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Experts agree that healthy dental habits start at an early age — and yet, getting young kids to brush their teeth every day can be a constant battle for many parents.
When it comes to choosing between basic manual brushes or electric powered brushes, there are so many options.
“It is possible to find a toothbrush that is affordable, suits your child’s needs, and makes brushing their teeth feel like a fun task.”
- Best overall electric toothbrush for kids: Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for younger kids: Dada-Tech Baby Electric Toothbrush
- Best battery-operated kids’ electric toothbrush: Arm & Hammer Kid’s Spinbrush
- Best electric toothbrush and toothpaste subscription: quip Kids Electric Toothbrush
- Least scary electric toothbrush for kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids Power Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for braces: Fairywill Sonic Electric Toothbrush
- Best budget-friendly electric toothbrush for kids: Colgate Kids Trolls Electronic Toothbrush
- Best easy-to-use electronic toothbrush for kids: Solimo Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush
- Best entertaining electronic toothbrush for kids: Brusheez Kids Electric Toothbrush Set
We started by asking Dr. Hanna Park, a DMD and board certified pediatric dentist at Memorial Children’s Dentistry in Houston, Texas, for recommendations. Additionally, we evaluated reviews from parents and the following criteria:
- Durability. The best electric toothbrushes should be more durable, so they last longer than regular toothbrushes (still replacing the heads, of course).
- Reasonable price tag for the market. While some electric toothbrushes for adults can run you a couple hundred dollars, all our picks are under $50.
- Rave reviews about ease of use for kids and effectivity in cleaning. We looked for positive reviews from other parents.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$30
- $$$ = over $30
Best overall electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $$
- Pros: comes with stickers for the handle, free app to help with brushing habits, gentle mode can be good for younger kids
- Cons: may be too big for very young kids, does not have a low battery light
Park always recommends soft bristles for kids. This toothbrush is a great price point.
The Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush has a rechargeable handle and a special gentle mode for kids that includes a round, extra- soft brush head. The Disney Magic Timer app encourages brushing using interactive videos.
It comes with four free stickers and is available in a few different themes.
Best electric toothbrush for younger kids
- Price: $
- Pros: appropriate for ages 0 to 3, built-in timer, soft nylon bristles that are gentle enough for little teeth
- Cons: batteries are difficult to replace, bristles can come off easily
The small head and soft nylon bristles of the toothbrush are designed to be gentle on teeth and gum. It has a self-timer that will blink every 30 seconds to indicate when it is time to focus on another area.
“The brightly colored brush handle and light make tooth-brushing more fun and less intimidating for your child. The light is helpful for seeing what is happening in a child’s mouth.”
Best battery-operated kids’ electric toothbrush
- Price: $
- Pros: oscillating upper bristles, a variety of kid-friendly designs, easy to hold
- Cons: young kids may find the button difficult to press, lacks power, batteries need to be changed frequently
A battery-powered toothbrush offers a less expensive, yet still effective way to brush your kids’ teeth. This kids’ brush from Arm & Hammer has a small, soft-bristle head to fit smaller mouths. While the fixed lower bristles go to work on cleaning your little one’s teeth, the top bristles spin to massage gums and may help to better fight plaque.
The button is difficult to hold for younger kids, but it comes with two necessary batteries. This brush is not the most user-friendly for little ones.
Best electric toothbrush and toothpaste subscription
- Price: $$
- Pros: includes cover to keep the brush head clean, 30-second pulse timer, thin handle for small hands
- Cons: more expensive than other brushes, replacement heads may be hard to find, brush head does not rotate
This option is sleek, battery-operated, and trendy like the adult toothbrush from quip. The quip kids toothbrush has a smaller head, softer bristles, and the same 2-minute timer.
Choose from four different handles. You will receive a new brush head and a fresh tube of toothpaste every 3 months with your subscription.
Least scary electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $$$
- Pros: high fun factor, excellent power, timed-sections makes brushing easier
- Cons: expensive initial investment, replacement heads are pricey, large brush head
Adding songs or other interactive features can help kids be less intimidated by an electric toothbrush if it looks like a fun toy.
Kids can use a free interactive app that teaches the importance of brushing in a fun way if they use the colorful brush from the Sonicare. The brush has a feature that will alert you when it is time to move on to another area of the mouth.
Most parents say this toothbrush is a mini version of the adult electric toothbrush. This is the most expensive option on the list and you will pay for all the bells and whistles.
Best electric toothbrush for braces
- Price: $$
- Pros: good for older kids and teens with braces, three cleaning modes are good for sensitive teeth
- Cons: not meant for younger kids, expensive setup and maintenance costs, lacks kid-friendly colors and designs
“Adults and older children with braces like the toothbrush because it is not targeted towards children. One reviewer said it was especially effective for cleaning around her 10-year-old daughter’s wires and brackets.”
The brush has soft bristles that are recommended for kids with braces. The bristles of Fairywill fade from blue to white, indicating that it is time to replace the head.
Best budget-friendly electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $
- Pros: easy-to-operate button, stylish and fun for kids, flat backside for easy toothpaste application
- Cons: does not come with a timer, brush head does not spin
Colgate Kids battery powered toothbrush is a budget toothbrush that cleans teeth and makes your child smile. The electronic toothbrush is fun and affordable.
The Colgate brush has an easy on/off switch and a vibrating head, which makes it a great starter electric brush for young children. The head does not have a case or holder for storage, and it does not rotate.
You will need to buy a new toothbrush each time you want to replace the head. This may not be a problem for many families because it is so cheap.
Best easy-to-use electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $
- Pros: designed for small hands, extra-soft bristles, includes two brushes
- Cons: button can wear out fast, may need to replace more often than higher priced toothbrushes, brush heads are not replaceable
The game is easy to use when it comes to encouraging good dental hygiene habits. The Solimo Kids toothbrush has a red button that your child can use to brush.
“The brush is a two-pack with one yellow and one blue toothbrush. It’s better at removing plaque and getting into hard-to-reach areas because it has an oscillating brush head.”
The Solimo bristles are soft and gentle, but they have power, which makes them great for kids. It has two batteries, but it does not have a case or holder to hold the toothbrush.
The brush heads are not replaceable, so you may find yourself buying a new set more often than you would with an electronic toothbrush that has replaceable heads.
Best entertaining electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $
- Pros: colorful and fun to help motivate young kids, sand timer for thorough brushing, affordable sticker price
- Cons: does not have a quad pacer (a built-in timer that divides your mouth into four sections for brushing), may have to order replacement heads instead of buying in-store
The fun design and accessories that come with the Brusheez Carnivore electric toothbrush set will make younger kids want to use them.
The set includes a toothbrush, animal cover, sand timer, rinse cup, and base to keep everything organized. You can mount the base on the wall, which makes it great for small countertops.
The timer is not built in or electronic, but it does create a visual to help kids continue brushing until the sand runs out.
The soft bristles and gentle electric sensations make this brush a great option for kids ages 3 and up.
They can make brushing easier. Electric toothbrushes are easier to use than standard ones when you help your child brush their teeth, says Park.
However, some kids may be sensitive to vibrations and may not like the sound or the feel of an electric toothbrush. Especially if your child has a difficult time with sensory processing, an electric toothbrush can be a lot to take in.
Park says that it is not a good idea to use electric toothbrushes until you are 3 years old.
She says that children will have all their primary teeth erupted by age 3. Kids with limited dexterity may not be able to thoroughly clean multiple surfaces of teeth with a toothbrush.
And, although the American Dental Association (ADA) says both manual and electric toothbrushes are considered effective, Park says you’re still likely to feel a difference in your own teeth with an electric brush and that they sometimes do a better job at removing plaque.
“She says that most of the kids with gingivitis have plaque removal as a priority. Baby molars do not fall out until age 12 so it’s important to brush them back thoroughly.”
Kids need help with brushing their teeth until they are about 6 years old, whether they are using an electric or manual toothbrush.
Good dental hygiene is important for your kids when they are young. Kids need to keep up with their dental hygiene.
- Brush together. One way you can help kids keep up their dental hygiene is to brush alongside them, demonstrating proper technique, and talking positively about caring for your teeth.
- Shop for a toothbrush together. Show your child four or five different toothbrushes (approved by you) and allow them to choose the one they like the best.
- Pick out a fun and tasty toothpaste. Let them pick out a toothpaste and other dental products with your help. The ADA does not recommend that children under 6 use mouthwash!
- Visit the dentist twice a year. The first visit should take place after your child gets their first tooth or before their first birthday, according to the ADA.
- Make a schedule. Decide on a time in the morning and evening to brush. If your child is old enough, allow them to have input. Write the time on a sticky note and place it on the bathroom mirror or next to the sink. This can help create a routine, so they get used to brushing at a certain time each day.
- Set up a reward system. You can make tooth-brushing fun by using rewards and incentives. Have your child help design a sticker chart and let them add a sticker each time they brush. Decide on two to three rewards and then let them choose a reward after they earn a certain number of stickers.
- Read together. The library is loaded with books on brushing and dental hygiene. Choose a few and incorporate them into story time.
- Get a brushing stuffed animal. You can purchase stuffed animals with exposed teeth that are designed to give kids practice brushing with a toothbrush.
The daunting 2-minute timer
The 2-minute timer feature on most electric toothbrushes is to encourage healthy brushing. 2 minutes can feel like a lifetime with a toddler.
“Don’t stress out if you want a 2-minute brush. Less time is better than nothing if you can brush quickly but thoroughly.”
- Softness. Whether manual or electric, experts recommend that children use a brush with soft bristles.
- Price. “Before investing in a full-spec brush, try a less expensive one to see if your child can tolerate the vibration and sensation of an electric brush,” says Park.
- Features. Character themes and songs can make tooth-brushing more fun!
- Small brush head. “I recommend using the smallest brush head possible so you can get back in to brush the back molars,” says Park.
- Replacement heads. Be sure to get replacement heads and change them out every 3 months, or if your child gets sick with illnesses such as a cold, flu, or sore throat, Park says. This is because germs can hang out and hide in the bristles and up the chances of reinfection.
- Storage. Keep the brush in an area where it won’t stay moist, both to keep germs away and to keep it from breaking.
Do dentists recommend that kids use electronic toothbrushes?
“Dentists don’t recommend an electronic toothbrush over a manual one The most important thing is that your child learns to brush twice a day.”
When choosing a toothbrush for your child, make sure the bristles are soft, the head is small, and the child can grip the handle.
Is it safe for kids to use electronic toothbrushes?
If the electronic toothbrushes are designed for kids and you provide proper supervision, it is safe for kids to use them.
An electronic toothbrush may be too powerful for an adult. It is better to choose a child-sized electronic toothbrush. Ask your dentist if you are in doubt.
Do electronic toothbrushes help prevent cavities?
According to the ADA, your teeth don’t care which toothbrush you use, as long as you brush twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Therefore, both a manual and electronic toothbrush can help prevent cavities. Which one you use depends on preference.
What electric toothbrush do dentists recommend for kids?
The ADA has a list of recommended toothbrushes. The ADA Seal of Acceptance is the gold standard for toothbrush quality.
The ADA has a list just for kids that contains recommended toothpastes, mouth rinses, toothbrushes, floss, and other dental-related products.
Ask your dentist which brush your child should use. They may have a brand or style that they like.
“An electric toothbrush can be a great tool in your child’s dental routine, and may even get them more excited about brushing their teeth if it’s not a favorite activity. It is advisable to wait until they are at least 3 years old, and look for options with soft bristles and a small brush head.”