Brushing teeth is essential for young and old to ward off tooth decay, which is a common chronic childhood disease in the U.S. (1). Not maintaining your child’s teeth can lead to various ailments, some of which can affect them into adulthood (2).
Finding the best electric toothbrush for kids can help make the brushing habit easier to maintain and more fun.
Electric toothbrushes have some slight advantages over regular brushes. For starters, they’re easier for the child to use on their own while still doing a thorough job. Some also come with timers to encourage thorough cleaning.
We’ve taken the sting out of searching and found five of the best.
- Power options
- Timer included
- Replacement reminder
- Ultra-long battery life
- Soft bristles & different speeds
- Two-minute timer
- Efficient cleaning
- Timer and intervals
- Gentle cleaning
- Easy to use
- LED lights
- Free motivating app
- Superior cleaning
- Fun stickers
Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth It?
It’s common to wonder if spending extra on an electric toothbrush is justified, but it generally is. If your child is ready and feels comfortable using one, electric toothbrushes have proven to be more effective at removing plaque than manual ones (3). Other benefits include:
- Encouraging longer brushing sessions.
- Lessening pressure on gums and teeth.
- Simplifying brushing for children.
- Making brushing fun.
- Helping to develop healthy habits.
Finding the Best Kids Electric Toothbrush
The brush’s shape and head size are important for two reasons — effective cleaning and comfort. The right design can reach all crevices of the mouth, such as between the molars and cheeks. This is essential for getting a thorough clean in a developing mouth.
You also don’t want to pick a brush that’s too large for your little one’s mouth. You know how uncomfortable it is to brush your teeth with a massive toothbrush — it is for kids too. It’s best to be cautious and err on the side of small, so you don’t scare them.
Quality of Bristles
High-quality bristles will last significantly longer before needing a replacement. Worn down bristles are not only less effective, but they can also cause damage to the enamel, increasing the risk of cavities.
Quality bristles can generally last around three months, whereas poorer ones may only last about a month.
Dupont nylon is a common bristle material that typically gives good results and prolonged use. Some bristles will change color to indicate that it’s time to get a new brush.
Effective Plaque Removal
A toothbrush’s most important job is to remove plaque effectively. High-quality toothbrushes will do their job consistently throughout the mouth. It’s not easy to know for sure how efficient a brush is before trying it, but you can read user reviews.
You can tell that it’s effective by the feel of the mouth after cleaning. If you’re in doubt, ask for a plaque score at your child’s next dentist appointment. Such a test compares the difference in your child’s plaque between visits.
Plaque that’s left behind will eventually aid the formation of cavities and tooth decay. Eating a diet full of refined carbohydrates and sugars can increase this risk.
Such a diet will leave a thick layer of plaque on top of the biofilm. It is the biofilm that nourishes the tooth, so with this covered, the tooth is overwhelmed by bacteria.
Subsequently, the tooth can’t get a sufficient amount of nutrients, resulting in tooth decay (4).
In the world of electric toothbrushes, you can generally choose between battery-powered or rechargeable. Both have their pros and cons, but users tend to prefer rechargeables.
Battery-powered toothbrushes may require frequent battery changes, which can be pricey. They’re also less likely to be waterproof, so your child can’t use them while showering or bathing.
Rechargeable toothbrushes usually have a long battery life — some can go up to 60 days on a single charge.
Charging is also easy and inexpensive — most have a USB charger you can use with your phone’s adapter. Others come with a charging base. Most rechargeables are also waterproof.
A huge pro with electric toothbrushes is the fun features many of them include. Features like timers and compatible apps can make the process a lot more enjoyable for your child. It could even motivate them to brush for longer.
Timers are great as they let the user know when they’ve brushed long enough. Some come with 30-second intervals for when it’s time to switch areas. Another fun feature is a compatible app — that allows your child to track their progress and perhaps get some tips.
The best electric toothbrush for kids will have a child-friendly design. Fun characters may be added to the design, or they may have bright colors. Others can even include stickers for customization.
Oscillating or Sonic Brush
Electric toothbrushes come with two different techniques for cleaning — oscillating and sonic vibration.
Oscillating is when the head of the brush spins and moves to simulate brush strokes. Sonic uses vibrations to clean the teeth and is often preferred with small children as it’s less intimidating.
Both are equally effective, so it’s entirely up to your child as to what they prefer.
The Best Kids Electric Toothbrush of 2020
Using our above criteria, we searched expert sites and leading blogs. Then we narrowed our results down to find the best electric toothbrush for kids.
1. Sonic Electric Toothbrush for Kids
This Proalpha rechargeable toothbrush is suitable for children aged 4 years and up. It comes with a feature that allows you to adjust the power for different ages.
It’s cute, with a child-friendly appearance that has received compliments from parents. With a scaled-down handle and brush, your child will be comfortable while brushing their teeth.
It has a lot to offer, even a toothbrushing assistant that helps your child brush for two minutes. When it’s time to replace the brush, the bristles will fade to let you know.
Why We Love It
To ensure the cleaning speed is appropriate for the age range, Proalpha included a function enabling you to choose between three power options. It covers ages 4 to 6, 7 to 9, and kids over 10 years old. The toothbrush removes plaque effectively without causing damage to the gums.
The toothbrush includes a two-minute timer to ensure your child knows how long to brush. There’s also a 30-second interval pause, reminding the user to switch sides for a thorough cleanse.
The handle has been designed to suit small hands — it’s lightweight and effortless to hold securely. The brush is scaled down, too, fitting comfortably in the mouth.
The bristles on the brush will let the user know when a replacement is due. They’ll begin to fade, changing color. Included in the package is one replacement brush — the manufacturer states that each brush lasts for up to six months.
Keep In Mind
No Blue Option
One of the possible downsides to this toothbrush is that it’s only available in red and white or pink. Some parents mentioned that it would be nice with some more color options.
|Recommended age||4 years and up|
|Charging base included||Yes|
|Bristle material||Dupont nylon|
2. Vekkia Dragon Lord Kids’ Electric Toothbrush
With an adorable dragon design, this electric toothbrush from Vekkia is great for children aged 3 and up.
Your little one can use this for months before it needs a recharge, thanks to its powerful battery.
They can customize the speed to suit their needs, but the soft bristles will always keep their gums safe. It works effectively at removing debris and plaque, leaving a fresh mouth behind.
Included with the toothbrush, you’ll get three replacement brushes as well as a USB charger. The soft Dupont bristles and safe waterproof materials make it child-friendly.
Why We Love It
Ultra-Long Battery Life
Although the battery is rechargeable, you won’t need the charger for quite a while. Following a three- to four-hour charge, this toothbrush can go for 60 days before needing a boost. It’s fantastic for busy parents or when traveling.
Soft Bristles and Different Speeds
The top rounded bristles are soft — they’re specifically designed to suit children’s sensitive gums while still getting them clean. With three speeds to choose from depending on your child’s age, they can remove all dental debris. The brush head is made from food-grade material, approved for use in the U.S.
There’s no more guessing or excuses for your little one. This toothbrush includes a two-minute timer with 30-second intervals for changing areas. It’s convenient and will ensure your child’s teeth are squeaky clean.
The blue dragon design is adorable and suitable for both girls and boys. Your child will be intrigued, which may encourage them to brush their teeth regularly.
Keep In Mind
The toothbrush tends to vibrate, particularly on the highest setting. Some parents said that it made it difficult for small children to hold it.
|Recommended age||3 years and up|
|Charging base included||USB|
3. Leyoung Kids’ Electric Toothbrush
For children who enjoy multitasking and brushing their teeth while in the bath or shower, this electric toothbrush from Leyoung is completely waterproof and can be used and cleaned under running water.
Beneath the waterproof exterior sits a powerful little motor. The brush doesn’t spin, but it’s suited with strong sonic vibrations, effective at getting rid of gunk and stains. With the long battery life, you don’t have to worry too often about charging.
The design is simple, yet captivating for little ones. The bright blue color is suitable for both girls and boys. In the bundle, you’ll also receive two replacement brushes.
Why We Love It
The toothbrush is IPX7 waterproof, so your little one can wash it under the faucet or brush their teeth in the shower. The streamlined design and lightness make it easy to use anywhere, as well as to keep clean.
With a 100- to 240-volt motor, this electric toothbrush is capable of producing 16,000 high-frequency vibrations per minute. It offers a 3D cleaning action, getting rid of debris and stains. The soft bristles keep your child’s teeth and gums safe.
Timer and Intervals
For optimal results, your child can use the included two-minute timer. This will indicate three 30-second intervals, telling the user it’s time to switch to a different area of their mouth. Once the two minutes are up, the toothbrush shuts off automatically.
On a full battery charge, your child can use the brush for up to 30 days before it requires a recharge. It’s great for trips, and the USB inductive magnetic charger enables you to charge it cordlessly for convenience.
Keep In Mind
It Only Vibrates
This electric toothbrush doesn’t move or spin its head. Instead, it uses vibrations to clean the teeth.
|Charging base included||Yes|
4. Papablic BabyHandy 2-Stage Sonic Electric Toothbrush
Babies must have their teeth brushed too, and this toothbrush from Papablic works well for that. It’s a compact, lightweight brush with an ergonomic handle that’s comfortable for parents to hold.
The bristles are soft, and it vibrates gently for a thorough clean. It has some fun elements, too, like LED lights.
It’s suitable for infants, and you get an additional brush, which is a little larger, fitting better for toddlers. It runs on AAA batteries, which are included.
Why We Love It
The bristles are extra soft, and the vibration is gentle to suit babies from as young as one month of age. Still, it’s highly efficient — according to the company, it’s 75 percent more effective at cleaning than a regular, manual toothbrush. The soft bristles will clean and massage your baby’s gums and teeth.
Easy to Use
The design of the toothbrush is compact and ergonomic. The lightweight handle and small brush head make it easy to use with little ones. It’s a two-stage brush, so you’ll receive additional heads, which are more suitable for toddlers.
Your little one will love to use this thanks to the bright LED lights. As they brush, the lights will encourage sensory engagement while also illuminating their mouth so you can see their teeth.
A two-minute timer is included to make sure you brush your baby’s teeth for the recommended time. This will let you know when it’s time to change the area you’re working on as well as when you’re done.
Keep In Mind
Although the toothbrush is great, if your little one were to throw it, it would probably break. The brush is made of delicate material that can’t take a hit.
|Recommended age||One month to 3 years|
|Charging base included||No — battery-powered|
5. Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush
Sometimes children require some additional motivation to brush their teeth. So, why not enlist the help of technology and smartphones? That’s what Philips did with its Sonicare Electric Toothbrush.
It’s compatible with a free, interactive app, which you can download on your phone. It will motivate, keep track, and offer advice on brushing. There’s also a helpful timer.
Your little one will love this toothbrush. They can customize it to suit their style or mood, and it’s highly effective.
Why We Love It
The toothbrush comes with a free, interactive app, which will act as a motivator and brushing coach. Through Bluetooth, you can connect the toothbrush to your smartphone. Then the brushing coach will give tips and show a visual guide for a clean mouth.
Your child can track their progress and brushing times, which motivates and encourages them to keep going. You can even take the results for your child’s dentist to monitor.
The Philips Sonicare delivers roughly 500 brush strokes per second. It claims to be 75 percent more effective than a regular toothbrush in hard-to-reach areas. Still, the bristles are soft and gentle for tiny gums.
Included with the toothbrush are eight fun stickers your little one can use to customize their new tool. The stickers are interchangeable, so the user can switch it up any time they want.
No more guessing — Philips made sure to include a two-minute timer with the toothbrush. It will tell the user when it’s time to stop brushing, as recommended by the American Dental Association.
Keep In Mind
Large Brush Head
A few parents noted the size of the brush head is relatively large, almost as big as an adult’s. It’s not ideal for young toddlers as it may be too big to brush their teeth comfortably.
|Charging base included||Yes|
|Product||Best||Recommended age||Charging base included||Timer||Bristle material||Waterproof|
|Sonic Electric Toothbrush||Overall Pick||4 years up||Yes||Yes||Dupont nylon||Yes|
|Vekkia Dragon Lord Toothbrush||Battery Life||3 years up||USB||Yes||Dupont||Yes|
|Leyoung Kids’ Electric Toothbrush||Shower Brushing||N/A||Yes||Yes||Dupont||Yes|
|Papablic BabyHandy Sonic Toothbrush||Babies||1 month – 3 years||Battery-powered||Yes||Dupont||N/A|
|Philips Sonicare Toothbrush||App||N/A||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A|
When to Introduce an Electric Toothbrush?
The best time to introduce an electric toothbrush depends on your child. It’s not uncommon for children to feel intimidated by the vibrations and rotations. For some, it’s too much and may put them off brushing — so, proceed with caution.
Some younger children find it funny at first and can’t concentrate on brushing.
There are electric toothbrushes available for young babies. Alternatively, many feel it’s better to wait until a child is 3 years or older.
If you’re considering one for a young child, look for variable power options. Low settings are less intimidating and can help ease your little one into it.
Are Electric Toothbrushes Harmful to Teeth?
Electric toothbrushes aren’t more harmful than manual ones. However, a child needs to know how much pressure to put on their teeth while brushing.
No More Cavities
Brushing your child’s teeth is crucial for good oral hygiene as well as establishing healthy oral habits.
Electric toothbrushes have the great advantage of making the process more fun for children. They’re also easier for children to use by themselves while still getting a thorough cleaning.
Make sure your child is ready to begin brushing themselves and look for a toothbrush with speed settings appropriate for their age.
When choosing the best electric toothbrush for kids, ensure it includes high-quality bristles and has the appropriately-sized head and handle. It should also include some fun features to help engage your child in the activity.