5 Best Toothbrushes for Babies and Toddlers (2020)
Did you know that children with poor oral health often receive lower grades and miss more school time than children who don’t?
It’s never too early to introduce proper oral hygiene to your child.
That said, it is vital to use the proper teeth cleaning and gum care techniques on babies and toddlers. At these ages, young children need assistance. So, as a parent, it’s in your hands to ensure a healthy mouth for your young.
The best toothbrushes for babies and toddlers are gentle, soft-bristled brushes. These toothbrushes come in both electric and manual varieties. Is one method better than the other?
Let’s take a look at the best available products on the market today and find out!
Quick Picks: Compare The Best Toothbrushes for Babies and Toddlers
- Papablic BabyHandy 2-Stage Sonic Electric Toothbrush for Babies and Toddlers
- DADA-TECH Sonic Electric Toothbrush for Ages 0-3 Years
- Slotic Baby and Toddler BPA Free Toothbrush, 0-2 Years – 4-Pack
- BabyBaus Baby Finger Toothbrushes – Set of 3
- babyease 3-Sided Toddler Training Toothbrush
- Maintaining Proper Oral Health for Your Baby or Toddler
- Introducing Fluoride
- Electric vs. Manual
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it Normal for My Child’s Gums to Bleed?
- What Age Should My Child Begin Brushing Independently?
- How Often Should I Brush My Child’s Teeth?
- Is Fluoride Safe for My Child?
- Wrap Up and Presenting a Winner
Papablic BabyHandy 2-Stage Sonic Electric Toothbrush for Babies and Toddlers
An outstanding option that helps teach proper brushing habits and is suitable to use until your child is at least three years of age.
Why We Like This Toothbrush
- Compact, ergonomic design promotes ease of use – even for baby.
- Gentle, ultra-soft brush bristles ensure a safe and thorough cleaning
- Relatively inexpensive
- 2-stage brushing allows parents to use the brush until their child reaches age 3+
Electric toothbrushes have come a long way.
Most parents probably won’t recall this type of toothbrush being a viable option when they were young children. Perhaps not even as adolescents.
But today, there are a lot of great electric options out there, and the Papablic sonic toothbrush is one of the best you can buy for baby. Better yet, it’s much more affordable than the adult versions.
What makes the Papablic 2-stage electric toothbrush special?
First, it teaches good brushing habits.
Equipped with a 2-minute timer, much like the adult versions many of us use, there are 30-second pulse reminders that signify when it’s time to move to the next quadrant of the mouth.
The LED light and gentle vibration usually catch baby’s attention and make the experience enjoyable for them.
The brush bristles are extra-soft for gentle, thorough cleaning.
Best of all, Papablic includes two brush heads. One for babies up to 18 months, and another brush designed for children up to age 3. The ability to transition by just replacing the brush head is a major plus – as parents can get additional life out of it and not need to discard after a few short months.
Replacement heads are available for separate purchase.
DADA-TECH Sonic Electric Toothbrush for Ages 0-3 Years
A safe, enjoyable brushing experience for children and toddlers that provides a thorough clean and encourages good brushing habits.
Why We Like This Toothbrush
- Blue and pink color choices for boys and girls
- 2-minute, built-in timer
- Can be used up to age 3
- LED light provides a clearer view for more accurate and thorough brushing
Who says toothbrushing time can’t be fun?
The kid-friendly, ergonomic handle, and LED light make brushing both fun and easy for young children.
DADA-TECH offers two versions of this brush. A blue version for the boys and a pink version for the girls. Of course, if your girl prefers blue or your boy prefers pink – that’s quite alright too!
Like most electric toothbrushes, there is a 2-minute timer with intermittent 30-second pulse alerts that serve as reminders to move onto the next quadrant of the mouth.
The DADA-TECH brush has super-soft, high-quality DuPont nylon bristles. The brush heads are FDA CE & RoHS approved.
The sonic technology is designed specifically for babies and young children and provides a safe and gentle cleaning action.
This toothbrush runs on one AAA battery, which is not included, and parents must purchase separately.
There is one replacement brush head included. Additional replacement brush heads are available for purchase through the same manufacturer.
DADA-TECH’s electric toothbrush is waterproof, so you won’t need to worry about your little one dropping it in the sink by accident or getting it wet.
Like the Papablic brush, this one has interchangeable brush heads, one for babies up to 18 months, and the other for children up to 3 years.
We’d like to see a toothbrush cap/cover included here and think the company should provide an initial battery. But, there’s not a whole lot to complain about otherwise. This sonic brush is gentle, age-appropriate, and gets the job done!
Slotic Baby and Toddler BPA Free Toothbrush, 0-2 Years – 4-Pack
A more basic, yet safe and effective method for cleaning your child’s teeth with a wide-grip design.
Why We Like This Toothbrush
- Four vibrant color choices – colors all children will enjoy
- Wide grip handle prevents choking
- Teething nubs on the handle to afford child relief for their gums
- Soft, gentle bristles safe for everyday use
Electric may be all the rage, but manual toothbrushes are the tried and true and are still a perfectly suitable option for baby.
Slotic’s 4-pack of brushes are vibrant and colorful – with each brush featuring a different color, sure to get your child’s attention.
These are small brushes, measuring 4.13” x 1.5”. The handles are wider to prevent choking and include teething nubs so your child can find relief for their achy gums when they need it.
The unique, no-slip grip is ideal for both babies and parents.
Slotic’s brushes have contoured bristles with wear indicators and brush heads that are small enough for the mouth of a baby or toddler to maneuver comfortably. The short neck reduces the chance of your child swallowing any part of the brush head.
These toothbrushes are non-toxic, BPA-free, and free from phthalates. They also arrive individually wrapped.
The company recommends changing the brushes out every three months.
Although the teething nubs are designed for chewing, they aren’t indestructible. Parents with aggressive chewers should keep a close eye to ensure no small pieces of silicone wind up coming off the brush.
BabyBaus Baby Finger Toothbrushes – Set of 3
An ideal alternative for finicky children who are resistant to toothbrushing time.
Why We Like This Toothbrush
- Simple and effective brushing for finicky babies
- Safe, non-toxic, BPA-free material
- Each brush case has a unique color, making the brushes easy to keep separate
- Small nubs for gentle tongue cleaning and teethers
Funneling down from complex to the most basic, these finger toothbrushes from BabyBaus are ideal for fussy children who generally want nothing to do with having their teeth brushed.
These finger brushes come in a set of 3 and include nifty, colorful carry cases for each.
Each brush consists of 100% FDA-approved food-grade material. BPA-free and non-toxic silicone.
Easy to clean and maintain, each brush features soft, durable bristles. The brushes also include small nubs for tongue cleaning and babies who are teething and want to get some chewing action during brushing.
If you have a child who cringes at just the mention of a standard toothbrush, we cannot recommend this option enough. The finger brushes are a fantastic and gentle way to introduce your child to oral health. Many children will find this method more ‘fun’ and playful.
Plus, if you’ve got a puppy at home, you can even use one of the brushes on them. Of course, it should go without saying that these brushes should be kept separate!
If there’s a downside here, it’s that the finger brushes might be a bit too snug on parents with larger fingers. In some cases, the brushes may not fit at all, or parents may need to use their pinky for a comfortable fit.
babyease 3-Sided Toddler Training Toothbrush
A unique design that cleans baby’s teeth more thoroughly and effectively – ideal for children with little patience for toothbrush time.
Why We Like This Toothbrush
- Unique design covers more surface area and reduces brushing time
- Soft, gentle DuPont bristles are safe enough for use on baby’s gums and teeth
- Removes plaque and surface stains more effectively than finger brushing
- Tongue scraper on the backside of the brush
This toothbrush from babyease features a unique, encapsulating 3-sided brush design that covers more surface area at once. The side bristles are angled at 58-degrees, which the company considers to be the ideal for brushing.
If you’re a parent who only gets a very limited amount of time to brush your child’s teeth before they become fussy and uncooperative, this is a toothbrush you’ll want to consider.
Equipped with a soft DuPont set of bristles, the babyease toothbrush does well to get stains, plaque, and food deep between teeth gaps.
There’s a ridge located on the back of the brush that effectively scrapes and cleans the child’s tongue during brushing, and the anti-slip, BPA free handle is easy to maneuver and grip.
The brush is available in yellow and green.
While we wouldn’t recommend using this brush on infants, it is suitable for children to use even beyond toddlerhood.
If there’s any critique, it’s that the handle is a bit on the longer side and may be more difficult for children with smaller hands to maneuver comfortably. The overall design is sturdy, though – parents shouldn’t have to concern themselves with any small pieces breaking off or winding up swallowed.
Maintaining Proper Oral Health for Your Baby or Toddler
Parents should begin cleaning their child’s teeth as soon as they emerge.
The exact age parents should introduce a toothbrush into the oral care regimen for their child is debatable. Some dentists suggest doing so once a row of four teeth has emerged. Others may suggest waiting until your child is 2-3 years of age.
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests using a tiny, rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children under three who have emerged or emerging teeth.
Fluoride provides what is called a systemic benefit to children by strengthening tooth enamel – even below the gumline, before the teeth have broken through – making the teeth stronger and more resistant to decay.
There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding fluoride.
Here’s what we know: After 70 years of research and thousands of studies, fluoride is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities in both children and adults.
There seems to be a general misconception when it comes to flossing, which is that it isn’t a necessary part of children’s oral care until their adult teeth come in
This is not true!
As soon as two teeth are touching or in close enough proximity – even baby teeth – parents should introduce their child to flossing.
Oral-B recommends showing your child how to floss as soon as they display dexterity. Before that, parents should assist and floss their child’s teeth for them and aid them in developing a healthy routine.
Flossing your child’s teeth is relatively simple:
- Wrap approximately 18” of floss loosely around each middle finger, leaving about an inch of floss in between
- Slide the floss gently between your child’s teeth; careful not to snap it down too hard
- Use a “C” shape to curve the floss around each tooth and gently move it up and down the sides of the teeth.
- Unroll a fresh section of floss as you go from one tooth to the next
Your child’s gums may experience minor bleeding once you begin a new flossing regimen. This is normal. If the issue persists beyond the first few flossing’s, however, you should see your pediatric dentist.
Electric vs. Manual
Since we’ve reviewed each type, you’re likely wondering if one option is better than the other when it comes to electric and manual brushes.
The truth is, the deciding factor should be what your child prefers. One method doesn’t necessarily result in a significantly cleaner or more effective set of teeth. It’s more important that your child takes to brushing and finds it enjoyable or acceptable enough for a sufficient cleaning two times daily.
What matters most is that your child learns proper brushing techniques and habits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brushing a child’s teeth seems simple enough, but children can pose challenges and develop cavities easily. There are a few common questions parents typically have.
Is it Normal for My Child’s Gums to Bleed?
Yes and no. If you’ve just introduced flossing, you can expect some minor bleeding. It should last about a week. If the issue persists, you should see your dentist.
Other potential causes include bristles that are too stiff, early gingivitis, or gum disease. Plaque and bacteria below the gum line can cause the gums to become inflamed. A sign of poor oral care habits.
What Age Should My Child Begin Brushing Independently?
Age 6 is the general baseline for when children have the required dexterity and coordination to handle brushing and flossing on their own. Up until then, parents should remain involved and ensure that their child practices proper methods.
How Often Should I Brush My Child’s Teeth?
Much like adults, a child’s teeth should be brushed twice a day at minimum. Brushing should occur once in the morning and once in the evening. An afternoon brushing certainly won’t hurt if you’ve got the time for it.
Is Fluoride Safe for My Child?
Yes! Despite common misconceptions, fluoride is a crucial component for preventing cavities and preserving/strengthening enamel.
Wrap Up and Presenting a Winner
The toothbrush you use for your baby or toddler is important, but it matters more that as a parent, you focus on introducing proper brushing habits and oral care as early as possible.
When it comes to picking a winner, there can only be one!
We’ve chosen Papablic’s BabyHandy 2-Stage Electric Toothbrush.
Although you’ll pay a little more for an electric toothbrush for your child, you’ll get more mileage out of it. Rather than needing to dispose of the brush entirely, as is the case with manual brushes with non-replaceable heads, parents can use this brush from the time they introduce brushing up until their child is 3 (and beyond).
The built-in timer, LED light, and overall design are excellent qualities, and the brush is still extremely affordable despite being a bit costlier than its manual counterparts.
Introducing brushing as a fun, enjoyable experience at the earliest age you can is a great way to ensure healthy habits and prevent painful cavities or issues with your child’s gums.