Kids are all about high-tech gadgets these days, and a high-tech toothbrush can charm them enough to brush, especially if they have a hard time with the habit. But parents usually ask us if an electric toothbrush is a worthwhile investment for their young ones.

Is an electric toothbrush better?

In some ways, yes. Studies clearly show them to be better at removing dental plaque.

An electric toothbrush is also better for kids with braces. It can effectively reach and clean between teeth and equipment. Properly powered, sonic oscillating toothbrushes can clean away plaque without even touching it in some areas as the vibration sends pulses that break up debris and sweep it to easier to reach areas.

Many electric toothbrushes maximize their technology with “length of brushing timers,” pressure indicators, and connectivity with apps and devices for games and incentives for brushing.

Timers make sure your child brushes the right amount of time, and pressure indicators help keep gums healthy and safe from too much pressure.  Some of us are very prone to intense brushing pressures and these indicators can help us lighten up.  Apps and games can teach your child the right way to brush, and incentives help establish the habit of brushing in fun and engaging ways.

Is an electric toothbrush bad for kids?

Not necessarily, but an ordinary rotating toothbrush might not clean as well as a manual toothbrush could! Just holding a battery powered toothbrush against the teeth doesn’t clean teeth: some electric toothbrushes are misleading about their capabilities.  If it doesn’t have sonic rates of oscillation and if it takes replaceable duracell type batteries, it probably isn’t high power enough to be worth it.

We recommend that you brush with your child until at least age 7. This is how you establish the habit and the right techniques for brushing.

What should you choose?

A manual toothbrush is effective, travel-friendly, cheap, and it comes in many designs and colors kids love. It comes down to what your child will use. Simply put, the best toothbrush is the one being used three times a day!

If your child has difficulty maneuvering either type of toothbrush, talk to your dentist for expert recommendations on a good electric toothbrush, or whether you can stick to a tried-and-tested manual toothbrush with special techniques.  We’re here to help you make the right decision.  In the end, truthfully, it’s the regularity of the habit that is most important.  However, the advantages of some of the technology in Oral B and Sonicare type sonic toothbrushes can be very helpful and should be considered.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932