Best Toothbrushes for Toddlers – My Kids Use #7

Toddler girl smiling brushing teeth on a bed

Best baby toothbrush

What are the best toothbrushes for toddlers and babies?

When my second born had sixteen teeth BEFORE he turned one, I developed an opinion real quick.

Most one year olds have two to four teeth….not sixteen.

My son’s teeth came in groups of four and came in really fast. This made for a surprisingly easy teething experience with the speed of everything.

But, getting a toddler–let alone a baby (in my situation)–to happily let you brush his/her teeth EFFICIENTLY can be a tall order.

So, what is the answer? Toothbrush number 7 on this list! It is the BEST toothbrush for both toddlers and babies.

In this article, I will cover:

  • the different kinds of toothbrushes for toddlers and babies
  • tips and tricks for successful, happy brushing
  • when to go to the dentist
  • when to start brushing
  • kids toothpaste

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

The Different Kinds of Toothbrushes for Toddlers and Babies

toddler holding three toothbrushes in an article on best toothbrushes for toddlers and babies

There are several different kinds of toothbrushes for toddlers and babies. All are great in their own way and get the job done. Here is a breakdown of the toothbrushes, along with the overall best toothbrush for toddlers and babies.

1. Rubber or silicone toothbrush

Yellow finger toothbrush as an example of a best baby toothbrush

A finger toothbrush is a rubber toothbrush that fits over the parent’s finger. It is designed for parents to clean their baby’s teeth and gums.

While this particular toothbrush has raving five star reviews on Amazon, I personally would not give it that many. I tried it with our firstborn, and she just wanted to chomp on my finger. Not much brushing was accomplished with it.

Banana teether toothbrush

A Baby Banana toothbrush is another popular variation of the silicone toothbrush. It is so popular that it has over twenty thousand five star reviews!

The shape of the banana is fun and great for teething. The banana is easy to grip, no matter where your little one decides to hold.

We did love using the banana as an introduction to brushing teeth. However, it functioned more as a teether for us.

2. Chewable toothbrush

Four toddler toothbrushes that have chewable grips for teething

A chewable toothbrush is designed for little ones who are teething. They are made of soft rubber or silicone and have small nubs that help massage the gums and clean the teeth.

The size of the bristles and head of this toothbrush are perfect for little mouths. This toothbrush has thousands of five star reviews on Amazon, and I totally see why!

We really liked this toothbrush for our kids. The overall size of the brush is easy for toddler (and baby) hands to hold. The fact that it comes in a pack of four, too, makes things easier (I will explain more in the tips and tricks section).

3. Traditional toothbrush

Four colorful traditional toddler toothbrushes with silicone stands and caps for toothbrush heads

A traditional toothbrush is a smaller version of an adult toothbrush that is designed specifically for toddlers. It has a smaller head and softer bristles that are gentle on a toddler’s teeth and gums.

The suction bottom on this particular toothbrush is great for keeping the bristles clean. The colorful, playful handles are exciting and attractive for children to use.

We love this brush. It is an Amazon choice for a reason! I will say, though, that we love this brush for our four year old (technical toddler age is two to three), because the toothbrush head is a bit big for smaller mouths.

My favorite part is that it comes in a pack of four, making it convenient for how often we are to switch out old toothbrushes with new ones. The American Dental Association recommends we use a new toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles get frayed.

4. Electric toothbrush

dinosaur shaped electric toothbrush specifically designed for 1-3 year olds

An electric toothbrush designed for toddlers has a smaller head and softer bristles for young mouths. They are battery operated to vibrate to clean the teeth.

When shopping for an electric toddler toothbrush, be mindful of the age specified on the packaging, as they are often for older kids. This one in particular has a suggested age range of one to three years old. Plus, it has a smart LED timer. And, who doesn’t love a dinosaur?! It is one of the best electric toothbrushes for toddlers.

Keep in mind, though, that the vibration can sometimes be too much for a toddler. The vibration can tickle, scare, or hurt. This happened to be the case for us.

Our little ones do love the look of it and like the idea of using an electric toothbrush just like Mom and Dad, but we stopped trying after several requests of wanting to brush with the toothbrush turned off. But, there are a lot of toddlers who do use and love this one as it is ranked high as an Amazon Choice!

5. Musical toothbrush

an electric toddler toothbrush with music as a timer to encourage brushing teeth for two minutes

A musical toothbrush for toddlers comes with a built-in musical timer that plays a song for two minutes, encouraging children to brush their teeth for the recommended length of time.

This particular one happens to also be an electric toothbrush. Note that it is marked for 2+ years. Many musical toothbrushes are noted for older children (not a toddler), so just be mindful of that when you are shopping.

6. U-Shaped toothbrush

u-shaped toddler toothbrush, pack of two

A u-shaped toothbrush is a whole-mouth kids (ages 2-6) toothbrush that has gained popularity. The shape prevents gag reflex and promotes not missing any part of the teeth while cleaning.

While this toothbrush is loved by many and does promote good oral hygiene, I personally do not like it. I want my children practicing the regular motion/movement of teeth brushing that is not done with this brush. It is my understanding, too, that this toothbrush requires a specific kind of foaming toothpaste.

And now for the WINNER of the BEST Toothbrush for Toddlers AND Babies:

7. Triple angle toothbrush

triple angle toothbrush for infants to toddlers

Why is this the winner?! A triple angle toothbrush is dentist recommended and promotes proper brushing technique. The unique shape of the head cleans all sides of the teeth at once with its triple angle. It is no wonder this particular toothbrush has several thousand raving 5 star reviews!

When our one year old with sixteen teeth needed his teeth cleaned, we chose this one. We could get in his mouth fast and scrub every single side of every single tooth confidently and quickly. Whether your child has only one tooth or sixteen like our son, this triple angle toothbrush is the overall best baby toothbrush and best toddler toothbrush.

While this toothbrush makes things easier for efficiently cleaning tiny teeth, little ones can still put up a fight. In the next section, I will explain tips and tricks for getting toddlers and babies to cooperate for brushing teeth.

Quick Question: Do you have something coming up where your little ones KEEP asking WHEN? Check out my simple trick other moms are loving here.

Tips and Tricks for Successful, Happy Brushing

Mom brushing teeth of little girl

Does your little one ever fuss when it comes time to brushing teeth? Here are some fun, easy ideas you can try to get them to enjoy the process and happily cooperate.

  1. Let your baby or toddler hold a toothbrush while you hold another one. Have your little one “brush” while you brush.
  2. Have a favorite stuffed animal with you. Say something like, “Let’s show Dinosaur how we brush our teeth.” This is a surprisingly responsive way to get them to cooperate. You can also pretend to brush the stuffed animal’s teeth first.
  3. Monkey see, monkey do. Brush your teeth first so they see you modeling the behavior.
  4. Take turns instead of you just being the one to do it all. Say, “You brush first, then I brush.” Sometimes they just want to feel independent and do it on their own. Allowing them the freedom to try goes a long way.
  5. Put the ownership on a third party, like the dentist. Say something like, “The dentist told us we have to brush our teeth twice a day. I want to tell the dentist we are following his/her directions.” This takes the responsibility off of you, and it is amazing how effective this can be. I use this tactic to get cooperation on things outside of brushing teeth often!
  6. Along the lines of number five, have a stuffed animal tell your child it is time to brush teeth. Talk in a fun voice or have the animal whisper to you.
  7. Make a fun challenge they can handle. For example, “Can you open your mouth and have your eyes closed at the same time while I brush your teeth?” Or, “Can you touch your ears and have your mouth open at the same time while I brush your teeth?”
  8. Sing or hum a song while you brush. My kids love animals, so we growl while we brush.
  9. If all else fails, put a show on while you brush their teeth. I try to keep screen time to a minimum, but if it is a hard day, and I just want their teeth cleaned, I will do this.
  10. Brush teeth early on and do it at the same time when possible. At the sight of the first tooth, start brushing. The more exposure to practice, the easier it gets. And if teeth brushing happens every night after pajamas are put on, for example, the predictability and routine will promote success.

About the Dentist and Toothpaste

Young girl in a dentist chair looking at a dentist holding a mouth tool

Go to the dentist at the site of the first tooth, or by the age of one. If you are worried about this experience, don’t be!

A pediatric dentist office is usually decked out in all-things-kids; they are focused on making the appointment fun and enjoyable so that children have positive feelings towards the dentist and oral hygiene. Do routine visits twice a year (every six months).

Did you know that one out of ten two-year-olds have a cavity? 28% of three-year-olds have at least one cavity, and nearly 50% of five-year-olds have a cavity. These stats are provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Many people think that a cavity in baby teeth is no big deal since primary teeth eventually fall out, but tooth decay in baby teeth can cause problems with adult teeth.

Double check with your dentist, but most children do not become completely efficient with brushing their teeth independently until around the age of seven years old. It is important we model how to properly brush and help do it for them until then.

Start brushing your baby’s teeth at the sight of the first tooth twice a day.

Talk to your child’s pediatrician or dentist regarding toothpaste, but generally, toothpaste is not recommended until a child can spit it out. Teeth are cleaned with the brushing, not the toothpaste.

A rice grain size of toothpaste (tiny!) with fluoride is okay to use until the age of three. After that, a pea sized amount can be used. For more on this, visit the American Dental Association.

Do you really need kids toothpaste? Yes. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, adult toothpaste has too much fluoride in it.

However, if you talk to your pediatrician or dentist, they might say something different. Ours said that since we are using only a rice grain size amount, the fluoride quantity is not an issue at that tiny amount.

We decided to purchase kid toothpaste anyway. Plus, the flavors are a lot more fun!

Final Thoughts

Install healthy dental habits from an early age. Teeth brushing should be fun and not stressful for the child. Choose a toothbrush that works best for you and your child, one that easily allows you to brush all sides of the teeth.

Which toothbrush did you decide to go with? I’d love to hear from you! Share in the comments section below.

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