Yes, but be smart about it.
No, your child isn’t just making a fuss. Kids actually have more sensitive gag reflexes compared to adults. This is natural protection to keep undesirable objects from going down their throat. Anything that a child swallows is more difficult than for an adult.
Also, kids can get scared by the buzzing noise. And the spinning toothbrush might actually tickle or feel weird on their gums and teeth.
Some kids are mouth breathers. When they are brushing, they find it hard to breathe and they gag more easily, so they avoid brushing. Take time to understand your child and show them ways of brushing more slowly or ways so they don’t have such a tough time brushing.
Toothpaste is overrated. Young children often don’t like the taste of toothpaste. That’s not a problem. In reality, toothpaste provides only about ten percent of the value of brushing. It is equally or more important that the brush stroke is good, the bristles are straight and the child covers all areas of their teeth thoroughly. It’s ok to wait until a child is about five years old before they start using toothpaste regularly.
Kids Don’t NEED An Electric Toothbrush
…But it can be helpful in keeping their teeth clean.
The reality is that kids are not very good at brushing. Reaching all parts of their teeth can be a challenge. They may not understand the layout of their teeth. They may not have the coordination to get to all their teeth to properly brush them.
An electric toothbrush can get more done in less time. If a child is having a hard time reaching their teeth to brush them properly, two or three seconds with an electric toothbrush is more than enough to take care of cleaning. They would have to take longer with a manual toothbrush.
Most children can start brushing with an electric toothbrush at around the age of two. Children that young should always have adult supervision. In most cases kids start using electric toothbrushes around age six or eight. It’s best to wait until they ask for it, then you know they are willing to give it a fair shot.
It is important that the adults in their life have good brushing habits. Kids will mimic you and unconsciously adopt the same attitudes you have. If they see you taking care of your teeth, your kids are likely to follow along. On the other hand, if they see you resisting or not brushing properly, they are likely to do the same.
One of the best things you can do is to get your child to be comfortable with the dentist. Start taking your kids to the dentist every six months as soon as their teeth start coming out. This will establish the idea that a relationship with a dentist is a natural part of having healthy teeth.
Your dentist will support and train your child in good oral hygiene habits. Sometimes a child may not listen to their parent, but when a dentist explains why and shows them what their teeth look like, using a model, it just makes more sense.
An electric toothbrush is a great idea, as long as it is in the context of good teeth care habits.