A Complete Toothbrush Guide for Every Age Group: How to Choose the Best Toothbrush for Toddlers, Kids, Teens, and Adults

Dental health is essential throughout the lifetime, from infancy to late adulthood. People from different stages of life also have varying oral hygiene needs. The electric or manual toothbrush that works for an adult, for instance, may not necessarily be best for your little one.

If you need help finding the best toothbrush for babies, toddlers, kids, teens, or adults, this article can steer you in the right direction. Let’s navigate the ins and outs of oral care with this complete toothbrush guide for every age!

How to Choose the Right Toothbrush for Different Stages of Life

The Best Toothbrush for Babies: 0-2 Years Old

Caring for an infant’s teeth as early as possible is the key to a lifetime of good dental health. The American Dental Association tells us that not brushing baby teeth can lead to oral health problems down the road. 

Additionally, the ADA cites that when an infant’s tooth falls off too early, permanent adult teeth can grow prematurely, causing them to become crooked or crowded. These problems can be avoided by regularly using a toothbrush for babies.

What to Choose

A finger toothbrush can be the ideal option for babies who do not have teeth yet or are starting to grow teeth. This baby toothbrush can fit over a parent’s or other adult’s finger and swipe away bacteria from the baby’s gums, helping make sure that their teeth grow in a healthy environment. Make sure to choose from quality brands that offer ADA-accepted and dentist-recommended products.

If your little one is resisting your efforts to brush his teeth, try a baby toothbrush that also functions as a teether. Keeping your baby’s smile happy and healthy has never been this easy!

The Best Toothbrush for Toddlers: 3-5 Years Old

By the time a child grows out of the baby stage, their brushing routine will need to be done twice a day (in the morning and the evening). You can start letting your toddler help clean their teeth by the time they turn 2 years old. 

However, don’t give them complete independence just yet. Until your child turns about 6 to 8 years old, they will still need adult supervision and guidance while using their toothbrush for toddlers.

What to Choose

Toddlers can be picky when it comes to what gets placed in their mouths. One good way to get them invested in their oral hygiene is by letting them help choose their toothbrush. 

Ideally, a good toothbrush for toddlers will have a small head to easily and comfortably fit in your child’s mouth. Soft bristles for your little one’s sensitive teeth are also a must. Let your toddler pick a toothbrush with their favorite color or pattern so they’ll feel excited to brush!

The Best Toothbrush for Kids: 6-8 Years Old

Cavities are among the most common conditions found in children in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have a decayed tooth. If left untreated, the cavity-ridden tooth can cause kids to experience pain or even lead to problems with eating, speaking, or playing.

The good news is that childhood oral diseases like cavities are entirely preventable. By regularly using a kids’ toothbrush, these young children can keep their teeth and gums healthy.

What to Choose

Around the ages of 6 to 8, children can start becoming more independent in their brushing routine. The ideal toothbrush for kids in this age range will begin to reflect that growing independence. 

Child-friendly brush designs would include handles that are easy for a child to grip and control and bristles that are soft and gentle on their gums. A bonus feature would be if the kids’ toothbrush also comes in different, fun colors!

The Best Toothbrush for Pre-Teens: 9-12 Years Old

Once a child turns 9 years old, they start becoming fully independent in their brushing routine. Parents no longer need to keep supervising their kids and instead allow them the freedom to establish their oral hygiene habits as they move closer to their teen years.

The pre-teen stage is also when most of your young one’s adult teeth will start coming in. According to the ADA, a child will have all 28 of their permanent teeth by the time they reach 13 years old. During this transitional stage, the type of kids’ toothbrush your child uses will likely also need to be changed.

What to Choose

Although pre-teens can still choose to use a toothbrush for kids, many in this life stage start shifting to a toothbrush for adults since most of their permanent teeth have already come in. If your pre-teen is tired of their old manual kids’ toothbrush, perhaps this is the best time to introduce them to the electric toothbrush.

The Best Toothbrush for Teens: 13-17 Years Old

Adolescence is a life stage that includes so many physical, emotional, mental, and social changes. As such, teenage dental health is significantly different from those of toddlers and young children. 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry finds that teenagers are at an increased risk for caries, periodontal diseases, and other oral infections because of their unique psychological and social needs. Adolescents should then be encouraged to never neglect their dental health by regularly visiting a dentist and using a toothbrush for teens in their daily routine.

What to Choose

Unlike young children, teenagers now have far more toothbrush options to choose from. Adolescents can still use a manual toothbrush, but many in this age group also opt for an electric toothbrush because it can be more fun and easier to use. 

Since the teenage years are also when many start wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances, adolescents may also need to be introduced to interdental brushes and water flossers. These oral care devices, used alongside a regular toothbrush for teens, will make it easier for them to clean between the spaces of their teeth.

The Best Toothbrush for Adults: 18-64 Years Old

Practicing proper oral hygiene habits is critical throughout your lifetime, including early to late adulthood. The CDC found that nearly half (46%) of all adults have gum disease, while 26% have untreated tooth decay. Given this, adults must make it a point to stay on top of their dental health.

What to Choose

There are plenty of available toothbrushes for adults, whether you’re looking for a manual toothbrush or an electric one. The key is to find a trusted brand that offers premium-quality toothbrushes that meet your specific needs in this stage of life.

The Best Toothbrush for Seniors: 65 Years Old and Above

Older adults (aged 65 and above) were found to have an increased risk for dental conditions like periodontitis, caries, and xerostomia, according to the ADA. Since many physical, mental, and sensory impairments occur due to aging, some older folks may have difficulty maintaining optimum dental health. Thankfully, the right toothbrush for adults can make a world of difference for these seniors.

What to Choose

Instead of picking just any toothbrush for adults, a senior may need one that is more attuned to their health needs. For instance, many older people have very sensitive teeth and gums, so they may need a specially designed toothbrush for adults with extra-soft bristles. An easy-to-grip brush handle is also required since many seniors struggle with physical limitations.

The ADA also recommends using an electric toothbrush, especially for seniors with disabilities that affect their mobility or cognitive impairments that affect their focus. The right battery-powered brush can make it much easier for them to maintain good oral health.

Find Your Ideal Toothbrush With Help From PRO-SYS!

Picking the toothbrush that works best for you is the first step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Your next move should now be to buy your perfect toothbrush and use it to stay on top of your oral hygiene. No matter how old you are, PRO-SYS is bound to have a brush that can address your oral care needs. Learn more about our dentist-recommended products!

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush: Which Works Better?

Achieving and maintaining good oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth regularly. As such, it’s natural to want nothing but the best toothbrush available to help keep your smile as beautiful and healthy as possible. 

The American Dental Association says that both electric and manual toothbrushes are safe and effective at cleaning teeth. However, people have varying dental needs, and depending on your specific situation, one toothbrush may offer more benefits than the other. 

If you can’t decide which toothbrush you need, don’t fret. In this article, we’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of electric vs. manual toothbrushes.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush: Should I Switch to an Electric Toothbrush From a Manual One?

“Should I switch to an electric toothbrush from a manual one?” This is a question that many people find themselves asking. Before you take that leap, learn about the differences between a manual and an electric toothbrush and see which one works better for you.


For people who like having more control over their brushing process, a manual toothbrush can be the better choice. An electric toothbrush has rotating brush heads, quick-vibrating bristles, and built-in timers, which may make some feel as though they are giving up control over how much pressure to use or how long they wish to keep brushing a particular area of their mouth.

Additionally, an electric brush only has a few set cleaning powers, and some may need to use less pressure than the minimum available setting. So, using a manual toothbrush can be better for those with sensitive teeth because they can quickly stop or apply less pressure whenever they feel a twinge of discomfort while brushing.


Ease of Use

One of the main advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that it does most of the work for you and can be much easier to use. With its built-in timer and rotating brush heads, an automatic toothbrush can make the experience of brushing less of a hassle for people with limited mobility, such as those with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or developmental disabilities.

A research study from the National Institutes of Health also found that people with orthodontic appliances, such as braces, may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush than a manual one. Orthodontic patients with initially poor oral hygiene, primarily, benefited most from using electric toothbrushes.


Better for Seniors

If you’re looking to buy a new toothbrush for your elderly parent or grandparent, a manual brush may be the better choice. In a clinical trial about the effect of manual and electric toothbrushes on the dental hygiene of folks from nursing homes, more than half (54%) of the seniors reported preferring non-electric toothbrushes. There was also no significant difference between the plaque score of those who used manual brushes and those who used electric.

However, bear in mind that this still depends on the capabilities of the senior. The ADA cites that older adults with mobility issues or cognitive impairments may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush.


More Fun for Kids

Although children can use manual and electric toothbrushes, many kids find it more fun to use an automatic brush. If you’re struggling to get your little ones invested in their dental hygiene, buying them an electric toothbrush can help get them excited about brushing.


Improved Focus

Some people have difficulty focusing while brushing their teeth, leading to areas of their mouth becoming neglected. To avoid this, using an automatic toothbrush can be the ideal solution. Since an electric toothbrush comes with a built-in timer, you can quickly know when it’s time to cease brushing one area of your mouth and move on to the next, ensuring a more thorough clean.

A study by the NIH confirms these benefits, citing that electric toothbrush users were found to brush in a more concentrated and focused pattern than those who used manual brushes.



One of the most notable advantages that a manual toothbrush has over an electric one is that it is more accessible. Unlike an automatic brush, which needs to be charged to function, a non-electric toothbrush can be used anywhere and at any time. Also, manual toothbrushes are typically available in convenience stores and other shops, making them easier to find and purchase during an emergency.



The price of a manual toothbrush is significantly more affordable for the average person. An electric toothbrush not only has a higher price but also requires batteries and multiple replacement brush heads (the head will need to be changed every 3 months), which are an additional cost to consider when shopping for your ideal brush.


Stay on Top of Your Oral Health, No Matter the Brush!

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of manual and electric toothbrushes, it’s time to assess which brush is right for you. Whether you’re a person with sensitive teeth who prefers a non-electric brush or an orthodontic patient in need of an automatic toothbrush, PRO-SYS can offer just what you need. Learn more about our various dentist-recommended products!