How do I Choose the Best Children's Toothbrush?

Janis Bennett

When choosing the best children’s toothbrush, you should consider the size of the toothbrush, the bristles of the toothbrush and the fun appeal of the toothbrush. There are many types of children’s toothbrushes on the market, such as disposable toothbrushes, battery operated toothbrushes and basic plastic toothbrushes. Children’s toothbrushes come in a variety of fun colors, and some might feature cartoon, book and movie characters.

Children need a small toothbrush to fit their small mouths.
Children need a small toothbrush to fit their small mouths.

The most important characteristic to remember when choosing the best children’s toothbrush is to make sure that it is the proper size for the child. A children’s toothbrush typically has the appropriate age indicated on the front of the package. You should buy a toothbrush that is made for the current age of the child. If a toothbrush is too small, it will not clean the teeth properly, missing important areas where plaque can build up. If the toothbrush is too large, it will not fit in the child's mouth properly and will inhibit the ability to properly clean the child’s teeth.

Toothbrushes are typically sold with an age indication on the package.
Toothbrushes are typically sold with an age indication on the package.

The bristles of a children’s toothbrush should be very soft. A child's teeth and gums are more sensitive than an adult's teeth and gums, especially when the child is teething. A soft-bristled brush will clean the teeth well without wearing away tooth enamel or gum tissue. The bristled end of the toothbrush also should be small and round so that if the child’s hand slips while brushing, he or she will not be hurt.

The more aesthetically appealing the children’s toothbrush is, the more the child might want to brush their teeth. Children’s toothbrushes come in a wide variety of colors and themes. Some toothbrushes are geared specifically toward girls with pink and purple colors, or they might have pictures of princesses or fairies. Boys' toothbrushes will feature colors and characters that boys like best, such as blue and red, robots, cars and superheroes. You should pick a toothbrush that matches the child’s personality and favorite characters.

Some children’s toothbrushes are battery powered, which makes the head of the toothbrush move or vibrate, making teeth cleaning easier and more fun. These battery-operated toothbrushes are better suited for older children who can brush their teeth with little to no adult assistance. Young children are better off with a classic, basic children’s toothbrush so an adult can teach and assist the child with brushing to make sure the teeth are cleaned thoroughly. A rechargeable children’s toothbrush is more expensive but will save parents money on having to purchase new batteries several times during the life of the toothbrush. Disposable toothbrushes are available but are inadequate as a primary toothbrush and should only be used sparingly, such as while traveling.

Very soft bristles should be used when a child is teething.
Very soft bristles should be used when a child is teething.

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Discussion Comments


@croydon - Getting rid of food particles is important though, which is why you have to get the right kind of brush. You don't want to just polish the outside of the tooth, you want to make sure the bits in between get scrubbed out.

I also try to get my kids to floss every night, because I actually think that's even more important than brushing.


@MrsPramm - It's kind of ironic for that to be a problem, as most of the time the trouble seems to be getting kids to use the toothbrush in the first place. Although my parents would never let me get an electric brush, I guess because they were much more expensive when I was a kid.

I actually think the most important way to make sure your children are going to brush their teeth well is to just go in there and do it with them. It can be a little bit inconvenient if you're planning to eat anything after they go to bed, but tooth brushing is about getting rid of bacteria rather than food anyway.


An electric toothbrush can be really novel and much more fun for kids but you have to be very clear about how much they can use it. It's a very real problem that people end up stripping off too much enamel from their teeth by brushing too much and this usually happens when they get too enthusiastic with an electric toothbrush.

It's not something that will happen unless they get into the habit of using their brush too much but it's definitely something to consider. Loss of enamel can wind up being very serious as it makes it that much easier for teeth to decay.

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