Best Electric Toothbrush for Kids
The Philips Sonicare for Kids is the little brother to adult Philips Sonicare toothbrushes and has the same plaque fighting power as its bigger brother. This easy to use, rechargeable toothbrush is simple to use, includes an automatic timer to help kids brush longer, and includes fun stickers to customize your brush. Testers liked the way the bristles felt and weren't turned off by the sonic level of agitation. Parents liked the quality and brand name reliability of this brush.
Unlike some of the competition, this brush only has a single setting. It is also one of the most expensive options in the review, which could be prohibitive for some families. Overall, we think this brush and included charger and stand is a good choice for most kids from about five years old up and seems to have the quality to potentially last that long. These factors make it one we recommend to friends.
The Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush is a round head, spinning sonic brush that comes with a charger and stand for easy storage. We like the variety of potential kid-friendly themes you can choose from, and the smaller round head was preferred by more than one tester over the traditional oval. This brush works well, is straightforward with a single button, making it perfect for newbies to the electric toothbrush game. It fights plaque well in our tests, and we like that the quality might keep you brushing for years to come.
Sadly, this option doesn't include a timer, automatic or otherwise. While it gives you information on downloading a timer app, this isn't something kids can do on their own, which means parents need to be nearby or let little ones use their phones. We suspect that even if folks do this at first, they won't over the long haul, which means kids might not brush as long as they should. You can get a separate timer or a cheap hourglass to fill the void, and the price savings over some of the competition might make this a solution parents on a budget find attractive.
The Fairywill Kids Electric Toothbrush is a budget-friendly sonic brush that is easy to use, has a depressed button that prevents accidental shut-offs while brushing, and it plugs in to recharge. We like this little bunny-eared brush that feels sturdy, comes with extra brush heads and has three different modes. Kids liked the bright colors and felt comfortable with the speed of the sonic cleaning, and parents liked the obvious impact on plaque over time.
This toothbrush comes with a USB cord for charging, but you have to supply your own wall charger or have a modern wall plug containing USB ports. If you don't have something like this lying around, it could cost you a few dollars to find one. We think this wallet-friendly option is a good choice for many kids, and the three modes and multiple replacement heads mean there is something for every child in this simple little package.
The Brusheez Kid's Electric Toothbrush Set is an adorable kit that makes brushing new and exciting for kids who may be reluctant to get involved. This cute kit has a turning hourglass timer, a rinse cup, a toothbrush, a replacement head, and a cover cap for the brush. Testers loved the cute design and enjoyed the slower spinning action of this non-sonic brush. Little ones fell in love with brushing while using this fun, kid-centric kit.
The only real downside to this brush is the lack of sonic brushing. While it did more than an adequate job of keeping teeth clean in our tests, it isn't on the same plane as sonic level care, and the dentist we consulted with indicated a sonic brush would probably offer a better clean over time. Any brushing is better than no brushing, and electric brushing is a step up from manual, so if you need to get kids jazzed about brushing, this could be a great gateway brush before moving onto sonic as they age.
The Vekkia Sonic Kids Electric Toothbrush is a cool sonic brush for kids that comes with a charging cord and several extra brush heads for long term use. This brush is a good kid-size, has an automatic timer shut-off and three modes for different goals. Kids liked this brush for the smaller brush head and the gentle sonic cleaning. Parents like the reduction of plaque seen during our testing.
This option lacks a wall charger, so you'll need to have an extra or modern wall outlet with a USB port. While not a deal-breaker, it is a bummer that you might need to purchase something extra to recharge your brush. Overall, we think parents and kids will like this inexpensive option that comes with multiple replacement heads and has a cute monster to make cleaning away the plaque fun.
The Dnsly Sonic Electric Toothbrush is a more grownup centric brush with multiple modes, including whitening and cleaning options. It comes with different heads of different types and removes so much plaque testers received their first-ever "no plaque" report from the dentist after only three months of use.
This brush is pretty powerful, and younger users complained it didn't feel good in their mouths in our tests, and some even said it hurt. Not all testers felt this way, and the older testers didn't remark on any discomfort, so perhaps this option is a better choice for older kids who've been using an electric toothbrush for a while. We love that this brush helped provide a clean mouth report from the dentist and the lower price with the included charger, and we think parents will too.
The Dada-tech Kids Electric Toothbrush is a smaller toothbrush that offers sonic care. It has an automatic timer with 30-second pause reminders to switch zones or keep brushing. This brush is child-sized for smaller hands, and testers liked the changing lights.
The light-up action is a double-edged sword; while little ones definitely liked seeing the lights, they distract from the action of brushing and resulting in kids turning off the lights and watching the brush in the mirror instead of diligent dental care. However, we think that over time, kids might grow bored with the lights and instead focus on brushing, and the smaller handle could make it easier for younger children to get in the habit of brushing.
The Cute Kids & Baby Toothbrush is a small electric brush that runs on batteries. This brush has a small size, small brush head, and super soft bristles. It has lights and an automatic shut off timer to keep kids on track.
This brush is really too small for most children and is best for toddlers and those under three years of age. We like the idea of the lights, but little ones spent more time staring at lights than brushing, and in the end, it was just a distraction from real dental care. Overall, this small brush could be a good introduction for toddlers to what it feels like to have an electric toothbrush, but we aren't convinced it is an excellent long term option as children get bigger.
The U-Type Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush is a U shape silicone mouthpiece that has brush-like protrusions throughout to rub against teeth while the panda head vibrates to create a sonic type action on teeth. The idea is interesting, and the design impressed us as innovative. It has multiple modes and an automatic timer. It is a brush we were enthusiastic to test due to the unique approach used.
But, our testing of this brush proved disappointing. This brush did not remove much of the plaque-simulating dye in our tests, and our pediatric dentist expressed skepticism about the design. She remarked it might not be a good idea, in her opinion, since she felt it is important for kids to learn good dental habits early. And the fact that in our tests, it didn't appear to be as effective at removing plaque-simulating dye, especially along the gum line, added to her skepticism. Plaque in the gum line can potentially lead to gingivitis and cavities. Our kid testers also found this brush harder to understand how to use with its various light colors indicating different modes, and we found the mouthpiece hard to clean when the "brush cycle" is over, as ours retained almost all of the toothpaste we used, which we then had to hand wash. Overall, based on our tests, this option disappointed us with much less of the plaque-simulating dye removed compared to other brushes we tested. We also worry using this option will inhibit little ones from embracing important lifelong brushing habits and developing the skills they need to have good oral hygiene as they get older. At the end of our testing, we regrettably concluded that this innovative brush is not a product we'd feel comfortable recommending to a friend.
Why You Should Trust Us
For eight years, BabyGearLab has been buying and testing products for babies, kids, and pregnancy. Wendy Schmitz, a Senior Review Editor since 2014 and mother of 2, leads the electric toothbrush review from researching possible competitors to the hands-on testing with her children. Wendy's family used each toothbrush side-by-side considering the features of each brush, quality, ease of use, clean-ability, and more. The feedback from child testers influenced the ranking and winners in this review, and a pediatric dentist was consulted.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased top electric toothbrushes for kids and put them to the test side-by-side with kid testers to find the brushes that kids like the best, clean plaque most efficiently, and have special features that encourage good brushing habits from the start.
We are not medical professionals. While we discussed electric toothbrushes with dentists and hygienists for our review, you should not rely on this review or our winners as medical advice. Because each child is unique, and their dental needs are unique, you should always discuss their periodontal health with a dentist specializing in children. While our guide is a good place to find information about the differences in potential toothbrush options for your child, we encourage you to discuss your choice with a dentist.
Ease of Use
Most of the brushes in this review are easy to use. They all include easy to use on/off buttons, but some were so easy to press we accidentally shut them off while brushing. The rechargeable options were easier to set up as we didn't have to manage batteries and battery covers. Still, some didn't come with wall chargers, which meant it was difficult to keep them charged without finding a dedicated wall plug.
Overall, those with multiple modes were the hardest to use as switching modes often meant pushing the start button more than once. This design resulted in switching modes while brushing, increasing brush time accidentally, and turning the brush off altogether. We aren't sure multiple modes are necessary, and this seemed to complicate everything, so we prefer those with a single clean mode and straightforward operation. The Philips Sonicare for Kids is a single-mode, push for on push for off, one and done, making it super easy for kids to manage independently without assistance. The Fairywill brush has a button that is slightly depressed, making it harder to accidentally push when brushing, which is a big plus for death grip hands worried about dropping the brush. The Brusheez Kid's Electric Toothbrush Set is also straightforward with two buttons, one for on and one for off, with the off button being smaller and more challenging to not accidentally press while brushing.
The Dnsly, in particular, seems to have some potential design flaw as we more often than not ended up repeatedly pushing the button on the front while brushing. With four modes, this meant mode switching and turning it off before restarting in the mode we wanted, sometimes more than five button pushes to get back on track. The U-Type Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush is one of the hardest to use as it had multiple modes that require numerous button pushes. We needed the manual to sort out which mode was which based on the color of the associated light. Keeping a manual on hand to determine if you are using the desired setting feels like a deal-breaker to us.
Some brushes offer many bells and whistles, while others are more straightforward get the teeth clean machines. What kind of features and functions you need will depend on your brushing goals, but there are a few things we think are important and are things we encourage you to consider.
One of the most essential features, in our mind, is the automatic timer included with many of these products. These timers are preset for two minutes, the teeth brushing time recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Some include pauses at 30 seconds to remind kids to keep brushing or change areas in their mouths, but all turn off automatically at two minutes. We love this feature because it keeps little ones on task and ensures they are brushing for the right amount of time to help ensure a good clean mouth. A timer empowers little ones to take charge of their dental health and helps parents feel more comfortable that brushing is happening as it should.
Most of the products in this review include an automatic timer where the brushes turn off when they hit the two-minute mark, and we like these the best; a few examples are the Philips Sonic Care, Fairywill Kids Electric Toothbrush, and the Vekkia Sonic Kids Electric Toothbrush. The Oral-B Kids Electric Toothbrush doesn't have a timer of any kind and instead relies on the use of an app. While an app might be fun, it isn't a practical solution for twice-daily brushing routines where parents are busy and likely can't hand over their smartphone for teeth brushing. The Brusheez has an hourglass timer you turn yourself. While we like that this timer is attached to the kit stand so it won't get lost, and kids like the fun design and watching the sand fall, it was challenging to remember to turn the timer for each brushing. Some kids liked watching the time count down instead of the automatic timer, where you never know how much time is left. Still, others fiddled with the timer while brushing, making it essentially useless. Overall, we think a timer is a must-have for kids to keep them brushing and ensure the best clean possible.
Other features were add ons or multiple mode settings on the brush. Some brushes came with replacement heads like the Vekkia Sonic Kids Electric Toothbrush and the Fairywill, while the Brusheeze comes with an extra brush head, a timer, stand, cup, and dust cover. We aren't sure how much action the modes will get on those brushes that include them, as most kids just want to brush and go, but if it appeals to you, it is something to consider. If features and add-ons are important to you, this might be something to explore, but to us, the most important is a timer and possibly additional brush heads.
The name of any toothbrush game is to clean teeth and fight plaque. Electric toothbrushes have traditionally been marketed as being better at these objectives than standard toothbrushes, and sonic care, in particular, is supposed to get teeth cleaner. We tested each brush in this review for several months using a chewable dye that shows you where the plaque is. Children chewed the dye, used the brushes, and we took before and after photos (before rinsing) to capture how much of the dye and plaque was removed during brushing. These tests provided the basis of our ranking for cleanliness and taking care of plaque.
Overall, the sonic options all provided a far better clean than the non-sonic brushes, with the rechargeable brushes getting things the cleanest. Prolonged use of the Dnsly (before and after photos above) earned testers a clean bill of "no plaque" at their most recent dental exam after three months of use, selling us on the power of sonic care since this had never happened before. The best at getting things clean in our tests includes the Dnsly, Philips, Oral-B, Vekkai, and the Brusheeze (a non-sonic option).
The worst in the group was the U-Type Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush, which showed virtually no change from the before (above left) and after (above right) photos. This test result left us concerned the brush may not offer acceptable performance with regard to removing plaque and getting teeth clean.
During testing over one month being used twice a day for the two-minute prescribed brushing time, none of the competitors ran out of battery life. We faithfully recharged all toothbrushes each night that came with a recharging ability, but those with disposable batteries all lasted for a minimum of a month and beyond. If changing batteries or committing to the repeated expense is a no-go, you should consider the rechargeable options.
After extensive testing and review of top competitors, we were able to find out the insider details you need to know to find the best electric toothbrush for your child. Whether you want a sonic brush, an automatic timer, or something cute and engaging, we believe this lineup has something for you.
— Wendy Schmitz