We are brushing our (nearly) two-year-old's teeth with a normal, non-electric kids' toothbrush. That works well but I am wondering if it might not be more effective (and fun?) to use an electric brush, provided that I can buy bristles suitable for small children.

I'll ask my dentist on my next visit, but that's not anytime soon. What are your experiences with electric toothbrushes? How soon can one start using them?

My son is still too young to brush his own teeth -- he just chews on the toothbrush. So we do it for him, and I'd like to know if there's any argument against going electrical there. I'm not disputing that an electric toothbrush probably makes things more fun for kids when they brush their own teeth, but we're not that far yet.

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    Not really an answer to your question, but if mom and/or dad use an electric, a kid may be more encouraged to brush if he/she can use one like mommy and daddy.
    – ND Geek
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 21:59
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    36 THOUSAND views; 10 up-votes. Sounds about right..
    – MrDuk
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 16:11
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    @MrDuk: well, ¯\_ツ_/¯ Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 20:49

7 Answers 7


As a speech language pathologist, I often treat children with oral motor, feeding and sensory integration disorders. For these children, I encourage caregivers to use the electric toothbrush to promote oral sensory awareness/development and provide intense stimulation to their central nervous system.

These children usually crave sensory input and they greatly enjoy both the electric toothbrush and other vibrating oral motor toys. This is often the first toothbrush that little ones can tolerate without gagging or rejecting.

I use vibrators in the mouth of children long before they get teeth, so there is no age limits.

For very young children, I usually introduce the vibration by touching the handle playfully to a leg or arm briefly and removing. I continue this traveling up the arm to the cheek continuing to "kiss" the child with the device briefly. When the child shows no rejection, I prolong the touch and allow the child to hold and explore the device independently at will. I coach them to place the device in and around the mouth as needed.

A vibrating toothbrush has much more to offer young children than clean teeth and I support its use for even very young children.


I'm a dental hygienist and I have used an electric tb with my little dude from the start. He loves the vibration on his teething gumline. He just turned one and has 4 teeth. The key is to do what works for your individual child.


You can start using them as soon as you think your kids will understand how to use them. There isn't anything inherently good or bad about using an electric toothbrush at any age as long as the child understands how to use it to get their mouth clean. That's the trick. What I like about the electrics is that you can get ones with timers so you can teach your kids how much time they should be spending on each quadrant of the mouth for optimal cleaning.

You can also just get timers and teach them with a normal brush but that's not as much fun :)

  • I suppose I didn't phrase my question clearly enough - I am brushing my son's teeth for now, as he's too young to do it himself. Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 7:20

My daughter just turned two and we switched to electric toothbrush. She likes it better than the manual brush, I think. Also, she doesn't try and bite the electric one like she did with the manual one. We brush together, her hand under mine and use a mirror to watch what we are doing. I hope this will help her get ready to do the brushing independently.


My daughter is 2 and 3 months. We had been having problems with manual toothbrushes, so I was advised to use an electric one because they are more "fun" (I have never have an electric toothbrush so at first I did not get the fun part). I bought an electric toothbrush for her and it was an amazing experience. On the warnings at the back of the toothbrush it said that children should not bite or chew the brush and that it was for kids 3+. I was somehow concerned for these warnings since my little one still chews the manual brush and does not let me help her, plus she is not 3 yet. I told her not to chew the toothbrush and she did not!!!. She has been brushing her teeth all day long with my help and seems to really enjoy it. I will let her continue with the electric one but only under my supervision.


My kids are 5 and 3, and they both got electric toothbrushes from their Grandma this last Christmas (the youngest was 2 at the time). Neither of them has had any trouble with them, so I'd say that you could have them using electric toothbrushes as soon as you have them brushing their own teeth.

  • Is there any reason not to use them when the parents are brushing the child's teeth? Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 7:18
  • Not that I'm aware of. Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 11:59

If you kids age is 3, then start teaching him how to brush his/her teeth with a manual toothbrush.

They won't be able to brush on the first day. Keep teaching them and hopefully, after a couple of days, your kid will be able to brush his own teeth.

Here's an article that can help: When is your kid ready for a toothbrush?

A useful quote from that site:

Well, all health experts recommend you to start brushing your kid’s teeth when he/she is 3. Other than choosing this as the suitable age to start brushing their teeth, they also leave the option of choosing the toothbrush to use to you.

This means that it’s okay to allow your kids to use either an electric or manual toothbrush at age 3!

  • Hi and welcome to the site. Unlike forums (with which you may be familiar), this is a Q&A site, and it's best if the "answer" actually contains the answer instead of just a link (which can become non-functional.) The easiest way to do that is to quote the relevant part, or better yet, write a brief summary. Thanks, and again, welcome. Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 19:50
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    Edited for you Ariful
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 10:42
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    English NHS recommends parents start brushing as soon as teeth appear. This is going to be earlier than age three! nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/…
    – user19912
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 21:35

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