Best Electric Toothbrush for Kids
I hear a common complaint when talking about the best electric toothbrush for kids: “Why should I invest in a fancy electric toothbrush to take care of teeth that are going to fall out anyway?”
Yes, we all know that baby teeth are temporary. But that doesn’t mean they’re pointless.
Baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth to come, and they are essential to proper bone structure development. Also, teeth that aren’t taken care of may fall out too early — which almost always leads to the development of crooked adult teeth and other issues.
And here’s the real kicker: Your children are already developing important habits that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. Would you rather those habits include dismissiveness about oral care? Or would you rather them learn how to take fantastic care of their teeth? (The only set of real teeth they’ll ever have!)
I’m going to assume you choose the latter — learning how to take fantastic care of their teeth. And one great way to help them learn is to give them the right tools — like the best electric toothbrush for kids.
You’ll find an overwhelming amount of options when looking for the best electric toothbrush for kids. To help you sort through those options, here’s a look at the 5 best, as well as a recommendation for the best overall.
|Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush (Our Top Pick!)||Rechargeable battery|
|Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush||Rechargeable battery|
|Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set||2 AA batteries|
|Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush||1 AA battery|
|Oral-B Pro-Health Star Wars Electric Toothbrush||1 AA battery|
1. Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush — Our Top Pick!
Oral-B is an inescapable name in the toothbrush industry. There’s always comfort in going with a product made by a trusted manufacturer — you can rest assured that you’re going to get quality and durability. You can certainly count on those two things — quality and durability — when you choose Oral-B’s Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush.
When people complain about this model, the complaints are typically ones that could be applied to almost any toothbrush. You’ll hear a lot about how hard it is to clean (which is true of almost any electric toothbrush). And you’ll hear a lot about how messy it is when kids use it (which shouldn’t surprise anyone).
But this is the perfect electric toothbrush for kids. It includes needed features, it’s available at the right price, and it performs reliably as your little users learn how to take care of their teeth. Without much dispute, the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush is our top pick for the best electric toothbrush for kids.
Learn to Brush the Right Way
One of the best features for young brushers is an automatic timer that lets them know when they’ve brushed long enough. The Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush takes the timer feature to the next level by breaking it up into 4 30-second periods. Young brushers know to spend those 30 seconds on each of the 4 different quadrants that need brushing.
Many parents choose an electric toothbrush for kids in order to help them develop the right habits for lifelong oral care. This model helps kids develop those powerful habits with this handy timer mechanism.
Soft Bristles for Developing Gums
Children’s gums are still developing, and they demand soft bristles that are easy on sensitive surfaces. This is one area where Oral-B’s experience comes into play. This electric toothbrush’s bristles are incredibly soft, which is great for young brushers. You’ll find that other options tout their soft bristles, but those bristles just aren’t as soft as they need to be for children just starting out with oral care.
Choose the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush, and you’ll get a model that is perfectly suited to developing gums.
Missing Olaf, Charging Blind
You’ll find two glaring drawbacks to the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush. Neither is really a big deal, but you should know about them in full disclosure.
First, there’s no Olaf on the toothbrush as there is on the packaging. You’re going to throw away the package, and your child may wonder where Olaf went — he’s gone, which is very strange for a Frozen-branded toothbrush. But that’s the way it goes.
Secondly, there’s no low-battery indicator. If you don’t charge it regularly, it’s going to just stop working on you one day (until you recharge it), so better keep a manual toothbrush handy as a backup. Of course, the easiest thing you can do is leave it on the charger overnight and keep it fully juiced at all times. You’ll never have a problem that way.
Pros and Cons of the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush
Pros of the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush:
- Timer that walks your child through brushing
- Soft bristles for developing gums
- Long-lasting rechargeable battery power
Cons of the Oral-B Frozen Kids Electric Toothbrush:
- No low-battery light
- Tough to clean
- Frozen branding is on packaging rather than actual toothbrush
Oral-B is well recognized as a leader in oral care, but so too is Philips and its Sonicare line of electric toothbrushes. This model makes Sonicare technology available to children while also offering features that will help them create those powerful and lifelong habits.
The Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush is one that comes highly recommended by dental professionals. The Philips and Sonicare names are synonymous with quality and durability. Do why is this not our top pick?
Here’s the answer: This is undoubtedly a great electric toothbrush for kids. That said, it’s price point is just a little higher at $49.99 MSRP as compared to a $31.51 MSRP for the Oral-B option. The Philips Sonicare doesn’t offer enough added features and value to make up the difference, which is why it’s No. 2 on our list.
500 Strokes a Second
When you choose any Philips Sonicare toothbrush, you’re getting top-of-the-line brushing performance — 500 strokes per second. That’s pretty incredible and hard to beat. Philips would tell you that a Sonicare toothbrush is about 75% more effective than a manual toothbrush at getting into hard-to-reach places, and I believe it. When you choose the Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush, you’re getting a model that is going to get teeth clean with ease.
Two Speeds for Different Users
One feature you’ll find on the Philips Sonicare that you don’t get with other options is the dual speed. You can set up for low or high. This is great for new users given that the low speed can help gums strengthen and develop. Once gums are getting tough and healthy, you can bump up to the higher speed. Some users even report that the lower speed is where they’ve stayed — it gets their teeth clean, and it’s the most comfortable setting.
Is the App Worth It?
I questioned the value of the app earlier. Some user have had a hard time connecting, too. Apparently, it works best on Apple products, and sometimes it cuts out in the middle of a session. The success of a technology is often in the hands of the user, of course, but this all seems like an unneeded feature that may be more trouble than it’s worth.
I would rather not use the app at all than start using it and disappoint my child when it quits working unexpectedly.
Pros and Cons of the Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush
Pros of the Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush:
- The free app makes it fun for reluctant brushers
- The proven performance of Sonicare technology
- Timer helps develop strong habits
Cons of the Philips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush:
- Some users report durability issues
- Higher price point than Oral-B with similar function
- Most parents don’t have time to bust out the app for every tooth brushing
This option is just a little bit different than the others in that it’s a full set of brushing tools. You get a rinse cup, a storage base and even a cute animal head cover featuring Snappy the Croc. Also, rather than a built-in timer, you get a 2-minute sand timer. It obviously won’t let you know when to move from one quadrant to another, but it’s helpful nonetheless.
I do have a question of value with the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set, though. You pay about what you would pay for the Oral-B or Philips models, but you don’t get the same quality or durability. Not that this is an unattractive option given all that comes with it. For example, you may have a child that just dies over the Snappy the Croc head cover, and that’s enough to make the investment worth it. But there are better options out there for similar prices.
Make Brushing Time Fun
If your desire for the best electric toothbrush for kids is all about making brushing time fun, this is the model for you. What’s more fun than a crocodile toothbrush? Sure, other models have fun graphics and branding, but nothing compares to this Snappy the Croc brush head cover.
One of the challenges for any parent is getting children to embrace the routine of brushing their teeth. While some may take to it immediately, most others will do anything they can to avoid the monotony of tooth brushing. The Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set and its Snappy the Croc brush head cover can help fix that. Even the sand timer might be a little more fun for kids to use than the beeping timer other models feature.
2 Batteries Rather Than 1
Not only does the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set take replaceable batteries, it needs 2 of them rather than just 1 like the models below. This, of course, doubles the price of replacement batteries, which you will need every few weeks if you’re using this electric toothbrush for kids twice a day. The need for replacement batteries isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, though it certainly a pain — especially given the relatively high cost to buy the unit initially.
Heads Falling Off
One of the huge complaints about the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set is that the brush heads won’t stay on. They tend to fall off in the midst of regular brushing, which is a serious inconvenience. When you’re running your sand timer and you’re trying to get an honest 2 minutes of brushing in, the last thing you need is a brush head falling off to slow you down.
Pros and Cons of the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set
Pros of the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set:
- Cute design that makes brushing time fun
- Included timer helps build strong habits
- Brush heads can be replaced, unlike other replaceable battery options
Cons of the Brusheez Children’s Electronic Toothbrush Set:
- Brush heads struggle to stay attached
- The need for 2 replacement batteries increases costs
- Bristles a little too hard for young gums
When it comes to finding the best electric toothbrush for kids, the branding is going to matter. It matters when picking out a backpack for back to school, it matters when picking out books and Halloween costumes and teas sets. And it certainly matters when looking for a toothbrush.
Here’s the good news: This electric toothbrush for girls delivers the right branding.
And here’s the bad news: It doesn’t deliver much else.
Know going on that when you buy the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush you’re pretty much buying a princess decal and not much else. Sometimes that’s just enough for a buyer. But sometimes not.
An Attractive Price Point
It doesn’t get any better than this price. When you have children, you have to consider each and every investment that you make, because they chances of them not using it are far greater than 0.
When you choose to spend just a few bucks on the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush, your child gets the chance to try an electric toothbrush without the big upfront investment. If they hate it, no big deal. If they love it, you can move on and upgrade to a better option like a rechargeable model at a later date.
Get Replacement Batteries Ready
There’s certainly a hidden cost with this ostensibly inexpensive electric toothbrush for children. That hidden cost comes in the form of replacement batteries. If your child is using this toothbrush twice a day for the recommended 2 minutes a session, you’re going to start churning through AA batteries pretty quickly. So add the cost of replacement batteries on top of the cost of the unit before getting too excited about the low price point.
I can hardly believe that I’m writing this, but … You don’t get to choose the princess you get. Some buyers purchase this electric toothbrush assuming that they’ll get Ariel, but then they end up with Cinderella. Or they really want Cinderella, and then they end up with Rapunzel. As parents, we sometimes have a hard time understanding this: But who the princess is matters. It can’t just be any princess.
I’m sure this is some sort of efficiency issue in the Amazon warehouse, but you’re playing Disney character roulette when you order the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush — be prepared for any sort of princess to appear when you open that box.
Pros and Cons of the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush
Pros of the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush:
- Great price for testing out an electric toothbrush
- Kids will love the princess designs
- Easy to replace when needed
Cons of the Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Princess Power Kid’s Electric Toothbrush:
- Be prepared for any princess
- Cost of replacement batteries undermines low initial price point
- Brush heads can’t be replaced
Stars Wars is the film franchise that has no expiration date. Isn’t it amazing that a movie that first appeared in 1977 still has the power to sell toothbrushes to kids who were born 35-plus years later? But that’s certainly the case — Stars Wars is still doing big business in the kids market.
That’s what’s cool about the Oral-B Pro-Health Star Wars Electric Toothbrush — your Star Wars-loving child won’t want to put it down. If that same Star Wars-loving child is a reluctant tooth brusher, this could be the perfect option. But, Star Wars aside, this toothbrush doesn’t offer much in the way of features or value — and you can certainly find better options (like the ones at the top of this page).
Perfect for Beginners
What’s great about an inexpensive option is that it gives your child the chance to test out an electric toothbrush without making a huge upfront investment. You can spend a few bucks to get one of these Star Wars-branded options, see if your kid prefers it to a manual toothbrush, and then upgrade to something nicer (maybe a rechargeable model) at a later date.
Not So Eco-Friendly
If you’re anything like me, churning through batteries and trashing an electric toothbrush just to buy a new one makes your skin crawl. This is not an eco-friendly model if that’s one of your considerations when looking for the best electric toothbrush for kids. The idea of trashing battery after battery and toothbrush after toothbrush may not bother you at all, and that’s fine, but you can find more efficient and effective options if that’s important to you.
Hard to Get Different Characters
One of the challenges with this model (as with the Princess model above) is that you don’t get to choose your character. I guess it can be a little fun to wait and see who you get — Yoda, Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, etc. Who couldn’t use a little more surprise in their life? But what if you really want a certain character?
Also, some buyers have tried to buy multiple in hopes of getting multiple characters. It doesn’t work. Anyone who’s tried to buy 2 or 3 has ended up getting 2 or 3 of the exact same character. Amazon must have a box of these open, and they just ship from whatever box is open — the Yoda box, for example. And when that box is empty they move on to the Stormtrooper box. I don’t know — it all seems weird. What not just let us pick which character we want?
Pros and Cons of the Oral-B Pro-Health Star Wars Electric Toothbrush
Pros of the Oral-B Pro-Health Star Wars Electric Toothbrush:
- Star Wars … enough said
- Lowest price point you’ll find
- Can throw away and replace easily
Cons of the
Oral-B Pro-Health Star Wars Electric Toothbrush:
- You (inexplicably) don’t get to pick your character
- Brush heads can’t be replaced
- Cost of battery replacements adds up
I said right at the top that having too many options can feel overwhelming. When searching for the best electric toothbrush for kids, you’ll need to navigate a number of key decision factors in order to choose the model that best meets your needs (and the needs of your child).
But what are those key decision factors? I’m glad you asked. Here’s a look at what to consider as you search for the right electric toothbrush for your kids.
Key Decision Factors
You could probably think of a dozen decision factors when searching for an electric toothbrush. But, to make this as simple as possible, here’s a look at the most important 4 factors:
- Operation: Is it easy to use?
- Features: Does it do what you need it to do?
- Performance: Does it run consistently and smoothly?
- Durability: Will it last as long as you expect?
Price, of course, can also be an important decision factor. As a general rule of thumb, the more you pay, the more you’re going to get in the way of easy operation, plentiful features, smooth and consistent performance, as well as durability. In the end, it’s a matter of value: Which model does what you need it to do while delivering the most bang for your buck?
Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes
To this point, we’ve ignored one of the biggest questions parents have when looking for the best electric toothbrush for kids: Is an electric toothbrush even necessary? There are benefits to both electric and manual toothbrushes, which I’ll outline below.
But know right away that an electric toothbrush is superior. Why? Because the best toothbrush is the one that helps the user get his or her teeth clean. And kids typically lack the motor skills to properly brush using a manual toothbrush. An electric toothbrush helps them brush easily and properly as they learn how to take care of their teeth.
Here’s a look at the full list of pros and cons:
Pros of Manual Toothbrushes
You typically enjoy more options when searching for manual toothbrushes. You can find different colors, different designs, different types of bristles, etc. Manual toothbrushes are also more affordable, and they go on the road with ease. You never have to recharge or replace batteries either, which is nice.
Cons of Manual Toothbrushes
When you choose a manual toothbrush, you have to perfect proper brushing technique, which is tough for kids. You also have to put in the hard work, and you have to do the timing yourself. This, of course, is all possible, but these are all things that an electric toothbrush takes care of for you.
Pros of Electric Toothbrushes
There’s nothing easier than an electric toothbrush. You just hold the handle, and the toothbrush does all the hard work. It’s also fun for kids to use, which can get them excited about brushing their teeth — rather than viewing it as an activity to avoid.
Cons of Electric Toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual options. They don’t travel very well. And you’re always either recharging batteries or replacing them altogether. This is worth the trade-off, though, when you consider that an electric toothbrush gives your child access to fast, easy and perfect brushing technique — not to mention the development of strong habits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baby teeth also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth to come. Indeed, we lose our baby teeth only when adult teeth start to force them out. Baby teeth also play an important role in the development of jaw bone structure. When teeth fall out too early, structure development breaks down and can lead to crooked teeth and other unwanted challenges.
But here’s the thing: Most people don’t put in the effort. We’re busy, and we’re distracted, and we don’t always have the time to properly clean our teeth. That’s where an electric toothbrush comes in handy. It helps accelerate the time needed to get teeth fully clean, and it always delivers perfect technique — without you having to put in extra effort.
The models that have timer mechanisms that make brushing even easier. You don’t have to wonder how much time to spend in each quadrant of the mouth as your toothbrush will tell when to move on.
Making the Most of Your Investment in an Electric Toothbrush
If you’re going to spend money on an electric toothbrush (especially one of the more expensive rechargeable battery models) you’ll want to take care of your investment. There’s good news on this front: Taking care of an electric toothbrush isn’t hard. Here are the 3 things you need to do:
- Rinse completely after using
- Never over-brush
- Replace brush heads regularly
When you (or your child) fail to rinse your brush completely after use, mold can develop on the head. Obviously, you’re not going to want to brush your teeth with a moldy toothbrush, so this is something to avoid at all costs. Make sure you always rinse, and then leave your brush in the open air (rather than a shaving kit or drawer) so that it can fully dry.
You’ll also want to avoid over-brushing — brushing too long or too hard. Not only is this bad for your gums, it’s also bad for the bristles of your toothbrush and will accelerate the need for a replacement head (if your toothbrush even takes them). You experience diminishing returns when brushing your teeth. That’s is, brushing for 4 minutes doesn’t make your teeth twice as clean as brushing for 2 minutes. So brush enough to get them clean, and then save your gums and your bristles by finishing up.
Finally, you do want to replace your brush heads about every 2 or 3 months, assuming you brush twice a day. This ensures that your toothbrush remains as effective as possible. If your toothbrush doesn’t take replacement heads, it should be inexpensive enough to fully replace the model.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Electric Toothbrush for Kids
When you choose the best electric toothbrush for kids, you’re truly doing your children a great favor — you’re helping them develop strong habits that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. Electric toothbrushes show kids exactly what it takes to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy.
Which is the best choice for your child? Only you can gauge that. But know that the options on this page are all attractive, and you should be able to find one that’s perfect for your unique situation. If all else fails, try one of the inexpensive options to see if an electric toothbrush is even something your child will be interested in.
Are your kids already using an electric toothbrush that they love? Let us know about it in the comments section below, or you can reach out to us directly through our contact page.