Does your toddler need to begin brushing their teeth? Are you trying to figure out the best way to introduce oral hygiene so it seems fun and not like some boring chore they have to do?
Getting your toddler to brush their teeth doesn’t have to be an epic battle that you’re destined to lose. Some toddlers love it from the start, while others are way more resistant.
But you can make a brushing session seem like a big reward if you play your cards right. All you have to do is outsmart your toddler and make sure you have one of these toddler toothbrushes in your corner.
|1. RADIUS Totz||All Round + Sensitive Teeth|
|2. Jordan Step 1||1 Year Olds|
|3. Brush Baby BabySonic||Electric|
|4. Brusheez Electric||Difficult Toddlers|
|5. Oral-B Frozen Kids||With a Timer|
|6. BabyBaus Finger||Finger Toothbrush|
|7. Colgate My Toothbrush||Sore Gums|
|8. Dr. Fresh Care Bears||2 Year Olds|
|9. Mother’s Vault Bamboo||All Natural|
|10. Haigerx Kids Electric||With Music|
What Kind of Toothbrushes Are There?
You’ll have a choice of several different kinds of toddler toothbrushes. Luckily, they are generally cheap so if your toddler decides they hate one type of toothbrush you can move on to another kind and not be out much money.
Here are the kinds of toothbrushes you can choose from:
- Finger toothbrushes: Every kid loves finger puppets — they enjoy anything they can stick on the end of their finger. It feels like a toy that they get to play with, but with finger toothbrushes, you’re tricking them into working during their playing session. Finger toothbrushes are extra soft and they work best for children with only a few teeth. If you let them wield these finger toothbrushes by themselves, you should make sure they don’t bite down too hard and hurt their fingers. You should be the one to begin brushing their teeth with this type of brush and then you can let them take over when they become comfortable.
- Electric toothbrushes: Children love gadgets and electric toothbrushes are no exception. All they have to do is turn on the toothbrush and let it do all the work. Some toothbrushes even come with timers to help your child brush for the recommended two minutes each session. Or you can sing or play a song for them for two minutes.
- Man-powered toddler toothbrushes: The typical toddler toothbrush has a larger head and more bristles than most finger toothbrushes do. That will help your child reach the back teeth — the molars that show up around age 2. Unlike electric toothbrushes, you or your child will have to make the brushing motions — there are no shortcuts with these toothbrushes.
I figured my first child would love an electric toothbrush, but after I bought her one I realized she wanted nothing to do with it. I held onto it though and she eventually began to like it months later as she became more comfortable with brushing her teeth in general.
My second child also hated electric toothbrushes as a toddler, although he loves them now that he’s a little bit older too.
Both my kids didn’t like how aggressive the electric toothbrushes felt and they didn’t like the noise they made either. The whole experience intimidated them. I thought they would love not having to do all the work for themselves, especially since they were so into electronics at a young age, but the only way I could get them to brush their teeth was with a regular toothbrush that featured some of their favorite superheroes and Disney characters.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Toothbrush for a Child?
Toddlers are pretty easy to please. They like anything that looks cool or electronics of any kind. But even more than that, you need to pay attention to how a toothbrush will feel because if it’s painful in any way, you’ll have a fight on your hands when you try to convince your toddler to brush their teeth again.
Here are some of the things you should pay attention to when you are toothbrush shopping for your child.
- Look for soft bristles: You don’t want this to seem like a torture session in which their gums are left shredded and bleeding. You’re trying to get them to clean their teeth — not take off the enamel. And because their gums are already feeling inflamed from teething, children’s toothbrushes should always have soft bristles (source). It’s all they need to properly clean their teeth.
- Find great colors or characters: If your child adores Dora the Explorer, she’ll want to try brushing her teeth if you give her a toothbrush with Dora and Boots on it. Your child’s love for cartoon characters is one of the best things you can exploit when trying to get them to try new things.
- How easily they can hold it: When you’re picking out a toothbrush, remember how little a toddler’s hands are. Some toothbrushes, especially electronic toothbrushes, have big fat handles on them. Those handles can prove to be too much for a child to hold. You want a thinner handle that will fit comfortably in their hands.
- How well the toothbrush head fits in your child’s mouth: Make sure that you pick out a toothbrush for your child’s current age. If you have a 2-year-old and you size up to buy a toothbrush for an older child, it won’t fit comfortably in your child’s mouth. You don’t want an overly large toothbrush to gag your child.
When Should I Replace My Child’s Toothbrush?
Many people use their toothbrushes far longer than they should. By learning to recognize when a toothbrush has had enough, you’ll make sure your child isn’t missing out on fully cleaning their teeth.
Children should have new toothbrushes more frequently than adults do. They should be replaced when the bristles stop standing up straight or every three months — as soon as one of those situations occur, get a new one (source).
You should also get a new toothbrush right after your child has an illness. Toddlers, especially those in daycare or those who have school-aged brothers or sisters, are constantly getting sick.
So it may feel like you’re replacing your child’s toothbrush every month. Believe me, it’s worth the extra money to replace it. Having a germy toothbrush can retrigger an illness or make it last longer (source).
If you have a child who hates change, it will be easy to sneak the replacement toothbrush into their holder if the toothbrushes are identical. Sometimes being a good mom is all about being sneaky and we should make no apologies about our trickery. After all, it’s all in the best interest of our children, and, if we’re being honest, sometimes it’s in our best interest too.
The Best Toddler Toothbrushes of 2018
Now that you know about the different kinds of toothbrushes for toddlers, the safety precautions and exactly what to look for —
Here are our 10 favorite picks in 2018:
These toothbrushes have extra soft bristles, which is good news for kids with sensitive teeth. The bristles are vegetable based and the toothbrushes are BPA free and don’t contain latex, lead or phthalates.
The rounded corners on the head of the toothbrush makes it harder for your child to bang his teeth or gums with the toothbrush.
You’ll get three toothbrushes with this set so you’ll have a back-up waiting in the wings when you need to replace a toothbrush.
These toothbrushes work well for kids who are at least 18 months of age.
- The three-pack includes an assortment of colors for the toothbrush.
- Some parents will appreciate that these use vegetable-based bristles.
- These brushes are soft on gums.
- The handle gets really slippery when wet which makes it hard to hold.
- The handle is so wide it doesn’t fit into a normal-sized toothbrush holder.
This toothbrush is made for children who have sprouted their first tooth and it can be used until they are 2 years old. The handles are so wide they won’t be able to accidentally trigger their gag reflex by sticking the toothbrush too far in their mouth. But to make them easier to hold, the toothbrushes have a hole in the center of the handle where your child can grab on.
The handle can also be used as a chewing ring so it can help relieve some of your baby’s teething pain.
While most of the bristles are white, there are some colored bristles in the center that help you and your child use the right amount of toothpaste.
- These toothbrushes come in a four-pack.
- They are BPA and phthalate free.
- The bristles are super soft.
- Some parents complained the bristles came out easily when their baby chewed on the toothbrush.
- They won’t fit into holders.
This electric toothbrush isn’t quite as vigorous as some of the adult electric toothbrushes are. It uses gentle vibrations to clean teeth.
The brush head is small enough that it won’t feel too large in your child’s mouth.
This brush will help your child brush for the right amount of time because it has a two-minute light time and a 30-second pulse reminder that goes off when it’s time for your child to brush another section of their teeth. That helps ensure that no section of the mouth is forgotten when your child is brushing.
- The triple A battery is replaceable.
- You can also buy replaceable brush heads.
- The timer is helpful for teaching good brushing habits.
- You’ll pay more for a brush like this than you would a manual brush.
- It doesn’t spin when brushing.
There’s so much to look at with this set that your toddler will forget they hate brushing their teeth.
It comes with a two-minute sand timer that your child will love to watch to figure out when it’s time to stop brushing. It also comes with a cute rinse cup that your child should love to use, a stand to hold everything, and a replacement head.
Plus, it comes with a toothbrush cover to keep their toothbrush clean between uses.
The toothbrush comes in four different animals so you’ll be able to find one your child likes.
- You’ll get a lot of accessories in this set.
- It also comes with a brushing chart to help your child stay on track.
- The batteries are replaceable.
- The button is a little hard to push for a toddler.
- The toothbrush is a bit loud.
When you purchase this toothbrush, you get a free download of the Disney Magic timer app. In addition to the two-minute timer, your child will be able to watch their progress on a calendar. They can get rewards for brushing frequently and long enough.
This combines a child’s love of rewards, along with their love of using technology. Even toddlers love to use apps.
The toothbrush is rechargeable and it uses a waterproof handle to safeguard your child.
- You get two refill brush heads.
- The charging station doesn’t take up much room.
- Frozen is one of the most popular kid movies in recent years so both toddler boys and girls will like this toothbrush.
- The button is a little hard to push.
- There aren’t any characters on the toothbrush, just designs.
These finger toothbrushes can be used on babies and toddlers. They come in a three-pack that has their own carrying cases so they’ll stay clean when not in use. The carrying cases make them great for travel as well.
They are made of 100 percent food grade material that has been approved by the FDA.
They slide right over your finger, which is nice for moms who are worried about their child jamming a traditional toothbrush too far in their mouth. The bristles are soft on your baby’s gums and teeth.
- These are affordable.
- You’ll get three different colors of cases.
- If you have a pet, these also work well for their teeth — your baby may get a kick out of seeing their dog use the same brand of toothbrush they do.
- Some men have trouble fitting these on their fingers.
- Because the toothbrushes are clear, they can be hard to spot when you set them down for a minute.
There is nothing fancy about these toothbrushes, but they’ll be good for babies with sore gums because the bristles are extra soft. They shouldn’t irritate inflamed gums at all.
These toothbrushes come in a six-pack and they are good for babies who have just cut their first tooth all the way up to 2 year olds.
The non-slip handle will help you and your baby keep a firm grip on this toothbrush, even if things get a bit wet and your child gets a little wild.
- These toothbrushes are affordable.
- The bristles stay put even after they are chewed.
- It’s easy to hold.
- They are so soft that they don’t last very long — you might not get a full three months out of them.
- The angle of the handle versus the head of the toothbrush makes it a little awkward for parents who are doing the brushing.
Most kids — both boys and girls, love the Care Bears. They’ll be excited when they see them on their new toothbrushes and hopefully it will inspire a little more enthusiasm for brushing.
These toothbrushes come in a pack of three and they are made of bright, eye-catching colors. They also come with a suction cup stand so they always stay nice and clean when not in use.
The wavy edges of the handle help your toddler to get a firm grip on the toothbrushes.
- These toothbrushes are inexpensive.
- They are good for ages 2 to 4.
- They are really cute toothbrushes.
- The bristles tend to fall out with chewing.
- The bristles aren’t as soft as some other brands.
These natural bamboo toothbrushes will break down in a landfill way faster than their plastic counterparts will if you throw them away. They can also be recycled. That’s a purchase parents can feel good about. Plus, you’ll get four toothbrushes so you’ll always have a spare on hand.
Some of the money generated from every purchase is donated to a charity called Earthjustice.
The bristles of this toothbrush are made from BPA free nylon. These bristles are made to stay put, even when children chew on them.
- The wood on these toothbrushes will go with any bathroom decor.
- These are good choices for environmentally concerned parents.
- You won’t have to worry about your child chewing on plastic when you use these.
- These would be easier to use if they were angled.
- The head of the toothbrush is pretty large.
This toothbrush contains four songs to help your child enjoy the brushing experience a bit more. It also has a two-minute timer so your child will brush long enough to fully clean their teeth.
It comes with free cartoon stickers they can stick on their toothbrush anywhere they want — kids love getting to customize their belongings.
This toothbrush is rechargeable so it will always be ready to go when you need it. This set comes with an extra brush head.
- This brush has a 30-second reminder so they’ll know when it’s time to move onto another section of their mouth.
- The handle is skid proof.
- The songs that are played are songs most kids know, like London Bridge and Bingo.
- The music plays loudly and there is no volume control.
- Some parents have had issues with the music quitting after a few weeks.
My Favorite Is …
One of the best toddler toothbrushes you can find is the RADIUS Totz toothbrush.
For affordability, I’ve always been a fan of manual toothbrushes, especially for toddlers who are sometimes turned off by loud and aggressive electric toothbrushes.
I like that these toothbrushes are affordable and the bristles are so soft that kids with sensitive teeth or gums will still be fine using them. The round corners of the brush head add to the comfort.
It can be frustrating trying to find a toothbrush small children will like, but just remember to keep trying. Never let a tantrum stop you from fighting the good fight. Your baby’s teeth are important so don’t give up no matter what.