At every age, it is important to pick a toothbrush that works best for your child's teeth. Generally speaking, soft bristles as well as rounded ends are gentlest on gums and tooth enamel. Brushes with smaller heads also ensure that your child is able to get into the hard-to-reach spots. It is also important to ensure the toothbrush you purchase fits comfortably in your child's mouth, and that they are able to hold and manipulate it comfortably.
Some parents are hesitant to use toothbrushes for their infants, but there is nothing to fear. If you get one that is small enough, with extremely soft bristles, you can start using it on your baby's gums even before their first tooth erupts. As they get older, get your toddler a fun coloured toothbrush to pique their interest, but ensure it has a small head and large handle.
At this stage, your child is likely getting a better grasp of brushing their teeth. You should now aim for a toothbrush with a bigger head, but still one that is smaller than an adult toothbrush. The handle should also now be smaller to accommodate for the developing manual dexterity.
To keep it fun, let your child pick a brush with their favourite cartoon character on it!
Your child is likely ready to brush independently and unsupervised by now. At this point, using an adult toothbrush is acceptable, or one with a slightly smaller head.
Whether manual or electric, be sure to run your brush choice past your child's dentist to make sure you are providing them with the best and safest option!