Electric or manual toothbrush for kids? Real moms weigh in

Electric or manual toothbrush for kids? Real moms weigh in

Setting up good oral hygiene habits and regular tooth brushing is important from an early age. But should you go electric or manual?


Whichever type of toothbrush you and your family use, dentists and dental health experts all agree – what’s really important is regular brushing. Here, we asked our moms to tell us about their experiences.

“I had a friend who was a health visitor and she told me to rub my baby’s gums with a damp muslin and a tiny spot of baby toothpaste as soon as I could see those first teeth poking through,” says Catherine, mom to Ella, now three. “She said it would get her used to having teeth and gums cleaned from an early age and she was right – I never have a problem getting Ella to do it. I use a manual toothbrush for now as the handle is more manageable for Ella to hold as I like to encourage her to do her teeth herself, although her dad or I usually give them a quick once over just to be on the safe side!”

Kelly Jenkins, mom to twins Oscar and Rufus, aged six, agrees that when the boys were little, manual toothbrushes were easier for them to handle but now that they’re older, they prefer ‘big boy’ electric toothbrushes to be like mum and dad. “Our dentist recommended the Oral-B range of electronic toothbrushes a couple of years ago, and we’ve never looked back,” she says. “Now the boys are bigger they love using theirs – the sensation of the toothbrush head against their teeth makes them giggle and they like feeling in control by being able to push the on/off button. I like the fact that I know they’ve brushed their teeth for a full two minutes, and it makes tooth brushing time a lot more fun than I remember it as a child.”

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Susannah Oakley has both a manual and an electric brush for her daughter, Freya, four. “I gave Freya a baby’s manual toothbrush to chew when she was teething and to play with in the bath,” says Susannah. “When her baby teeth first came through I used a manual brush to clean them because, at that point, it was a quick clean twice a day and I found it easier to maneuver around her mouth – she wouldn’t always tolerate it and I had to be quick! Now Freya’s four, she’s ‘graduated’ to an electric brush and loves the characters on hers. At first, she was a bit frightened by the buzzing noise it made but now she likes the feeling of being in control and I like the fact it’s dentist-recommended and that it cleans gently but really thoroughly. Sometimes I still get to the back teeth with the manual brush, just to make sure the bits she might not reach are really clean. It’s a system that works for us!”

Do your family members prefer to use a manual or electric toothbrush? Let us know below!

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