Helping your child develop good oral hygiene from an early age is essential to dental health. No parent enjoys taking their kid to the dentist and holding their hand while they scream at every hand movement of the dentist.
In today’s society, children tend to get bored quickly with toys. Kids toothbrushes are not toys, of course, but they can certainly be introduced with a certain degree of playfulness. Unfortunately, manual toothbrushes are boring by default.
For this reason, we reviewed 3 of the more entertaining and playful rechargeable power toothbrushes designed for children. Each of the three models is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and can be of great help in developing your kid’s tooth brushing habits.
Best Electric Toothbrush For Kids Comparison
Philips Sonicare For Kids
Oral-B Pro-Health Stages
How Early Should Kids Begin To Brush Their Teeth?
Babies don’t really understand the need to brush their teeth, regardless of what stories we tell them about developing cavities. Scaring children with dental horror stories is also not a good idea, at any age.
The best way to ease your child into brushing its teeth is with playfulness. Also, as soon as they can hold and move the toothbrush, you should let them brush their own teeth. It is a fun and learning experience for any kid.
So, When To Start?
But when do you start brushing your toddlers’ teeth? Well, this is a common question among parents, and it’s a very important one to understand because you need to start teaching your kid good oral hygiene from an early age. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you should start brushing your kid’s teeth as soon as they appear.
You can even begin caring for your baby’s oral health before the first tooth appears. Wiping away the plaque and bacteria using a soft washcloth, a gentle toothbrush, or a piece of gauze can help reduce the risk of infections when the child begins teething.
It also recommended that you visit the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears so that they can work with you to keep the teeth healthy and clean between visits. Of course, you should start small and use just a soft toothbrush with a rice-sized amount of toothpaste. As more teeth come along, you can start increasing the amount gradually.
Do Kids Need An Electric Toothbrush?
In order to make sure that your child has strong healthy teeth, and develops a lifelong dental care habit, it’s very important that you start brushing their teeth as soon as they appear, as we have discussed above. There is a wide range of toothbrush options for kids, but they should generally be small and soft. But, what about kids electric toothbrushes?
Well, electric toothbrushes are generally not suitable for children under the age of three. But for older children, they are quite beneficial in that they help children who have a much less manual dexterity than adults to clean the hard-to-reach areas such as the back of the teeth.
In this case, they can essentially get the job done much more efficiently since they scrub back and forth and cover several teeth at once. Some toothbrushes, such as the ones with circular brush heads do hit a single tooth at a time but are more thorough if the kid has the patience.
How To Help Your Kid Start Using an Electric Toothbrush
Compared to a manual brush, an electric toothbrush can be quite heavy and even intimidating. Sitting down with your kids to use the electric toothbrush and using it yourself is a good first step. You want to set a good example and show your kids that even though it’s noisy and buzzes, it’s nothing to be afraid of!
Besides choosing the right brushes (more on that below) you also need to show them the right technique. With a manual toothbrush, you need to exert more pressure to really scrub your teeth clean, but with an electric toothbrush, a lot of the work is done for you.
Adult electric toothbrushes can have lights to flash when you’re pressing too hard, but kid’s electric toothbrushes tend not to. They often play music instead!
Show your kids how to gently but firmly brush their teeth – on the front, top and back sides of each tooth – with their new brush. You can start them off by using the electric toothbrush turned off, then turn it on when they feel happier using it.
At young ages (under 10) you might need to brush their teeth with them.
Kids Morale & Motivation
In addition, they can significantly boost the morale of your children to brush their teeth. Electric toothbrushes often come with inbuilt timers to make sure that the children brush for the recommended two minutes. Some even have pictures and musical tones that help to make brushing a fun activity. All this makes using kids electric toothbrush a novelty, as it can make children more inclined to brush more regularly.
Overall, both manual and electric toothbrushes are fine ways to maintain good oral health. You just need to find out which one works best with your beginner brusher. But you need to look out for the ADA Seal of approval, a child-sized brush head and handle, soft rounded bristles, and more gimmicks.
What to Check When Shopping For Kids’ Electric Toothbrush
Using kids electric or battery toothbrush is essential. Such models usually are less powerful when it comes to rotations per minute, and also come with brush heads with softer bristles.
Pressure sensors, oscillating brushes, and timers can help your child to do a much better job cleaning their teeth compared to using a manual brush. Moreover, they help to make brushing a fun experience. This way, your kid will be more likely to make it part of their daily routine. Here’s what you should be looking for when shopping for your kids electric toothbrush:
Electric Toothbrushes Ergonomic Features
The handle of the brush should be small enough and easy for the child to use. It should, therefore, be light for the young ones, so that they can hold it comfortably throughout their cleaning time. Some extra features such as a rubber grip on the handle can make the handling a lot more effortless.
Some brushes are made in such a way that the handle allows multi-handling, where both the parent and the child can hold the toothbrush, and the child can hold the brush independently.
Children’s Toothbrush Head
Obviously, the brush head should be small enough to fit into the small mouth of your child. It should also be easy to maneuver into the nooks and crannies of the mouth where food particles can hide.
Also, it is advisable to look for a model that comes with additional brush heads already packed in. This will save you time in the future to shop around for replacement brush heads.
Brush Head Types – What is Good for a Kid?
Small toothbrush heads are best – not just for comfort but also to get food out of hard to reach places. Avoid the pro toothbrush heads with different types of bristles combined. The best for kids is a very soft, round, small and level toothbrush head.
When the brush head starts to fray, it’s time to throw it away and get a new one. Typically, this should be every 3 months. If you notice that the brush head isn’t fraying, that could be a sign that they’re sneakily not brushing their teeth well enough, or the bristles are too firm for their small, baby teeth.
Many brush heads are interchangeable so long as they’re for the right brand of electric toothbrush you have. If your Oral-B model doesn’t come with child-friendly toothbrush heads, that doesn’t mean they aren’t available for that model.
Checking the brush head types available before you buy is just as important as checking the electric toothbrush features.
Soft, Gentle Bristles
Be sure to skip the firm or medium bristles in preference to rounded, soft, (also known as polished) bristles. These are significantly gentler on the gums and teeth of your child.
Go for the Gimmicks
The best electric toothbrush for kids should be relatively customizable and include fun features to keep your child interested in brushing their teeth. Keep in mind that children often have short attention spans. For this reason, you want to get something that will keep them interested in cleaning their teeth for two minutes, which is the recommended time for effective brushing. You can try a brush that plays music until it’s time to stop or ones that light up so that your little one can scrub away in the dark in a private dental disco.
Should I Go by Age Group When Buying?
Use your kid’s age group as a general guide, but you don’t need to stick to it exactly. Kids grow up at different rates so you may find your kid needs a smaller, softer toothbrush or larger, firmer toothbrush. Sometimes it’s better to go by the size of their teeth, mouths, and development rather than age.
- Babies – simply wiping the gums with very soft fabric is enough to keep them clean and begin to get the baby used to daily tooth cleaning.
- Ages 2 to 5 – toddlers want to be involved with the teeth cleaning ritual and will have their own kid’s toothbrush by this time. They still rely on mom or dad to help brush their teeth and can’t do it independently. A small kid’s toothbrush that’s engaging and fun is best at this age.
- Ages 5 to 8 – Moving on to more adult-like toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes, these ages can brush their teeth themselves with supervision from a parent. Gentle electric toothbrushes with suitable brush heads are fine.
- Ages 8 upwards – at this point, your kids can brush their teeth by themselves, with little to no guidance (although it’s always a good idea to double check they’re doing it properly from time to time). They’ll likely still be using a kid’s size toothbrush, eventually transitioning to adult size with small, soft brush heads, and finally to an entirely adult electric toothbrush sometime in the first years of high school.
Electric Toothbrush For Kids Reviews & Ratings
The Philips Sonicare for kids electric toothbrush (model HX6321) is one of the best electric brushes for kids you can find on the market today. It comes packed with practical and fun features that are specifically designed to enhance the teeth brushing experience for children of all ages.
Moreover, the Philips Sonicare HX6321 comes with an interactive App that not only works to excite the child but also educates them. Your child will also get cool rewards throughout their use, in their brushing sessions. Unlike other toothbrushes where you need to scan the toothbrush on a smart device before accessing the app, the one on the Sonicare for kids toothbrush is complementary and convenient to use.
This toothbrush also employs Philips patented Sonic technology that is designed with the kid’s need in mind. As a kid’s version of the toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare HX6321 is programmed to produce fewer vibrations when the brushing sessions start, and then gradually increase the vibrations as the kids become more used to using an electric toothbrush.
To efficiently dislodge all plaque and food particles on the teeth and gums, the sonic movements make 500 strokes a second. This is a highly effective feature, which can remove 75% more plaque compared to manual toothbrushes. This is perhaps the reason why 91% of dentists that are also parents use this toothbrush for their kids.
- The brush is specially designed with kid’s friendly power modes, suitable for children aged between 4 to 7 years. The twin packs come with 2 extra brush heads.
- The brush has a 2-minute timer (SmarTimer) and a Kid pacer (same as QuadPacer). These work great to inform your child when it is time to brush another side of their teeth.
- The free interactive smart app is very interactive. It can be connected to a smartphone or a tablet via Bluetooth technology. It allows you and your kid to track brushing habits. This helps children to stay interested in the brushing process. Therefore, building better brushing habits in time. In addition, the data stored measures the progress and allows you to make any necessary adjustments. There are also cool rewards for good progress, thereby enhancing the brushing experience for kids of all ages.
- The brush has an ergonomic rubber handle, which is ideal for children and comfortable to use. The multi-grip handle allows both the parent and the child to hold the brush simultaneously, which is crucial for the initial stages when you are teaching your child how to brush.
- The Philips Sonicare HX6321 comes with the patented Sonicare for kids brushing technology which ideally makes 500 strokes a second to remove plaque more efficiently.
- The brush handle is customizable to keep everything fun and fresh for your kid. There are eight panels that essentially appeal to both boys and girls, and you can use them to change the look and general feel of the brush to suit the child of your child.
This brush is specifically designed for kids above the age of 4, though it can be used by kids under the age of 3 under strict adult supervision so that the kid doesn’t brush too hard. Hard brushing can damage your kid’s gums.
Philips Sonicare are known for making the best sonic toothbrushes. The HX6321 is absolutely no exception. But, be advised that this is a powerful sonic brush. It reaches up to 31,000 brush movements per minute.
You need to make sure your child eases into this toothbrush. Especially, if he or she is making a switch from a manual to a kids electric toothbrush.
Oral B are a well-trusted brand when it comes to toothbrushes and oral hygiene. It is no surprise that they have products specifically designed for kids.
The Oral-B Pro-Health Stages is specially designed for kids from age 3 and above. It’s usually themed with fun things for children like “Finding Dory”. Just as with most other Oral-B products, the Oral-B kids electric rechargeable brush operates from scientifically proven brushing techniques like oscillations and rotations to effectively remove plaque.
NOTE: If you are having trouble finding this particular toothbrush, try looking it up under Oral-B kids brush or Oral-B kids rechargeable toothbrush in your local drug store. If not, you can always find it online.
- The general design and the brush head of the brush are small, which is just the right size for children
- The Oral-B Pro-Health Stages comes with soft and gentle bristles, which will definitely be gentle and soft on the gum tissues of 3-year olds.
- With the Oral B patented rotary technique, this kids electric rechargeable power brush essentially cleans on a tooth by tooth basis. It can effectively entangle each tooth in multiple rotations so that most of the plaque is dislodged. This works great for children, even when they are losing their baby teeth.
- There’s a quadrant timer that alerts the kid to move from one side or quadrant of the mouth to the other. This 30-seconds times comes preloaded with 1 melody that plays in every signal, each one at a time.
- There’s also a 2 minutes timer that ideally sings fun melodies to alert the kid when they have brushed for the recommended time.
- The Oral-B Pro-Health Stages features a Disney Magic Timer App, which is loaded with Disney characters popular with kids. The more your kid brushes, the more the characters that reveal themselves.
- The kid’s progress and their brushing experience can be tracked via the app, which comes with a helpful calendar.
Colgate has a kids electric chargeable toothbrush that really does not cost more than a manual brush. More importantly, it comes with SpongeBob theme, which your kid is going to like. Costing at around $5, this one is definitely worth a try since there isn’t much to lose. Keep in mind that this is purely a rechargeable power toothbrush and it requires 2 AA batteries to operate.
The Colgate Kids Sponge Bob Power Toothbrush comes with an oscillating Brush Head and soft bristles. This helps the kid remove more plaque from their teeth and gums than they would with a manual toothbrush. Since most kids usually don’t have the grip strength to apply the required amount of pressure when brushing, the oscillating brush head will take care of this problem.
The toothbrush also features soft bristles, which are specifically designed with the sensitive and delicate dental structure of your kid’s mouth in mind. In fact, the biggest problem you are likely to experience with this toothbrush is convincing your child to let the brush do the work for them, rather than them having to scrub their teeth.
The toothbrush also comes with relatively easy to use on and off buttons.
- Well, this is one of the cheapest electric toothbrushes you can find for your kids, and it, therefore, lacks most of the features offered by Philips and Oral B, such as Bluetooth, app connectivity, magic timer, tunes/melodies, and other gimmicks.
- You won’t get the initial supply of the batteries, and you have to keep an ample supply with you to ensure your kids can use the brush whenever they need to.
- The brush head is not replaceable, meaning you need to get a brand new brush whenever the bristles lose their effectiveness.
- Some customers have complained that the brush will only work intermittently, and will quit once your child applies considerable pressure against their teeth. This is quite concerning because, while the initial cost is quite affordable, you will spend a considerable amount of maintenance, not to mention having to replace the whole thing once the bristles wear out.
Although the Oral-B Kids toothbrush has very similar specs to the Oral-B Pro-Health model we reviewed above, it’s surprisingly less kid-friendly! It has the 2 minute timer, kid-friendly size brushes and base, plus all the reliability and quality design that you’d expect from Oral-B.
What it lacks, however, is anything to hold the attention of the user. The Super Tooth design is on the packaging, but the actual toothbrush is bare. It doesn’t play music and only buzzes once at 2 minutes. That’s not to say it’s a boring toothbrush – it’s actually very sleek, modern and ergonomic, as you’d expect from Oral-B.
Overall, this is a toothbrush for more mature kids even though it’s safe for ages 3+. It’s a good option if, as a parent, you can’t stand kid’s pop music too early in the morning. It’s also good for those in-between ages, where your kids are too old for Disney princesses and cartoons but can’t yet use the large, adult-size toothbrushes.
This is a toothbrush your kids can grow up with.
- Comes with a single round, oscillating and rotating brush head but is compatible with a range of different brush heads from the Oral-B range.
- The 2-minute built-in timer vibrates the brush after 2 minutes of use, as a gentle reminder to stop brushing.
- Super Tooth design is printed onto the packaging, however, the actual toothbrush doesn’t have a kid-friendly pattern, picture or special effect.
- 8-day battery and standard charger mean that you can charge this along with all your other Oral-B electric toothbrushes on a single charger, keeping your bathroom clutter-free.
- Suitable for kids age 3+, it’s small and slim in design with a kid-sized brush head and ergonomic base that’s easy for small kids to grip.
- The 2-year limited warranty covers you if the battery dies within days of receiving the brush (it’s very unlikely but does happen with some Oral-B models).
The Aiyabrush is a very simple sonic model that matches Oral-B and other leading toothbrush providers in price. It’s available in white, blue or pink and could be used for up to 9 years if looked after carefully!
The battery life begins at 100 days (brushing twice a day for 4 minutes total) but with regular use that will drop, as is the nature of batteries. Charging is via a USB port charger, which is great for traveling but a little annoying for home use.
The gentle sonic vibrations are good for kids especially as it’s quieter than most electric toothbrushes and is more suitable for sensitive teeth. The downside is, it won’t rotate and brush away those hard to reach areas between your kid’s teeth. Aiyabrush heads are oblong rather than round – this also makes it harder to reach around teeth and instead promotes an up-down brushing motion rather than the superior circular motion.
It doesn’t play music or have any attractive images printed on it, but the bright colors should be enough to keep older children happy. While kids might outgrow the toothbrush with their favorite kids’ TV character on it, they won’t outgrow a simple, block-colored toothbrush. It doesn’t go out of favor as your kid’s favorites shows do.
- 6-hour charge on the battery lasts up to 100 days. Recharge it easily via the USB port charger (no standing base).
- Oblong brush head with ultra-soft bristles is familiar for kids used to manual oblong brush heads. 2 included with the toothbrush base. Replacement heads are easy to find on Amazon or the official website.
- Suitable for kids aged 3 to 12 and available in 3 colors, white, blue and pink.
- 2-minute built-in timer also gives vibrations every 30 seconds for reminders to switch brushing area and when to stop.
21000VPM sonic brushstrokes (no rotation) is ideal for kids with sensitive teeth and gums. It’s also very quiet.
Kids Electric Toothbrush Summary
Getting your kids to brush their teeth does not have to turn into an intergalactic war (not even a star wars). Getting them fun to use a toothbrush, that comes with replacement brush heads (very important), could easily do the trick for you.
Another helpful tip is to dedicate specific brushing time during the day. This will help create healthy habits.
In case your child is wearing braces, you might want to check this article out. We have reviewed some powerful toothbrushes that are best suitable for people with braces.
If your kid has very sensitive gums, you should read this article here. It lists a few good electric toothbrush options for people with receding gums. It can be very helpful to your child’s overall dental hygiene.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.