Live Science Verdict
The Philips Sonicare For Kids makes brushing more appealing and fun, while improving your child’s oral hygiene with expert brushing instructions.
Fun, interactive app
Includes standard and compact brush head
Novelty wears off after a while
Handset may be too large for young children
Replacement brush heads are expensive
Why you can trust Live Science
The Philips Sonicare For Kids is a fun and colorful way to introduce your child to good brushing techniques. Suitable for kids aged three years and up, it features two basic cleaning modes, a built-in timer and a quadpacer, gently guiding your little one to brush for two minutes and cover each quadrant of their mouth effectively. An accompanying app, featuring a cute little character called ‘Sparkly’, assists by having its teeth brushed at the same time, thanks to the brush’s Bluetooth connectivity.
2 brush heads
2 cleaning modes
2-week battery life
62,000 brush movements per minute
KidTimer & Quadpacer
2-year limited warranty
Parents can set reminders, give rewards, and check on their child’s progress, all via the app, while children can play games with Sparkly, and tot up their brushing achievements, to gain bonus features within the app.
This review takes a deeper dive into the Philips Sonicare For Kids, its performance, features and functionality, as well as taking a look at the app. We’ll let you know what’s great, and what’s not so great about this electric toothbrush, and we’ll check out the latest user reviews to see what customers have said about it too.
If you’re not sure whether the Philips Sonicare For Kids is the right toothbrush for your child, you’re certain to find the perfect toothbrush in our guide to the best electric toothbrushes for kids.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: Design
The Philips Sonicare For Kids is a fun and colorful toothbrush designed with kids in mind. Available in a bright aqua or pink, it’s customizable too, with up to eight colorful stickers to apply to the handset.
The handset itself may be too large for very young children to grip well. However, a textured, soft, rubber cover at the rear of the handset, and a finger guard at the top, allows for better grip.
The toothbrush comes with two brush heads; a standard head for older children and a compact head for younger users. Both come with their own protective cover to keep the brush heads hygienic and clean. Additional brush heads can be bought separately, for around $16.99 for two.
There is a single button to power on the toothbrush and indicate battery life, while a button towards the base of the handset allows users to toggle between the two brushing intensity modes of low (for younger children) and high (for older children).
The Philips Sonicare For Kids comes with eight stickers that you can apply to the handset for an instant design update. They are a little fiddly to fit, although they are easy to peel off and try again until you get it right. It also comes with bonus stickers which you can use as rewards for good brushing technique.
A charging unit is also included, which is the same design as any other Philips toothbrush charging unit.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: Functionality
The Philips Sonicare For Kids is simple to use and operates straight out of the box. Simply fit a sticker of your choice, click on a brush head to suit your child, and get going. There’s no need to use the accompanying app unless you wish to.
The brush comes charged and ready for use. Push the power button once to start operating the brush. The button at the base of the handset allows you to toggle between high intensity for older users and low intensity for younger users. You’ll need keen eyesight to make out the icons showing which is which on the stickers, though.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can only toggle between intensities before switching the toothbrush on - there’s no toggling between the two while the brush is in use. This helps to dissuade a curious or playful child switching endlessly between the two during use.
The accompanying app is easy to set up too, with no annoying registration or verification process to go through before your child can start using it. A colorful creature called Sparkly is your child’s guide during brushing. As they brush their teeth, Sparkly joins in, opening its mouth and showing your child where to brush and how long to brush for. As they brush, cartoon bacteria and plaque fall away from Sparkly’s teeth, giving kids a great visual understanding of the benefits of good brushing technique.
The app also features a calendar where you can set brushing reminders, and an achievements section where kids are rewarded with features to feed Sparkly, or get upgrades to its den. It also has a parents’ dashboard where you can view your child’s brushing stats (you will need to register an email and password for this extra feature). Here you can give your child rewards for good brushing via the app, by sending them little notes promising extra screen time or a trip to the park, for example.
It’s likely that older children will soon tire of Sparkly, and not all parents will want to introduce yet another device to their child’s routine, especially in the bathroom. However, younger kids will enjoy the experience of brushing along with the character, while older children who have formed poor brushing habits have the chance to see where they’re going wrong.
The brush also features a built-in timer, so your child can brush for the recommended two minutes twice a day. The quadrant pacer reminds them when to switch positions to brush a new area too.
- Related: How to use an electric toothbrush
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: Performance
At around 38 decibels, around the same volume as a quiet library, the Philips Sonicare For Kids is pretty quiet during operation, so it’s unlikely to startle smaller children who are used to a manual toothbrush.
There’s also an ‘easy start’ feature, available with all Philips Sonicare brushes, to allow new users to get used to the feel of a sonic electric toothbrush. It works by building up the intensity of the brushing over the first 15 sessions, so this may be useful for parents to know about if introducing an electric toothbrush to their child for the first time.
A full charge can take up to 24 hours, but once charged, the toothbrush is designed to last for around 2 weeks of use. Though we couldn’t confirm that in our at-home testing due to limited time, user reviews back this up.
During testing, we also checked how waterproof the Philips Sonicare For Kids was by submerging it in water for a full brushing cycle. It worked perfectly afterwards without any problems.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: What’s good about it?
We liked the customizable aspect of the brush. The stickers are fun and colorful and there’s plenty of choice for every taste. The easy-grip handle was also a bonus, while a finger guard at the very top of the handle also improves grip. The soft bristles are gentle yet effective on little teeth.
A built-in ‘KidPacer’ sounds a few musical notes to let your child know when to move onto the next quadrant of the mouth, which was an unexpected, and nice, touch.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: What’s not so good about it?
We found the stickers were a little fiddly to apply, and weren’t the exact perfect fit. We ended up with some bubbles that couldn’t be smoothed down, no matter how hard we tried.
While we enjoyed the app at first, its novelty wore off within a few sessions of brushing. However, it did remind our nine-year-old tester to concentrate on brushing the very back teeth., which can sometimes be missed. Younger children are likely to enjoy it for a little longer.
The parents’ dashboard doesn’t offer much in the way of information about your child’s brushing technique. It only lets you see how often they brush, with no information on how well they are brushing. So you’ll need to continue to supervise your child’s brushing in person if you really want them to improve their technique.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: User reviews
The Philips Sonicare For Kids gets an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com, with 85% of happy customers giving it the full 5 stars. They rate how easy it is for their child to use, the long battery life, and how it keeps their child’s teeth sparklingly clean. One user commented, “It has made a huge difference in my daughter’s smile”.
Parents also say the app has improved their child’s brushing technique, as well as extending the duration of brushing time.
Negative reviews tend to mention the toothbrush switching into high mode without warning, faulty batteries on individual devices, and Bluetooth connection problems.
Should you buy the Philips Sonicare For Kids?
If you’re looking for a sturdy, reliable toothbrush that encourages your child to improve their oral hygiene technique, then the Philips Sonicare For Kids is the electric toothbrush for you. It’s affordable, fun to use, and encourages great brushing habits right from the off. Kids love it, and most parents seem to agree.
Philips Sonicare For Kids review: If this product isn’t for you
If you’d prefer an oscillating-rotating toothbrush for your child, check out the Oral B Kids electric toothbrush. It’s suitable from three years of age, features a quadrant pacer and 2-minute timer, plus four replacement brush heads. It also comes with a free Disney Magic Timer app to help your child improve their brushing technique.
Fancy bringing some augmented reality (AR) into your bathroom? The Colgate Hum Kids uses AR to track your child’s brushing via a connected app, to bring their technique into a live game. It also features a slim, ergonomic handle and a small brush head for younger kids.
For a truly stylish bathroom shelfie, look no further than the Foreo ISSA kids. Available in four bright colors and featuring a sad or happy face based on brushing time, this uniquely designed toothbrush gives up to 265 brushing sessions on a single charge.
Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She mainly creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with a number of global sites, including BabyCentre UK, Medical News Today, Fit & Well, Top Ten Reviews, and Yahoo!