When Can My Child Start Using Electric Toothbrushes?

Electric toothbrushes make teeth cleaning a breeze. You can find these toothbrushes in tons of fun shapes, colors, and characters for children. The question is: How old should a child be before using an electric toothbrush? How young is too young? Let’s explore the facts to find the right option for your child.

Minimum Age for a Child to Use an Electric Toothbrush

We recommend waiting until at least age three before using an electric toothbrush on your child’s smile. Baby teeth and gums are incredibly sensitive, and young children may have sensory issues with electric toothbrushes. Most children have their full set of baby teeth by the age of three. Wait until your child is completely out of the teething stage before shifting to electric toothbrushes.  

Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes over Manual Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes make oral care fun for kids. Some play music or have superheroes on the front. When kids feel excited about brushing their teeth, they’re more inclined to do so. You might save yourself a lot of stress by making the switch to electric toothbrushes.

Electric brushes also have the potential to clean more effectively than manual brushing. The head of the brush pulses back and forth to flick plaque and debris away. The automated movement can clean out areas you may miss with a manual brush, all the while keeping brushing fun for kids.

Challenges with Children Using Electric Toothbrushes

Some children may not like the feeling or sound associated with electric toothbrushes. This is especially true for kids on the autism spectrum or children with sensory issues. If your child panics or throws a fit every time you try the electric toothbrush, you may be better off sticking to a manual toothbrush.

Children may also be tempted to play more when they brush their teeth if they use an electric toothbrush. You want this process to be fun and exciting, but you also want the focus to stay on cleaning teeth. If your child thinks the toothbrush is just a toy, it may defeat the purpose.

Furthermore, some children have a hard time keeping the toothpaste on the toothbrush when the bristles turn on. You’ll need to have patience as you teach your child how to get the toothpaste into their mouth and brush properly. Most children pick up on this fairly quickly but be prepared for a learning curve.

How to Choose an Electric Toothbrush for Your Child

Choose an electric toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. The head of the toothbrush should be a similar size to a manual child’s toothbrush.

Beyond that, get your kid involved with the selection! Give them a couple of options to choose from, and let them pick the brush they like best. When they feel empowered by that decision, they’ll have a bigger sense of pride in taking care of their smile.

Here is another guide you may like: Kids Toothbrushes – Choosing the Right Toothbrush at Every Age