Baby Essentials

The Top 3 Electric Toothbrushes For Kids & What To Know Before Buying One

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best electric toothbrush for kids



A 2021 International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry clinical trial showed that an electric toothbrush can reduce 32.3% more plaque than a manual toothbrush for 3-6-year-old children. Amazingly, the number goes up to as high as 51.9% more plaque reduction for kids 7-9 years old. (1)

This study used Oral‐B Kids electric brush and Paro Junior Soft Manual Brush. (1)

Even older studies (with other brands) may have similar results. For example, a 1997 Journal of the American Dental Association clinical trial also showed that electric toothbrushes can remove more plaque than manual products for kids 8-12 years old. (2)

Different brushes have varied features, including bristle softness. Brushing techniques and methods also vary. So, these results might not apply to everyone. Still, the results showed that an electric toothbrush might be more ideal for oral hygiene than a manual product. (1)(3)

Do dentists recommend using electric toothbrushes for young children? What’s the minimum age for using an electric toothbrush? What’s the ideal amount of time for brushing teeth, and should you impose this on your child? Are there cons to using electric toothbrushes? How can you encourage your kiddo to brush their teeth regularly?

We’ll discuss the answers to these oral care questions below.

You can also find our recommendations for the best toddler toothbrush here.


Are Electric Toothbrushes Safe & Ideal For Young Children?

The 2021 study mentioned above didn’t find safety concerns or adverse effects with electric toothbrush use throughout the clinical trial. (1)

According to Consumer Reports, a soft-bristled toothbrush is “the safest bet,” whether manual or electric. (4)

Still, even with extra soft bristles and a small brush head, we recommend supervising your kids when brushing their teeth to reduce safety risks.

It’s important to always check the manufacturer’s age recommendations when choosing an electric toothbrush. While these toothbrushes can make your child’s teeth cleaner, the wrong one might hurt their teeth, gums, and mouth. Even the right one, when used incorrectly, can also cause damage. (3)(4)(5)

After all, the extra power that makes your children’s teeth cleaner can also hurt them. For example, a 2017 PLOS One (Public Library of Science) study showed that power toothbrushes can be more abrasive than manual ones, even when using the same brushing force. (5)

The 8.5-year study was done using simulated models with different kinds of toothbrushes: (5)

  • High-frequency sonic electric toothbrush; uses sonic waves to remove plaque from teeth (Philips Sonicare PowerUp)
  • Oscillating-rotating toothbrush (Oral B Vitality Precision Clean)
  • Flat-head manual toothbrushes (Dr. Best flat trim brush head toothbrush and Blend-a-Dent rippled-shaped brush head toothbrush)


Based on the study results, the sonic toothbrush can clean more but may also produce more damage to teeth than an oscillating-rotating toothbrush. The rippled-shaped brush head toothbrush caused the least damage in the study. (5)

A highly abrasive toothbrush can damage teeth over time. While better oral health is the main goal of toothbrushing, protecting teeth from damage by the wrong or incorrectly used toothbrush is also important. (3)(4)(5)

We also recommend talking to a pediatric dentist or your pediatrician about concerns with electric toothbrush use. They can help teach you and your child the correct pressure to use and the best brushing methods with the least risk of damaging teeth.


Who Needs Or Can Use An Electric Toothbrush?

Although they have a whirring sound that might scare some kids, an electric toothbrush can be a good choice for them. That’s because they might not yet have the dexterity to maneuver a toothbrush to clean their teeth properly. (4)

An electric toothbrush can be ideal for all ages, including older adults and younger kids. However, checking the age recommendations for any electric toothbrush to suit your children’s needs is essential. (4)

These toothbrushes are also ideal if your child wears braces. They can go around and clean through the wires and brackets. (4)


What’s The Minimum Age For Using An Electric Toothbrush?

Dr. Melissa Rozas (DDS), a US-based pediatric dentist, recommends waiting until your child is 2-3 years old before introducing an electric toothbrush. However, if your child isn’t ready yet, she also recommends not forcing them to use the toothbrush because it can create a lasting negative impact. (6)

Instead, she recommends making toothbrushing a fun family activity to encourage your child. Consider using one yourself if you want them to use an electric toothbrush. (6)


Do Dentists & Experts Recommend Electric Toothbrushes For Kids?

Many dentists recommend an electric toothbrush for kids, but it’s important to make sure they are ready. (6)

The American Dental Association (ADA) considers both electric (powered) and manual toothbrushes as “equally effective at removing plaque.” (6)(7)

According to Dr. Rozas, many kids actually feel more enthusiastic about using an electric toothbrush, making it easier to establish and follow a daily oral care routine. Also, these toothbrushes may be more likely to clean their teeth, dislodge food, and remove plaque than the manual variety. (6)


Which Electric Toothbrush Do Dentists Recommend For Kids?

Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to check for the products that the dentist association recommends. It’s also the mark of dental product efficacy and safety. (7)(8)



Products only get the ADA Seal if the manufacturer can provide scientific evidence that they’re safe and effective in the following categories: (8)

  • Plaque removal
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) reduction


Oral-B claims to be the #1 brand dentists use worldwide on its website. 

Many Oral-B products (for adults) have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The brand takes pride in being the first electric toothbrush accepted by the ADA



Currently, however, only the following kids’ toothbrushes have the ADA’s acceptance seal: (9)

  • Quip Kids Electric Toothbrush
  • Spinbrush Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush
  • Up & UP Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush


Notably, Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush (with Disney Magic Timer app) isn’t on the list yet. Popular products from Colgate, Brusheez, and Philips Sonicare for kids are also not yet ADA-accepted.


Key Points: The 3 Best Electric Toothbrushes For Kids (ADA Accepted)

  • Quip Kids Electric Toothbrush (Sonic & Smart) – Sleek and slim electric toothbrush that uses sonic power, has smart app options (auto-tracks brushing and provides app rewards), built-in timer with quadrant pulses (to maximize brushing time), lifetime warranty (with refill subscription plan), and a travel cover (that doubles as mirror mount)

  • Spinbrush Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush – Cute electric toothbrush with an oscillating-rotating head that spins 30% faster than the brand’s other kids’ toothbrushes; also includes a 2-minute timer plus a 30-second pacer guide

  • Up & UP – Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush – Simple, budget-friendly electric toothbrush that uses vibrations for cleaning; has a small, flat head with extra soft bristles


Continue reading to learn more about these electric toothbrushes.


Quip Kids Electric Toothbrush (Sonic & Smart)


Pros & Best Features

  • Brush Head Size: Small, flat head
  • Gentle Bristles: Gentle
  • Replaceable Brush Head: Yes (brush head refills); also available with subscription
  • Built-In Two-Minute Timer: Built-in 2-minute timer, with 30-second quadrant pulses
  • Handle Size & Features: Small and slim; plastic handle with rubber grip
  • Age Recommendations: 3+; with adult supervision up to 8 years old


Other Product Specs & Features

  • Convenience & Ease Of Use: Comfortable, quiet, uses timed sonic vibrations, lifetime warranty (with refill plan), and includes a travel cover (also works as mirror mount)
  • Durability: Durable
  • Battery & Power Source: One AAA battery (lasts up to 3 months; rechargeable compatible); with free battery at refill
  • Modern ‘Smart’ Features & Coaching Apps: Auto-tracks brushing via using an app (earns rewards)
  • Pressure Sensors Or Detectors: Not indicated



  • Doesn’t include chargers or wires (but offers fresh batteries with a refill subscription)
  • Some customer complaints about quality issues (e.g., broke down easily)



  • None


What Customers Say

Positive Customer Reviews

…Daughter didn’t like the loud scream from a normal electric toothbrush. This nailed it. Quiet, easy to use, and durable.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Negative Customer Reviews

We bought 2 of these for our kids and both broke within 6 months. Very annoyed.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Spinbrush Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush


Pros & Best Features

  • Brush Head Size: Small, round head
  • Gentle Bristles: Yes
  • Replaceable Brush Head: Yes
  • Built-In Two-Minute Timer: Built-in 2-minute timer plus 30-second pacer guide
  • Handle Size & Features: Small but  chubby, with textured grip
  • Age Recommendations: Not indicated


Other Product Specs & Features

  • Convenience & Ease Of Use: Spins 30% faster than other Spinbrush Kids toothbrushes
  • Durability: Durable
  • Battery & Power Source: Two replaceable AA batteries included
  • Modern ‘Smart’ Features & Coaching Apps: None
  • Pressure Sensors Or Detectors: Not indicated



  • Batteries aren’t rechargeable
  • Some customer complaints about safety (e.g., a metal dot overheats quickly)



  • None


What Customers Say

Positive Customer Reviews

…It works well with enough power for a thorough brushing. We have not had to change out the batteries yet, so hopefully they last for a good amount of time.” – Reviewer on Spinbrush


Negative Customer Reviews

There is a metal dot on the toothbrush that burned my daughter’s mouth within 3 seconds of her starting to use it.” – Reviewer on Walmart


Up & UP Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush


Pros & Best Features

  • Brush Head Size: Small, flat head
  • Gentle Bristles: Extra soft
  • Replaceable Brush Head: Yes
  • Built-In Two-Minute Timer: None
  • Handle Size & Features: Small, slightly chubby handle for a comfortable grip
  • Age Recommendations: 4+ years old; with adult supervision


Other Product Specs & Features

  • Convenience & Ease Of Use: Large on/off button
  • Durability: Durable
  • Battery & Power Source: One AA battery that can last up to 3 months
  • Modern ‘Smart’ Features & Coaching Apps: None
  • Pressure Sensors Or Detectors: None



  • Some customer complaints about difficulties in opening the battery case
  • It had a recall (see below)
  • No timer



  • All lots of Up & UP Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush were recalled in December 2013 because the tufted disk (the part with bristles) can detach, posing choking risks; the design was changed, and this recall has been terminated as of August 2015 (10)


What Customers Say

Positive Customer Reviews

Good toothbrush for kids. A decent toothbrush with strong power and soft bristles for cleaning.” – Reviewer on Target


Negative Customer Reviews

Can’t even open the battery part to get it to work!!!! Tried everything.” – Reviewer on Target


Summary & Recommendations

All three electric toothbrushes we recommended in this review have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. So, based on ADA guidelines, these products have been scientifically proven to remove plaque and reduce gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). (8)(9)

Here are some of their top features to help you choose the right electric toothbrush for your kids:


Choose Quip Kids Electric Toothbrush (Sonic & Smart) if:

  • You prefer a sleek and slim electric toothbrush that uses sonic power
  • You want one that has smart app options (e.g., auto-tracks brushing and provides app rewards)
  • You prefer having a built-in timer with quadrant pulses (to maximize brushing time)
  • You’re looking for a product with a lifetime warranty (comes with the refill subscription plan)
  • You like having a travel cover for product safety (it also doubles as a mirror mount)
  • You don’t mind the higher price tag than the two other toothbrushes


Choose Spinbrush Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush if:

  • You think your kids will like a cute electric toothbrush 
  • You prefer one with an oscillating-rotating head (bonus: it spins 30% faster than the brand’s other kids’ toothbrushes)
  • You’re looking for one with a 2-minute timer plus a 30-second pacer guide


Choose Up & UP – Kids Battery Powered Toothbrush if: 

  • You prefer a simple and budget-friendly electric toothbrush that uses vibrations for cleaning
  • You like that it has a small, flat head with extra soft bristles
  • You don’t mind that an older version of the toothbrush had a recall (already terminated)


How To Choose Your Kids’ Electric Toothbrush?

Smaller Brush Head For Little Mouths (Consider Age Recommendations)

Choosing a smaller toothbrush is important because children’s mouths are smaller than adults’. (6)

Manufacturers already take the guesswork off your hands by offering electric toothbrushes for different age ranges. 

However, because kids grow at varying rates, consider choosing a toothbrush based on the lower or higher limits of the age range. For example, your child can still use a toothbrush from the “3-6 years old” range instead of the “6+ years old” option.


Kid-Friendly Handle

Electric toothbrushes have a chubby handle that houses the battery. This is also helpful for kids because they can be easier to hold. However, the ones designed for kids have a shorter handle than those for adults. (4)


Easy To Use

Aside from having all the bells and whistles that might encourage your child to brush their teeth, look for one that’s easy to use. Check reviews for products that might be awkward or difficult to operate versus those your child can easily manage independently.


Designed For Plaque Removal

Arguably, all toothbrushes are made to clean teeth and remove plaque. However, some can do a better job at oral care than others. (9)

For example, a 2021 International Journal of Dental Hygiene study showed that an oscillating-rotating power toothbrush might be more effective in plaque removal than a high-frequency sonic power toothbrush. (9)


Built-in Two-Minute Timer

The ADA recommends brushing for two minutes to maximize plaque removal and cleaning teeth. However, the dentists’ association revealed that most people only brush for around 45 seconds. (4)

A built-in two-minute timer may encourage your child to brush longer. Some models might even have a pulse timer, assigning 30 seconds for brushing each quadrant of your child’s mouth for optimal cleaning results. (4)


Durability & Bristle Quality (Preferably Soft Bristles)

The bristles come in contact with your children’s teeth. So, it’s important to choose an electric toothbrush with soft yet high-quality and durable bristles so they can clean teeth more effectively while also preventing damage. (6)


Other Extra Features

Replaceable Brush Head

Most electric toothbrushes let you replace the brush head, which costs much less than the entire kit. So your child can use the toothbrush longer, and you only need replacement heads (some brands include one or two extras with your kit purchase). (4)

Aside from providing your child with fresh bristles, these replacement brush heads help reduce plastic waste. They’re smaller than manual toothbrushes. (4)

With these interchangeable brush heads, your child can also enjoy different styles if they want to. For example, you can swap a compatible DisneyFrozen” head with a “Star Warssticker or print replacement.


Power Source & Battery Type (Preferably Rechargeable Batteries)

Rechargeable Electric Toothbrushes

They’re generally more expensive than the battery-operated ones. However, rechargeable electric toothbrushes can be more powerful, clean more effectively, and last longer. (6)

Battery life matters because the toothbrush can be less effective when it loses power. Rechargeable toothbrushes usually come with a charger. 4)


Standard Battery-Operated Toothbrushes

They usually cost less and can still clean teeth even if they have less power than the rechargeable ones. 


Modern ‘Smart’ Features & Coaching Apps

Timer apps promote fun brushing sessions and can motivate your child to brush longer (hopefully up to the two-minute recommended time). (4)


Pressure Sensors & Detectors

Toothbrushes with a pressure sensor or detector can help reduce the risks of teeth and gum damage. The bristles might stop moving if your child is using the toothbrush too hard. (4)


Customer Reviews

Brands naturally have praise for their products. Yet not all can offer the best value for money—and some might not work as advertised. That’s why it’s important to read customer reviews from shops like Amazon, Target, and Walmart or the brands’ websites.


Price & Value For The Money

According to Consumer Reports, you can buy basic electric toothbrushes (with replaceable batteries) for less than $10. Products with rechargeable AA or AAA batteries usually start at $20 but can go as high as $250+, particularly for high-end “smart” toothbrushes you can sync with a brushing app on your phone. (4)


Storage & Cleaning Options

Some products offer a storage case or stand to help ensure that the toothbrush can dry properly. When your child’s toothbrush remains moist, it can be a breeding area for bacteria or mold. (11)

A storage case can also protect the toothbrush from falls or breakage and help keep it apart from your family’s other toothbrushes. It’s important to prevent toothbrushes from touching each other to avoid spreading infections and illnesses among family members. (11)

If your child’s toothbrush doesn’t come with a case, store it in a dry place with the bristle end up. This will help dry out the bristles to prevent bacteria and mold build-up. (11)


Possible Cons Of Using Electric Toothbrushes By Young Kids

Some Might Harm Your Child’s Mouth & Gums

Electric toothbrushes are stronger than manual toothbrushes. As mentioned above, studies have shown that they’re more likely to cause gum and teeth damage than their manual counterparts. (5)


The Sounds & Vibrations Can Frighten Some Kids

Kids may react to the sound and vibration from an electric toothbrush differently. Some might find it interesting (or even exciting), while others might feel frightened. Consider being extra cautious if your child has sensory issues. (12)(13)

Brushing can become an unpleasant, frightening experience if your child tends to be overstimulated by sounds and vibrations. If that happens, they might avoid brushing at all costs. (13)

Some products, such as the sonic brushes, can be quiet.


Not Ideal If Your Child Is A Mouth-Breather

BRUSH Pediatric Dentistry explains that some kids are mouth-breathers (they consciously breathe with their mouth, not their nose). If your child is a mouth-breather, brushing might be a challenging or uncomfortable experience. (13)

The clinic’s pediatric dentists recommend first introducing your child to a manual toothbrush. You can try a cheaper electric product to save money until your kid enjoys using it before getting a more expensive item. (13)


Other Tips For Promoting Kids’ Dental Care & Hygiene

When Should Kids Start Brushing Their Teeth?

Dentists recommend brushing as soon as your baby has their first tooth. However, a CDC report (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) showed that as many as 80% of kids begin later than they should. Some even start at 2-3 years old or even older. (14)(15)

Even though kids have milk teeth instead of permanent, they can still develop tartar and plaque build-up. Cavities in milk teeth might be as damaging as they can be in permanent teeth. (14)(15)

Pediatrician Kimberly Giuliano also explains on the Cleveland Clinic website that bacteria can develop in your child’s mouth with inadequate brushing. Aside from possibly causing tooth decay, this might also lead to disease and inflammation in other body parts. (14)


How Often Must Kids Brush Their Teeth?

It’s ideal for kids (and adults) to brush their teeth at least twice daily. (14)


Learn & Teach Proper Brushing Techniques

Here are some brushing techniques by Paulo Camargo, DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry associate dean of clinical affairs and professor: (4)

  • When using an electric brush, let it clean two teeth at a time.
  • Encourage your child to be thorough, allowing the bristles to pass through all the surfaces as much as possible. They must ensure the brush works on all their teeth, whether molars, incisors, or front.
  • Let your child run the toothbrush through their tongue to remove bacteria and help prevent bad breath.
  • While they must apply some pressure to clean their teeth, they mustn’t push too hard. The bristles might tear their gums or inner cheeks. Aggressive brushing can lead to irritated or bleeding gums, receding gums, and tooth sensitivity.
  • Instead of brushing at a 90-degree angle (that only cleans the teeth, not the gums), teach your kids to brush at a 45-degree angle. This also lets them brush below the gum line. (see image below)


You can encourage your child to focus on one quadrant at a time (around 30 seconds) so they can work on all sections thoroughly. (3)

Avoid brushing back and forth. Doing this with an electric brush can increase damage risks to gums and teeth. (3)


Read About Brushing Together

Some toddler or baby books teach kids about good hygiene habits, including oral care. Regularly reading these books can help your child learn more about brushing and encourage them to do it. 

Here are some recommendations:

Brush! Brush! Brush! (Baby Steps)



Brush, Brush, Brush! (Rookie Toddler)



Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush!



Help the Lion Brush His Teeth!



Choose Their Toothbrush Together & Let Them Pick

Guide them in choosing the right brush for their age and needs. However, if they picked it themselves, they might be more excited to use a toothbrush. (16)

Get them involved in the buying process and choose the designs they want, whether it’s Spiderman, Disney princesses, or other cute cartoon characters.


Lead By Example & Provide Guidance/Supervision: Brush Together

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the ADA recommend supervising your child while brushing their teeth until they’re about 7-8 years old (or can routinely tie their shoes). (4)

This helps ensure that your child is brushing their teeth properly while also reducing damage risks to their teeth and gums. (4)


Establish A Brushing Routine Or Schedule

Developing Good Brushing Habits

Learning to brush properly and regularly helps your child establish an oral care routine. Consider setting an alarm for brushing teeth – but be sure you’re also there to supervise so they’ll do it safely and properly. (4)


Bedtime Brushing Is Important

Top reasons why it’s essential to add brushing to your child’s bedtime routine: (17)

  • To remove food particles from their mouth (accumulated food particles can cause infection, bad breath or halitosis, inflammation, and tooth decay)
  • To avoid plaque build-up (plaque is a hard film that coats teeth and can be harder to remove with a regular toothbrush; your child might need to have a dentist clean their teeth to remove it)
  • To wash bacteria away (saliva cleanses the mouth and naturally washes bacteria away; saliva production slows down when your child sleeps)


Find A Comfortable & Easy Brushing Position Or Style

Brushing can be more fun and easier if your child is comfortable doing it. Assist them in finding a good position – and let them try using their left or right hand. Also,  you can assist them in using the recommended angle (45 degrees). (4)


Regularly Visit Your Pediatric Dentist

If you haven’t yet, it’s ideal to take your toddler to a pediatric dentist (or any other dental or health professional) when they turn two. They’ll likely recommend a regular schedule (usually twice a year) to monitor your child’s oral health. (15)


What If Your Child Has Trouble Brushing? How To Motivate Kids

Choose A Fun Toothbrush

The love for brushing starts with a fun toothbrush your child would want. Make brushing a more enjoyable experience for your child by letting them choose their electric toothbrush. They might be enticed by products that make sounds or have stickers of their favorite characters. (16)


Let Your Child Explore The Toothbrush By Themselves & Support Their Enthusiasm

Kids, especially toddlers, might want to exert their independence. The more you push them, the more they might defy you. (18)

Show your support when your child wants to try and explore the toothbrush on their own. However, you still have to supervise them while they brush their teeth. 


Consider A Reward System

Set up a reward system. It’s up to you, but you can create a sticker chart for your child’s progress or certain rewards for milestones (such as completing a full week of brushing twice daily). (16)


Get A Fun, Kid-Friendly Toothpaste

There are many kid-friendly, flavored toothpaste designed for young kids. They can be fun options to motivate your kids to brush their teeth. (15) Avoid ones with carrageenan as it can upset their little tummies. We also prefer ones without fluoride.

Studies have shown that carrageenan (derived from seaweed) can cause or increase the risks of the following: (20)(21)


  • “Leaky gut” syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Intestinal lesions and ulcerations
  • Cancer or malignant tumors 


Excessive fluoride intake can be toxic, potentially leading to gastrointestinal upset, such as stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea in acute cases. It can also lead to dental fluorosis (mottled or brown spots on teeth). (22)

Serious fluoride toxicity cases can lead to renal (kidney) and cardiac dysfunction, coma, and even death. It might also cause skeletal fluorosis (radiologically dense but fragile bones) that can lead to fractures. (22)

Studies show that over 80% of fluoride toxicity cases involve children younger than six years old and may be due to ingestion of fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash. Because they can also get fluoride from other sources, including water and food, it might be ideal to choose fluoride-free dental products to reduce their risks. (22)

Here are some we recommend: 

Wellnesse Kids


Dr. Brown’s Fluoride-Free Baby Toothpaste, Infant & Toddler Oral Care


Find A Brushing Stuffed Animal Or Toy

Here are some options you can try:

StarSmilez Kids Toothbrush Buddy


Sesame Street Elmo Plush (sings the “Brushy Brush Song”)


Avoid Making The Two-Minute Timer A Chore

Two minutes can feel like a lifetime when you’re waiting for something – and your toddler might feel the same when brushing becomes a chore. Keep it fun by playing their favorite music or creating challenges (our favorite is: “Who can brush the longest?”). (16)



Can An Electric Toothbrush Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay?

Yes. Plaque produces acid that can slowly break down enamel, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Studies mentioned above showed that electric toothbrushes can be better than manual products in reducing more plaque. (1)(5)


Does My Child Really Need Toothpaste When Brushing?

Not at all ages. When they’re younger than 12 -18 months, some dentists recommend only using water and a soft cloth or baby toothbrush. (15)

If you decide on using toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth, consider using a minimal amount: (14)(15)

  • Around the size of a grain of rice for 2-3 years old (low fluoride toothpaste)
  • Around pea-sized for ages 3 to 6 years old (standard fluoride toothpaste)


Fluoridated toothpaste products aren’t recommended for kids younger than two years old. They might ingest the toothpaste accidentally. (14)

Using too much fluoridated toothpaste can cause fluorosis, which leads to permanent discoloration (stain) and pits on your child’s teeth. (14)


When Should I Replace My Child’s Toothbrush (Or Electric Toothbrush Head)?

Toddlers are more likely to chew on their toothbrush, and the bristles can easily get frayed. We recommend replacing your toddler’s toothbrush (or toothbrush head) every month.

The good news with electric toothbrushes is that you only need to swap replacement brush heads instead of getting a new kit (unless the handle, battery, or other parts no longer work).


Is An Electric Toothbrush Better Than A Manual One?

The ADA considers both powered (electric) and manual toothbrushes effective at removing plaque. (6)(7)

However, they also have advantages over each other. We’ve listed their pros and cons below. 


Pros & Cons Of Electric Toothbrushes

Advantages Of Power Toothbrushes

Some reasons to consider these electric products instead of a manual toothbrush: (1)(4)(5)

  • Can be more effective in cleaning your child’s teeth
  • Can remove more plaque
  • Can be more fun to use (some connect to apps or videos on your phone via Bluetooth)
  • May have a built-in two-minute timer to encourage brushing up to the recommended time
  • Replaceable heads
  • Usually has fun prints or stickers that your child might like


Drawbacks Of Power Toothbrushes

Some reasons why you might consider a manual toothbrush instead of an electric one: (4)

  • More expensive
  • More likely to damage teeth and gums


Pros & Cons Of Manual Toothbrushes

Advantages Of Manual Toothbrushes

Some reasons to consider manual toothbrushes over electric products: (4)

  • Usually much cheaper (typically at least half the price of electric toothbrushes)
  • Can still clean your child’s teeth (when used properly)
  • Maybe less likely to cause damage to gums and teeth


Drawbacks Of Manual Toothbrushes

Some reasons why you might consider an electric toothbrush instead of manual: (4)

  • May be less effective in cleaning your child’s teeth
  • Most don’t have options for replaceable heads
  • Usually don’t have a timer (but you can use your phone or other devices) to encourage your child to brush their teeth longer


Bonus: Manual Toothbrushes

  • CVS Health Children’s Stripe Manual Toothbrush (ADA Accepted)
  • RADIUS Children’s Toothbrushes (ADA Accepted)
  • up&up Kids Toothbrush (ADA Accepted)
  • Oral B Pro-Health Stages Manual Toothbrush


Electric Toothbrushes You Might Want To Avoid

U-type ultrasonic electric toothbrushes are designed to brush your child’s teeth automatically. Your kid only needs to bite into the silicone U-shaped head – and it’s supposed to do its magic from there.

Here’s an example:



However, they come in standard sizes that might not fit your child’s mouth perfectly. This might result in some missed sections and improperly cleaned teeth. (19)


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