All parents know that it’s never too early to help kids get into the swing of looking after their teeth. But brushing time can be a real battle, with everything from the flavour of the toothpaste or the tickling sensation of bristles proving a problem.
It’s so difficult, in fact, that almost a quarter of five-year-olds have had tooth decay, according to statistics from Public Health England. Shocking, isn’t it?
Thankfully there’s now a wide range of electric toothbrushes for kids to make it more fun and effective.
For example, electric toothbrushes can help kids brush for the recommended two minutes with the help of buzzes and fun apps, making it less of a chore. They have the advantage of taking the hard work out brushing and making sure kids (and parents trying to help) do it thoroughly.
These differ from the best electric toothbrushes for adults by being smaller, too, so they can fit inside smaller mouths.
We’ve rounded up some of the best children’s electric toothbrushes on the market to help you choose the one that will keep your child’s teeth in tip-top condition, whatever their age.
How to buy the best children’s electric toothbrush
Just like choosing clothes for kids, age is one of the most important considerations when picking an electric toothbrush. While it may be tempting to choose one they can use for years (with new heads of course) the pressure and head size could be unsuitable.
Next on the list of things to consider is technique. Look for an age-appropriate brush with a small head and soft bristles, but make sure to check out the recommended brushing technique needed. Do you need to actively brush the teeth or just move the oscillating head over the teeth? Regardless of the brush you choose, supervision of young children is essential, especially if they haven’t used an electric brush before.
Then, of course, there are the features. In addition to a timer, some electric brushes have features such as a coaching app or a brushing feedback feature, both of which are useful extras. Expect to pay more for more if the brush connects to a responsive app, or if it’s made from a premium material.
Last but not least, come price and convenience. If budget is key, we’ve found some great-value options, while you may want to opt for a brush from a big brand if you plan on picking up replacement heads as part of your weekly supermarket shop.
The best children’s electric toothbrushes you can buy today:
Oral-B is a trusted brand, making its kids electric toothbrush an easy choice for lots of parents. This one is designed for children aged six and over. Its clean, simple design, which comes in a choice of two attractive colours, will appeal to children who want a more ‘grown up’ brush, but it’s got all the features necessary to hold their hand and ensure their teeth get a thorough clean.
The round, oscillating brush head with extra soft bristles is gentle on teeth and gums but removes harmful plaque effectively in the same way as a lot of adult brushes. It may seem noisy to little users at first, but our mini tester got used to it quickly, and the built-in timer is a great motivator for kids to brush for the right amount of time. The brush helpfully buzzes every 30 seconds until they reach their goal and it turns off. Charging is simple and easy as you might expect from an Oral-B electric toothbrush, and the pack comes with absolutely everything you need to get started. Replacement heads are easy to get hold of, making this brush convenient for busy families and great value too.
Our ‘best overall’ brush is often a very similar price to this pick, making them both brilliant buys, but this one is the best value for smaller children. Designed for kids aged three to five or six, this brush might not cost too much, but like its counterpart for primary school children, this one it doesn’t stint on features and comes with a brush head and charger.
The rounded brush has extra soft bristles and one of its two modes is a sensitive brushing mood which allows the teeth to be brushed slightly more slowly, which is great for nervous newbies. The built-in timer encourages kids to brush for two minutes, and there’s even a companion Disney Magic Timer App to make brushing more fun. One obvious feature is the Spider-Man design. This brush also comes in a Disney Princesses edition and because you get stickers in the pack to apply yourselves you can go as light or as heavy on the theme as you like. The bonus is that thanks to the price, if your child’s taste does change, it won’t break the bank.
The Philips Sonicare Connected Toothbrush for Kids was a very close contender for Best Overall. The only drawback is its higher price point, but if you have the budget, this brush is a cracker.
The Bluetooth-connected, rechargable toothbrush has two cleaning modes and a built-in timer. It is thoughtfully designed with a colourful, grippy handle and rubber coated brush head which is gentle on tender gums. But what truly sets it apart though is its connectivity. When used with the companion coaching app, the whole brushing process becomes fun and educational with Sparkly, who is an endearing interactive character. Our mini tester was immediately drawn to the cute factor and the fun tutorials, games and activities, should motivate even the most reluctant child to brush for two minutes. The toothbrush has a long battery life and comes with a charger, stickers and a second brush head. Yes it’s more expensive than some rivals, but if you’re looking for an investment with all the bells and whistles, this is a good one.
The Foreo ISSA Kids toothbrush, aimed at five- to 12-year-olds is perhaps the most stylish powered toothbrush in our roundup. It’s different too: from the soft silicone bristles which the manufacturer claims are more hygienic than the nylon variety, to its cleaning action. The brush head doesn’t rotate but instead uses sonic pulses to give a gentle but thorough clean.
Like the other brushes, it has a built-in timer which vibrates every 30 seconds to remind the user to move to another mouth quadrant. A full two-minute brush is rewarded with a smiling face on the handle, which is simple and pleasing, if not quite as exciting as some of the other rewards from rivals. When it comes to charging, the Foreo ISSA brush can be charged via USB, making it a handy option for travelling, or simply if you don’t want to be tied to one bathroom. Incredibly, the brush is meant to last 265 uses from a one-hour charge. We’re still testing, but ours hasn’t run out yet.
As you might expect from premium brush packed with tech and good looks, the ISSA Kids brush isn’t cheap and a further drawback is you can’t pick it up or replacement parts in a supermarket. But if you love aesthetics and something a little bit different, this brush is a treat.
The compact lSSA Mini 3 toothbrush is aimed at over fives and even adults who prefer a brush with a small head. It’s essentially a smaller version of their boldly-coloured adult brush and uses sonic pulse technology like its big sibling. This technology breaks up plaque and gently massages the gums with up to 9,000 high-intensity sonic pulsations per minute. Similarly, it has a soft, silicone brush head to gently clean and whiten the teeth. While it’s worth noting that these heads are more expensive than replacement heads from rivals, they can last up to a year.
The big USP of this brush is that it offers 4 in 1 oral care for teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue, thanks to gentle silicone bristles and a tongue scarper on the back of the brush head. The company says it improves users’ overall oral hygiene by 140%. Other features of the Mini 3 include a built-in smiley face timer, anti-slip handle and low battery indicator. You might not need to check the indicator that much, because a single hour’s USB charge will last for up to 265 uses, making this brush great for travelling or simply handy for busy parents who don’t want to charge a brush super regularly.
It’s hard to believe you can get an electric toothbrush and spare change for £5 but you can. Well, almost. The Oral-B Stages Disney Kids battery toothbrush is a budget model aimed at over-3s that’s covered in fun characters. It’s got an ergonomic handle and buzzy head to assist with brushing and you can even use the accompanying Disney Magic Timer App.
But (and it’s a big one) the brush head is non replaceable and the battery can’t be recharged, which means the whole unit will be consigned to landfill in just 3-4 months, which is how long dentists suggest using a brush. While using a string of these brushes would be environmentally damaging and poorer value for money than investing in a rechargeable brush in the long-run, this one may be useful one-off purchase to find out whether a child will like the sensation of using a powered toothbrush and deal with the noise.