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The best baby toothbrushes to encourage good habits from the start

Although temporary, milk teeth demand as much attention as the adult set they’ll make way for. Our selection of the best baby toothbrushes will help parents win the oft-inevitable brush-time battle.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Apr 21, 2022

Best baby toothbrushes

You’d be forgiven for assuming that babies’ milk teeth require less looking after than permanent ones when they’re only going to fall out in a few years’ time. Yet caring for those pearly whites is vital from the moment your little one cuts their first tooth.

With children’s teeth being even more susceptible to decay than their adult counterparts, a suitable baby toothbrush is a must. Good oral hygiene is essential to help prevent gum disease or painful cavities that can lead to infection, fillings and even extractions – as well as overwhelming guilt for parents.

It’s never too soon to get your baby used to toothbrushing, particularly because milk contains naturally occurring sugar that can wreak havoc on the ivories, and brushing twice a day will establish healthy dental habits for life.

Getting your baby to open wide is often easier said than done, however, so our choice of baby toothbrushes – as tried and tested by Mumsnet parents – will have children cleaning their gnashers in next to no time.

How we chose our recommendations

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products. Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations.

We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

Recommendations from real parents

Before we recommend new products, we always ask our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice. 

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here we consulted reputable sources such as consumer watchdogs Which?, as well as the NHS, and took note of what they looked for in a baby toothbrush and which ones they were recommending to their readers.

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, leaving no stone unturned to check out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best baby toothbrush that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board to bring you a selection of the best ones at various price points. We think there’s something here for everyone.

From this list, we chose a shortlist of the 10 best toothbrushes that we felt offered a range of design, functions and price points, to ensure there was something for everyone.

From eco-friendly to electric, here are the best baby toothbrushes for 2022.

What is the best baby toothbrush?

1. Best overall baby toothbrush: Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush

Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

“DS got teeth at 10 weeks. The following worked well: toothbrush in the shape of a banana and he could chew it, which also meant the bristles got round his mouth and gums.” (Rated by Mumsnetter ImAMarshmellow)

Babies everywhere are going ape for toothbrushes resembling bananas – and it’s not hard to see their ap-peel (apologies). Ideal for inquisitive infants and teething toddlers, this fruit-inspired offering provides a cocktail of enjoyment and habit formation, unwittingly getting children used to the brushing process.

It’s made from flexible silicone with handles easy for little hands to grasp and that prevent the toothbrush from going too far into the mouth. While small enough to carry in your changing bag, it’s also likely to attract any hair or fluff therein. That said, it can simply be rinsed under the tap, wiped or even popped in the dishwasher.

Our only real gripe is that it doesn’t count towards your little one’s five-a-day. 

Pros:

  • Easy-grasp handles
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Needs regular cleaning
  • May be smaller than expected

Spec:

  • Age suitability: Infant to 12 months

2. Best budget baby toothbrush: Colgate Kids Extra Soft Toothbrush

Colgate Kids Extra Soft Toothbrush

Price: £1 | Buy now from Amazon

“DD is 17 months. We’ve tried a few toothbrushes but find the Colgate one best as it’s small, so easier to get in comfortably.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter INeedNewShoes)

Budget-conscious parents will welcome this inexpensive toothbrush from Colgate, with a price tag that’s unlikely to leave a sour taste in the mouth. With a petite head that’s perfect for infants, it’s suitable for babies up to two years.

Featuring what the manufacturer describes as extra-soft bristles, some parents find these firmer than they’d hope. Thousands more have no complaints, however, giving this economical baby toothbrush a whopping five stars.

It has a non-slip handle to make it easy for parents to control and this will also aid your child’s grip once they’re ready to brush on their own.

Although it lacks the fun factor of the Banana Baby Teething Toothbrush, in terms of value for money, as far as Mumsnetters are concerned, the Colgate brush can’t be beaten.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Design appeals to most kids

Cons:

  • Easily damaged if chewed
  • Bristles may be stiffer than expected

Spec:

  • Age suitability: 0 to 2 years

3. Best baby finger toothbrush: Baby Buddy Brilliant Finger Toothbrush

Baby Buddy Brilliant Finger Toothbrush

Price: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

“Look up baby finger toothbrushes. They are brilliant.” (Rated by Mumsnet user EgSk)

“A bit faddy but good for babies!” (Recommended by Mumsnetter QueenOfTheAndals)

Parents of wriggly babies unwilling to ‘say ahh’ know only too well how hard it can be to brush their bundle of joy’s toothy pegs. A finger toothbrush could be the answer.

Ideal for introducing brushing to younger babies, this clever cleaner fits snugly onto a parent’s index finger to gently brush and soothe tender gums and teeth. Yes, there’s the chance of a sore digit, but a bit of biting is a small price to pay for your child’s oral health.

Made of silicone, a finger toothbrush is more likely to be tolerated by fussy babies than a conventional toothbrush, such as the Colgate Kids Extra Soft Toothbrush. This one from Baby Buddy has ‘bristles’ on one side and massaging bumps on the other, with colour choices of green, pink or blue.

Pros

  • Relieves teething pain
  • Ideal for reluctant brushers
  • Good first brush for babies

Cons

  • May be too small for larger hands
  • Parents may get a sore finger

Spec

  • Age suitability: Three months-plus

4. Best chewable baby toothbrush: Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush

Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush

Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon

“We used a Brush baby chewable toothbrush once the dc started getting teeth. Brush baby make lots of other useful baby /toddler toothbrushing stuff.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter BikeRunSki

There’ll be no more toothbrushing tears and tantrums from tricky toddlers with this chewable option from Brush-Baby. Cropping up repeatedly on the Mumsnet forums, countless parents are impressed by its curved design that fits little gums perfectly.

As with a finger toothbrush, this one provides relief for teething pain – particularly if cooled in the fridge – while also getting babies used to the idea of brushing, the difference being that this model actually encourages chewing.  So it’s a more durable option than the Baby Buddy Brilliant Finger Toothbrush.

With no bristles to splay or fall out, this flexible toothbrush can be used with or without toothpaste. Durable and hardwearing, it’s ideal for taking out and about, particularly when it boasts a loop that makes it easy for babies to hold or for a dummy clip to be attached.

Pros:

  • Bite-proof
  • Dishwasher and steriliser safe

Cons:

  • Not as practical as a regular toothbrush
  • Limited colour choice

Spec:

  • Age suitability: 10 to 36 months

5. Best first baby toothbrush: Oral B Stage 1 Pooh Bear Manual Baby Toothbrush

Oral B Stage 1 Pooh Bear Manual Baby Toothbrush

Price: £2 | Buy now from Boots

With an ergonomic handle designed for parents’ hands and engaging graphics that should hold any infant’s attention (at least temporarily), this Winnie the Pooh Oral B variant makes an excellent choice for a first baby toothbrush. And after all, what tiny human doesn’t adore the bear of very little brain?

Delicate gums will appreciate its super-soft bristles, which – despite being an appropriate firmness for younger babies – could ultimately be a drawback as the toothbrush may need replacing more frequently than some of its equivalents. Oh, bother.

It’s nevertheless worth considering if you’re looking for a no-frills toothbrush without a vibrant design that simply does its job, such as the Colgate Kids Extra Soft Toothbrush.

Pros:

  • Cute images
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • May need replacing more frequently than other toothbrushes
  • Pictures may eventually wear off

Spec:

  • Age suitability: Four to 24 months

6. Best eco-friendly baby toothbrush: Jack N’ Jill Bio Toothbrush

Jack N’ Jill Bio Toothbrush

Price: £4 | Buy now from Amazon

“My youngest uses a Jack N’ Jill brush which looks like plastic but is made from something that decomposes.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user theneverendinglaundry)

Environmentally-aware parents will have a clean conscience on more than one level with this Earth-friendly baby toothbrush from Jack N’ Jill. Not only will it leave your little one’s teeth sparkling, but buying one creates zero waste.

While there are cheaper baby toothbrushes on the market, such as the Colgate Kids Extra Soft Toothbrush, many cannot be used guilt-free due to their plastic components that are difficult to recycle. Not so with this one, however, as its handle and packaging are made from corn – making them compostable and biodegradable – while its tapered nylon bristles are fully recyclable.

Featuring a sweet bunny on the front, other designs available include a colourful unicorn, delightful dinosaur and cheeky monkey.

Pros:

  • Plastic-free
  • Educates kids about waste

Cons:

  • Bristles may flatten sooner than alternatives
  • May be more suitable for older babies

Spec:

  • Age suitability: From first tooth

7. Best natural baby toothbrush: Punch & Judy Kids Natural Bamboo Toothbrush Multipack

Punch & Judy Kids Natural Bamboo Toothbrush Multipack

Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon

“Normal plastic toothbrushes get replaced every few months anyway, so bamboo ones seem like a good idea.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user SarahHackey91)

This set of eye-catching toothbrushes from Punch & Judy is stealing the show for all the right reasons. Made from organic, biodegradable bamboo, the quartet of brightly-coloured toothbrushes inside the (recycled, naturally) packaging benefit from the plant’s natural antimicrobial properties and work just as well as regular brushes.

At less than a fiver for four, it’s easy to justify giving these a try. Oh, and any kids concerned that the pandas will have to go without their dinner can rest assured that these toothbrushes are made from sustainably-grown bamboo to ensure they don’t miss out.

That’s the way to do it.

Pros:

  • Leaves a minimal ecological footprint
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons:

  • Unexciting design
  • Less durable than plastic

Spec:

  • Age suitability: No minimum age

8. Best flexible baby toothbrush: Aquafresh Milk Teeth Toothbrush

Aquafresh Milk Teeth Toothbrush

Price: £2 | Buy now from Amazon

“We’ve been using the Aquafresh Milk Teeth one (with the same toothpaste) since teeth appeared.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user OrangeSwoosh)

Children have a tendency to brush too hard when they first learn to care for their pearly whites, but this baby toothbrush will prevent them from being too heavy-handed thanks to its ‘flex zone’ (or bendable neck to you and me) that absorbs excess pressure.

With soft, multi-angled bristles that reach around each tooth and rubber cushioning on the back to help protect young gums, this unpretentious offering from Aquafresh comes in an array of appealing colours.

We particularly like the smiley face on the handle that’s sure to amuse infants, as well as the colour indicator bristles for guidance on how much toothpaste to apply.

However if you have a chewer, you may want to consider a more durable alternative, such as the Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush. It may be more expensive than the Aquafresh brush, but it may save you money in the long run if your little one insists on chomping through a pile of brushes.

Pros:

  • Gentle on gums
  • Multi-angled bristles

Cons:

  • More costly than some equivalents
  • Chewers could destroy rubber on rear

Spec:

  • Age suitability: 0 to 2 years

9. Best electric baby toothbrush: Brush-Baby WildOnes Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush

Brush-Baby WildOnes Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

“I use the Brush-Baby electric toothbrush as my son was a right monster having his teeth cleaned. He now loves it!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Rosebud1302)

“Once DS turned one we switched to the Brush-Baby electric toothbrush which lights up and buzzes. He was really interested in our toothbrush before this, so he really likes having his own.” (Rated by Mumsnetter Modest)

With manual toothbrushes needing replacing at least every two to three months, electric models trump them not only in their effectiveness, but financially too. It’s widely accepted that powered brushes clean teeth and gums better than their disposable counterparts and, while the initial outlay can be high, they’re likely to be used for years.

Tiny brushers will go wild for this sonic version from Brush-Baby, which performs around 30,000 strokes per minute and features a two-minute timer, sucker base and flashing disco lights in alternating colours. While some babies may be put off by the vibrations, the majority – even the most stubborn – find them fascinating.

With a simple on/off button and available in a choice of four adorable animal designs, this waterproof and lightweight brush provides 28 days’ brushing on just one four-hour charge. If this all-singing, all-dancing baby toothbrush doesn’t persuade your little one to clean their teeth, we don’t know what will.

Pros:

  • Two replacement brush heads included
  • Excellent battery life

Cons:

  •  Pricey
  • Vibrations may deter some kids

Spec:

  • Age suitability: 0 to 10 years

10. Best baby-to-toddler toothbrush set: MAM Learn To Brush Baby Toothbrush Set

MAM Learn To Brush Baby Toothbrush Set

Price: £8  | Buy now from Amazon

This pair of bear-faced brushes will see your infant through their first stages of oral care, with both a training and first toothbrush provided. The extra-long-handled toothbrush enables parents to hold it at the same time as their baby, and the shorter brush is for when children are old enough to brush independently without guidance.

Peace of mind comes with this dental duo: a safety shield keeps the brush at a safe distance from the back of your baby’s mouth, removing the risk of choking.

Also available in pink and green, this modest couple of cuties fully deserve their place in our roundup.

Pros:

  • Training and first toothbrush included
  • Safety shield

Cons:

  • Firmer bristles than some alternatives
  • Bristles may start to come out over time

Spec:

  • Age suitability: From birth

When should a baby start using a toothbrush?

Milk teeth should be brushed from the moment they first appear, with most babies’ first one breaking through at around six months. Developing good oral health habits from an early age gets kids into a dental care routine that should be adhered to daily, with teeth brushed twice a day – last thing at night before bed and at another convenient time. Young children need supervising while brushing and toothbrushes should be discarded at the first sign of damage.

What happens if you don’t brush your baby’s teeth?

Babies’ new teeth are vulnerable to decay just as adults’ are – more so, in fact – so regular brushing is essential to dislodge cavity-causing plaque and food debris. Without proper care, teeth may need to be filled – or worse, extracted. The premature removal of baby teeth hurts and can affect the alignment of permanent teeth once they come through too.

Untreated decay in milk teeth can harm the developing adult ones growing underneath inside the gums, while another potential consequence of dental neglect is an abscess, which can be painful.

How do I choose a baby toothbrush?  

There are a number of things you should consider when choosing a baby toothbrush.

1. Size

It goes without saying that baby toothbrushes should be smaller than adult versions. The head needs to fit easily inside your baby’s mouth, otherwise it’ll be uncomfortable and unlikely to clean teeth effectively, plus harder-to-reach teeth will probably be missed.

2. Bristles

Kids aren’t always the gentlest of brushers, particularly to begin with, so a baby toothbrush should have soft bristles to prevent enamel and delicate gums being damaged. If they’re too soft, however, the brush may need replacing more frequently.

3. Age suitability

Always check the toothbrush’s packaging to ensure that it’s suitable for your baby to use.

4. Handle

Is the handle shape easy for a child to hold? Some are non-slip or easy-to-grip, making them simpler to control for both parent and baby.

5. Design

When it’s nearing bedtime and your child’s getting grouchy, they’ll be more willing to clean their teeth if they’re using a brush that makes the task fun. Take into account your little one’s favourite colour or cartoon character and choose a toothbrush that captures their interest. Even better, let older babies pick one for themselves – then they’ll be more inclined to use it.

6. Manual or electric?

Both manual and electric toothbrushes can do a great job of cleaning teeth when used properly, but the latter might be best left to older babies who are more experienced brushers – unwilling ones in particular, who may be encouraged by the novelty factor. For smaller infants who need their parents’ help, a manual, finger or chewable baby toothbrush should suffice.

7. Material

If you opt for a disposable baby toothbrush, you’ll notice that many are plastic and others are made from more eco-conscious materials. Bamboo and corn starch ones are biodegradable, for example, while some variants are organic or vegan-friendly.

Which toothbrush is best for babies?

The best toothbrush for babies is Baby Banana’s Teething Toothbrush. Chewable and fun, it’s easy for little hands to hold and will get infants up to one year old used to the idea of toothbrushing without knowing it.

Although pricier than some alternatives, this toothbrush is nevertheless rated highly by hundreds of satisfied parents who are happy to pay the asking price for how easily it cleans teeth and entertains simultaneously.

We love that it can go through the dishwasher and also its desirable design, which might even act as an early promoter of healthy eating.

Why you should trust us

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