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- 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
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 day and age, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to toothbrushes, especially when you’re deciding between basic manual brushes or an electric-powered brush.
Prices can vary, but it’s not difficult to find one that’s not only affordable but also suits your child’s individual needs and makes brushing their teeth feel like a fun task rather than a chore.
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule on when kids should start using electric toothbrushes, but it’s recommended to wait until they’re 3 years old, says Hanna Park, DMD, a board certified pediatric dentist at Memorial Children’s Dentistry in Houston.
“Generally, children will have all their primary teeth erupted by age 3, and that’s when the contacts of teeth will be closing,” Park 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 says both manual and electric toothbushes 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 age 6 — no matter whether they’re using an electric or manual 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.
In addition to asking Dr. Hanna Park for recommendations, we selected the following options based on reviews from parents and the following criteria:
- reasonable price tag for the market
- rave reviews about ease of use for kids and effectivity in cleaning
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$30
- $$$ = over $30
Best overall electric toothbrush for kids
“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
This toothbrush is a great option for babies and 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
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 fight plaque.
It does comes 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 littles.
Best electric toothbrush and toothpaste subscription
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
Kids are 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
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.
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 sensory issues, an electric toothbrush can be a lot to take in.
- Softness. Whether manual or electric, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 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 your chance 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.