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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.
In today’s world, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to toothbrushes, especially when you’re deciding between basic manual brushes or electric-powered brushes.
Prices can vary, but it’s possible to find one that’s affordable, suits your child’s individual needs, and makes brushing their teeth feel like a fun task rather than a chore.
- 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
“I always recommend soft bristles for kids of all ages,” says Park. “This toothbrush offers everything you need at a great price point.”
The Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush is equipped with a rechargeable handle and charger and includes a round, extra-soft brush head and special gentle mode for kids’ teeth and gums. Parents can even download Oral-B’s Disney Magic Timer app, which encourages 2-minute brushing using interactive videos.
It’s also available in a few different themes based on popular kids’ movies like “Frozen” and “Toy Story” (and comes with four free stickers!).
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
This toothbrush is a great option for toddlers, as its small head and soft nylon bristles are designed with gentle teeth and gum cleaning in mind. It’s also equipped with a 2-minute self-timer that pulses every 30 seconds to indicate when it’s time to focus on another area.
As an added bonus, the brightly colored brush handle and LED light help to make tooth-brushing more fun and less intimidating for your child. Plus, many parents note that the light is incredibly helpful for seeing what’s happening in their 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.
It does come with two necessary AAA batteries, but a few parents complain that the “on” button is tough to press and hold, especially for younger kids. So, while this brush gets points for affordability, it’s not necessarily 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
Much like the adult toothbrush from quip, this option is sleek, battery-operated, and — dare we say — trendy. The quip kids’ toothbrush features a smaller head, softer bristles, and the same 2-minute timer with 30 second vibration.
Choose from four different solid-colored, rubber-grip handles to start. Then, with your subscription, you’ll receive a new brush head and a fresh tube of watermelon-flavored toothpaste every 3 months.
Least scary electric toothbrush for kids
- Price: $$$
- Pros: high fun factor, excellent power, timed-sections makes brushing easier
- Cons: expensive initial investment, replacement heads are pricey, large brush head
Kids may be less likely to be intimidated by an electric toothbrush if it looks like a fun gadget or toy, and adding songs or other interactive features can definitely help.
This colorful brush from Philips Sonicare is compatible with Bluetooth, so kids can access a free interactive app that teaches the importance of brushing in a fun way. Plus, the brush’s “kidpacer” feature alerts you when it’s time to move on to another area of the mouth to make sure you’re cleaning thoroughly.
Most parents say this toothbrush is a mini version of Philips’ fan-favorite adult electric toothbrush. But you’ll pay for all the bells and whistles — this is the most expensive option on this list for sure.
Best electric toothbrush for braces
- Price: $$
- 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
While this toothbrush isn’t specifically targeted toward children, it’s a favorite among adults and older children with braces. One reviewer notes that it’s especially effective for cleaning around her 10-year-old’s wires and brackets.
This brush has super soft bristles, which is especially recommended for kids with braces, says Park. Another cool feature: Fairywill’s bristles fade from blue to white over time, indicating that it’s 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
If you want a budget brush that cleans teeth and makes your kid smile, consider the Colgate Kids Battery Powered toothbrush. This fun electronic toothbrush comes in a variety of colors and designs, and it won’t break the bank.
The Colgate brush has an easy on/off switch and a vibrating head with extra-soft bristles, making it a great starter electric brush for young children. That said, the head does not rotate, and it does not come with a case or holder for storage.
Also, the head is not replaceable, so you will need to buy a new toothbrush each time you want to replace it. But because it is priced so low, this may not be a deal-breaker for many families.
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
Easy-to-use is the name of the game when encouraging a child to develop good dental hygiene habits. And with the Solimo Kids battery-powered toothbrush, your child just needs to remember to push the red button and brush.
This affordable brush comes as a two-pack with one yellow and one blue toothbrush. Plus, it has oscillating brush heads, making it better at removing plaque and getting into hard-to-reach areas.
The Solimo bristles are soft and gentle, but because of the power, the brush could be great for kids ages 4 and up. It does come with two AAA batteries, but it does not have a case or holder to store the toothbrush.
Also, 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
Younger kids needing an extra dose of motivation will like the fun design and accessories that come with the Brusheez Carnivore electric toothbrush set.
This moderately-priced set includes a cute animal-themed battery-operated toothbrush, animal cover, sand timer, rinse cup, and base to keep everything organized. Plus, you can mount the base on the wall, making it great for small countertops.
While the timer is not built-in or electronic, it does create a visual to help kids continue brushing until the sand runs out.
The on/off button is easy to operate, and the soft bristles combined with the gentle electric vibrations make this brush a great option for kids ages 3 and up.
On the positive side, they can make brushing considerably easier. Don’t be fooled by their high tech appearance — electric toothbrushes are definitely easier to use than standard ones when you’re helping 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.
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule on when kids should start using electric toothbrushes, but according to Park, it’s recommended to wait until they’re 3 years old.
“Generally, children will have all their primary teeth erupted by age 3, and that’s when the contacts of teeth will be closing,” she explains. “Electric toothbrushes may be useful to remove plaque, since a lot of kids do not have the manual dexterity to thoroughly clean multiple surfaces of teeth.”
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.
“A lot of kids don’t have complex gum disease, but most of them present with gingivitis, which means plaque removal is key,” she explains. “I always stress the importance of brushing back molars thoroughly, since baby molars do not fall out until age 12.”
Remember, too, that kids generally need help with brushing their teeth until about 6 years old — whether they’re using an electric or manual toothbrush.
Teaching and modeling good dental hygiene is critical when your kids are young. Here are some tips to help kids 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
Most electric toothbrushes come with a 2-minute timer feature to encourage healthy brushing. But yes, we hear you — 2 minutes can feel like a lifetime with a toddler.
While aiming for a 2-minute brush is great, don’t stress out (or lose a finger…) over it. “If you’re able to brush quickly, but thoroughly, less time is better than nothing,” says Park.
- 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 necessarily recommend an electronic toothbrush over a manual one. The most important thing is that your child learns to brush twice a day for 2 minutes at a time.
When choosing a toothbrush for your child, whether it’s electronic or not, make sure the bristles are soft, the head is small, and your child can grip the handle.
Is it safe for kids to use electronic toothbrushes?
Yes, it is safe for kids to use electronic toothbrushes, provided they are designed for kids, and you provide proper supervision.
An adult electronic toothbrush may be too large and too powerful for their teeth. Because of this, it’s better to choose a child-sized electronic toothbrush, especially for younger kids. When in doubt, ask your dentist.
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 publishes a list of recommended toothbrushes. These brushes carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which 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.
Beyond the ADA Seal, make sure to ask your dentist which brush they would like your child to use. They may have a brand or style they prefer based on age.
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 exactly a favorite activity). Just make sure to wait until they’re at least 3 years old, and look for options with soft bristles and a small brush head.