrushes without sonic power can't do this.
How Does A Sonic Toothbrush Work?
The sonic waves and vibrations of the toothbrush work to sweep the bristles back and forth equaling approximately 29,000 or more brush strokes per minute. (how many brush strokes vary according to the brand of toothbrush) These thousands of brush strokes, and the sonic power break up the plaque*, found on teeth. It also pushes fluid (water, saliva, toothpaste slurry) deep between the spaces between teeth, where regular toothbrush bristles can't reach.
* Plaque is a sticky, filmy substance on the surface of a tooth consisting of mucus, bacteria, food, etc; Also called bacterial plaque, or biofilm
Children's Sonic Toothbrush
Advantages of Sonic Toothbrushes
- the patient only has to focus on the placement of the brush, not the brushing action
- the toothbrush does the work, not the patient
- powered toothbrushes are more effective at plaque removal
- using a sonic toothbrush as a child, will help build healthy brushing habits lasting a lifetime
- ergonomic handle has different gripping positions , great for shared or independent brushing.
- 2 minute timer; 2 minutes being the recommended goal for brushing.
- 2 power settings, low & high
- Rubber overmold, which adds a layer of protection for kids' teeth
- 2 different brush head sizes, perfect for growing mouths
- interchangeable front panel, adds some fun
- only requires a tiny amount of toothpaste
- children like "things" that make noise and music
Disadvantages Of Sonic Toothbrushes
- $$$ sonic toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes
- bulky - may be heavy for some children's small hands
- base tends to get dirty and smelly, adult will need to keep it clean
- some children don't like the initial tickling sensation in the mouth
- it can be inconvenient to travel with
As a Dental Health Professional I respect what the Cochrane Collaboration has to say. First, you should know that the Cochrane Collaboration is an Independent Organization" that aims to help people make well informed decisions about healthcare."
Cochrane has said, " the sonic power toothbrush supports a more effective plaque removal versus a manual toothbrush."
We want sticky plaque removed from our children's teeth, because we don't want them to get cavities, or gingivitis. (gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingiva, or gums). You may have noticed gingivitis on someone before. It's that bright red, puffy appearance on the gum line. Teenagers and Orthodontic patients are known for this!
Using a sonic toothbrush as a child, will help build healthy brushing habits which will last a lifetime. We already know that studies have shown sonic powered toothbrushes offer advantages, so why not have our children use them? It helps smooth and support the change from adult/child brushing together, to independent brushing. As a parent and as a Dental Hygienist, I am confident recommending a sonic powdered toothbrush to my patients!