The best toothbrushes for kids you can buy

  • The earlier you instill good oral hygiene habits in your kids, the easier it will be for the children to take over their own proper oral care once they're old enough.
  • Different ages and stages of development call for different types of toothbrush, so make sure you are always using the right kind of toothbrush for your child's mouth.
  • The RADIUS Totz Plus Toothbrush is our top pick because these brushes are small and gentle enough for use on a toddler's teeth yet sturdy enough for use by older kids ready to quite literally take brushing into their own hands.

You know the old refrain: Good overall health starts with good oral health. Later in life, according to experts from the Mayo Clinic, poor oral health may well lead to serious issues, like heart disease and stroke. For kids, the fallout of improper care for the teeth may only be as serious as cavities, but the habits parents help their kids establish early in life can lead to a lifetime of good oral health or a lifetime plagued by plaque, root canals, and worse.

Thus my wife and I take taking care of our kids' teeth (and their gums) pretty seriously. We help our five-year-old son floss his teeth once a day and see to it that he brushes twice, once on his own, one session that one of us handles, just to make sure every bit of enamel gets its due. And while our daughter only has eight teeth at the time of this writing, not all of which are next to one another, she also "brushes" her own teeth once daily and gets a parental brushing at least once, too.

We have tested used every single product on this list save for the electronic toothbrush, and that's only because we got a different kids' electric toothbrush as a gift. Frankly, I'm thinking of replacing it with the Philips Sonicare brush featured here.

The time to start brushing your kids teeth is even before the first tooth has emerged. Gently scrubbing a baby's gums not only starts to establish an oral hygiene routine, but it can soothe aching gums and may even facilitate those little teeth breaking through. And the time to finally fully relinquish a child's oral care regimen into his or her hands is well after you're 100% sure those hands can handle it.

Here are the best kids' toothbrushes you can buy in 2019:

Keep scrolling to check out our top picks.

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The best overall

The best overall
A RADIUS Totz Plus toothbrush is essentially the same as a good quality toothbrush an adult would use, but it's sized for a smaller mouth and smaller hands.

My five-and-a-half-year-old son has been using RADIUS Totz Plus toothbrushes for about three years now, and I'll get into why we're such fans of their design in a moment, but first let's discuss the simple matter of price. As in, they're quite affordably priced. At just under 20 bucks for a six-pack of these toothbrushes, you're paying less than $3.33 per toothbrush, which is good news, because you'll want to replace them often.

As for design, the Totz Plus toothbrush has a relatively small head, which makes it easy to access all the nooks and crannies (AKA teeth) inside a little mouth. Relative to the head size, the handle of these brushes is large, which allows for a better grip moms and dads and kids alike. A soft, textured grip allows for good control, and the soft bristles won't irritate gums yet are durable enough to hold their shape for many brushings.

If you have multiple kids, you'll appreciate that each RADIUS Totz Plus toothbrush has distinct colors, making it easy to keep track of whose is whose. And that low price is a solid for the multi-kid family, too.

A writer from TheToothSayer praised the Totz Plus toothbrush's "easy-to-grip handle and eco-friendly materials," which include "vegetable-derived" bristles.

And with nearly 200 reviews posted on Amazon, these toothbrushes have something to smile about (sorry) with their 4.5-star overall rating from customers. One dad relayed how his dentist wife loved "how soft the bristles are," while a mom raved that with these toothbrushes, her kids "were actually brushing their teeth," adding that "it wasn't a fight anymore!"

Pros: Soft bristles, textured grips for best control, eco-friendly materials, good price point

Cons: Random color selection in every pack

Buy a 6-pack of RADIUS Totz Plus Toothbrushes on Amazon for $22.17

The best for babies

The best for babies
You can start using a Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush with a child as young as four weeks, establishing the value of oral care from the earliest stage of life.

A Brushies toothbrush doesn't have traditional bristles, but rather uses soft, food-grade silicone bristles that won't irritate tender young gums but that will remove bits of food and plaque from little teeth. These toothbrushes don't have traditional handles, either. Rather they slip onto the finger like a finger puppet.

That design not only helps make brushing fun when parents are still in charge during the infant phase, but it also helps a toddler brush her own teeth even before she has good enough dexterity to wield a toothbrush by the handle. Also, as far as toothbrushes go, these things are just plain cute. I know, because we use them. And the storybook that comes with the toothbrushes and helps encourage good brushing? Icing on the cake.

While a child who has all of her teeth in should go ahead and switch to a more traditional toothbrush, these are a great tool for use with babies, and they can help set the course for a lifetime of good oral health.

A product reviewer from The Bump said, "The Brushies turn tooth brushing fights into toothbrushing fun for parents and baby" and loved that they can be "cleaned in the dishwasher."

Amazon customers have given The Brushies a solid four-star rating, with a dad named Jacob speaking for many parents when he called them "a superb way to get you little one to keep their teeth clean by themselves."

Pros: Safe for use at four weeks, soft food-grade silicone, can be cleaned in dishwasher or boiling water

Cons: Kids will outgrow them

Buy The Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush and Storybook Gift Set on Amazon for $29.95

The best for toddlers

The best for toddlers
The Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether handles much like a standard toothbrush but is soft and safe for use with young toddlers.

You can tell when a product was developed by people who clearly understood its intended end user, and that's very much the case with the Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush.

Large side handles that provide an easy grip and also help prevent gagging and choking? Check. Soft silicone bristles that won't break away if chomped on and that provide good brushing action? Check there, too. And a soft overall body that, as the name suggests, lets the toothbrush double as a teether? Of yeah.

Our daughter often walks around with her banana-shaped toothbrush, gnawing on it for teething relief and often mimicking my wife or me while we brush. And when it's time for us to grab the Baby Banana brush and scrub at her partial complement of teeth, the soft bristles don't bother her gums but do help clean the handful of incisors and molars that have punched through.

And like any fine food-grade silicone product, this toothbrush can be boiled or run through the dishwasher for cleaning and sterilization, which is good news, as a toddler's toothbrush spends a fair amount of time on the floor.

Many bloggers and professional product testers alike have praised the Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether, but sometimes it's best to just listen to the people. Which in this case is the 7,800-plus customers who have reviewed this toothbrush on Amazon and given it a stellar 4.7-star averaged rating.

One mom called it "great as a toothbrush as well as a teething toy," while another said it was a "great investment and sure way of keeping the little one from the dentist visit prematurely," adding that it "cleans well."

Pros: Provides great teething relief, easy for kids to hold, easy to clean and sterilize

Cons: May require regular replacement as bits are chewed off

Buy a Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether on Amazon for $7.61

The best for transition

The best for transition
The multi-surface design of the Fridababy SmileFrida Toothhugger 3-Sided Toothbrush helps ensure a child brushes all sides of his teeth even before he might be of a mind to take care to do so.

It's probably not a great shock for you to learn that toddlers don't make great oral health care professionals. When it comes to cleaning their teeth, most toddlers won't do all that thorough a job, even if they intend to.

Thus the triple-sided design of the Fridababy SmileFrida Toothhugger 3-Sided Toothbrush, which will hit all three sides of a tooth even if your kid only moves it back and forth aiming straight down or up, which is exactly what many young kids will do.

The Fridababy SmileFrida Toothhugger 3-Sided Toothbrush has a large handle that allows for an easy grip and a narrow head, given its triple surface design, that can fit even a small young mouth. A clever suction cup base means it will sit upright on the sink or shelf instead of falling down sideways among the splashed sink water, dust, toothpaste residue, and other whatnot.

Now having had my son use this toothbrush, I have to be candid that it's not the best cleaning tool. We always felt we had to handle the nighttime brushing ourselves to make sure every square inch (or square millimeter?) of his teeth got attention. But as a training brush, this thing excelled: It allowed him to begin mastering the motion of using a real toothbrush and offered much better coverage than he would have gotten with a single surface brush alone.

A writer from FatherMag said the toothbrush's "handle is soft and ergonomically designed for little hands" and loved the suction cup that holds it in place.

Amazon customers have left nearly 300 reviews for the SmileFrida Toothhugger so far, and have given it a four-star average. One parent raves it's such "a cool innovation for toddlers" and said the toothbrush helps "get the job done quicker before [a child's] attention span runs out and they get inpatient."

Pros: Helps kids take over brushing for themselves, perches upright on suction cup, ergonomic handle shape

Cons: Side bristles don't fully reach down to gums

Buy a Fridababy SmileFrida Toothhugger 3-Sided Toothbrush on Amazon for $7.99

The best electric toothbrush

The best electric toothbrush
The Philips Sonicare Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush works in tandem with an app that helps her learn how to brush her teeth better, and lets parents keep track of progress.

FYI, kids like games. So if you can turn brushing into a game that kids like — and one that encourages better brushing habits — that's a win. As you have probably worked out by now, the Philips Sonicare for Kids Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush does indeed turn brushing to a game. It also provides a deep cleaning like you would expect from a good quality electric toothbrush that delivers 500 strokes per minute.

When your kid uses this toothbrush's paired app, she will be guided through a process that will see her brush each of the four quadrants of her mouth, spending sufficient time in each area and reaching the dentist-recommended two minute overall brushing time.

After each proper brushing session, the child gets rewards like new items their in-app avatars can use; these serve as motivators to do best brushing. And parents can use a "Parents Dashboard" to track the child's progress and set new goals and rewards.

Even when a child isn't using the app, with the Philips Sonicare for Kids Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush, she is still using a high-quality toothbrush that may well be up to 75% more effective than a manual brush at plaque removal.

More than 1,700 people have reviewed the Philips Sonicare for Kids Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush on Amazon and it has a commendable 4.3-star averaged rating. One mom reported that she and her husband "saw an improvement almost immediately" after their daughter started using it, with the child's teeth looking "shiny and clean." Another loved that "the app makes brushing fun."

Pros: Powers through plaque and lifts food with ease, app makes brushing fun and lets parents track progress, helps teach proper brushing technique

Cons: Expensive for the category of kids' toothbrushes

Buy a Philips Sonicare for Kids Bluetooth Connected Toothbrush on Amazon for $39.97
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