If you have young children then you will be fully aware just how difficult it can be to convince little ones to brush their teeth.
There are two things that make my son drag his feet. Bed time and teeth brushing time. Who can blame Him? Teeth brushing just isn’t fun.
Philips understands the problem parents faced with getting kids to brush their teeth and created a sonic tooth brush just with young children in mind, named the “Sonicare For Kids” and is suitable for kids aged three and up.
Yeah, its not exactly a cleverly thought out name but boy does the toothbrush look fun. Our detailed review will allow you to make the right decision on whether or not this is the right electric toothbrush for your child.
Unboxing the Sonicare For Kids
Once your child tears open the box of his new Sonicare toothbrush he will be greeted with the following:
Let’s break it down:
- Sonicare For Kids Handle
- Removable sticker panel
- Sticker sheets
- Sonicare For Kids standard brush head
- Battery Charger
- Instruction manual
Inside the instruction manual you will also find a card prompting you to register your Sonicare for Kids toothbrush online. Doing so will add an additional 6 months warranty to your toothbrush extending the total warranty period to a total of two and a half years. The best part is, doing this is free!
Sonicare Fore Kids toothbrush handle
The Sonicare handle itself is a kid friendly combination of aqua blue and white.
If you have seen pictures of the Sonicare For Kids before then you may be wondering why the handle in the picture above does not look the same.
Part of the kiddie appeal is that the entire white space surrounding the buttons can be personalized with different stickers. I will focus on how this works further down the review.
The front of the handle is pretty plain except for the two rubber buttons. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The top button is the power button. This is how you turn the Sonicare on and off. A green indicator inside the button will light up when the power is on.
Further down the handle is a second button:
Pressing this button toggles between two brush modes, gentle and regular. Now when Philips says that their electric toothbrush is friendly, they mean it and have clearly put some thought into how this button functions.
You can only toggle the speed settings while the toothbrush is turned off. Pressing the brushing mode button with the power on does absolutely nothing. I am pleased to report that this effectively stops your child from playing with the button while brushing. After all, what fun is pressing a button if it doesn’t do anything?
An indicator will light up to let you know at a glance which brush mode is activated. Left for gentle, right for regular.
On the underside of the Sonicare you will see a small hole:
This hole allows the Sonicare to sit on the charger stand without falling over.
Printed around the outside of the socket are the product specifications:
- Model Number – HX6340
- Where the handle was made – China
- The battery inside – Li-ion
For the most part you will not need to know these specs unless you are troubleshooting. But if ever you do need them, just remember that they are hiding on the base of the handle.
Flipping the handle over reveals an all rubber back:
If there is one thing that kids are skilled at, it’s dropping things. The all rubber back guarantees that no matter how your child holds this toothbrush, part of his hand will cover the sticky rubber grip.
Looking closely at the grip you will be able to see small bumps all over the rear of the handle. The rubber grips add some much needed traction and will help prevent even the slipperiest of small hands from sliding down the handle while brushing.
On the neck of the Sonicare handle is another kid friendly feature to keep this toothbrush in younger kids hands, a finger guard:
If your child is quite young and has not properly developed his motor skills then it is highly likely he will grip the toothbrush close to the base of the brush head. The guard helps prevent his hand from sliding off the handle when gripped in such a manner.
But the guard is not just for you. If you brush your kids teeth for them then the guard will help you better keep the Sonicare handle in your hand should your child quickly pull away from you. With just how unpredictable kids can be I was pretty impressed with this feature and would have loved to have seen Oral-B include it on their kiddy toothbrush.
But before you give the toothbrush to your child you are going to want to make the handle as kid friendly as possible. If there is one way to get your little one excited about teeth brushing, it’s by creating his own special toothbrush; just for him. The Sonicare allows you to do this through stickers:
There is a combination of girl and boy friendly stickers to make your child’s first electric toothbrush his own. From clouds and monster hair to smiley little creatures called Sparklies. There is something for everyone. You attach one of these to the removable panel.
Attaching the sticker required a steady hand but we had the whole process over and done with in under a minute.
You then peel back the adhesive from the removable panel and attach it directly to the toothbrush handle. You will now have a funky looking handle like the one my son chose below:
My little one has a fascination with penguins chose the one with the “iceburgs”, although he pronounced it “icebugs”. I actually think they are clouds but who am I to argue with a child’s creativity.
The adhesive on the removable panel can be washed and restuck as many times as you would like. I personally would have preferred to see the panel “click” into place with tags but the adhesive held up well for the duration that I reviewed the toothbrush.
I also liked that Philips decided to include an extra set of stickers just because. While you won’t be able to use these stickers on the toothbrush, they make for great bribes/rewards when brushing time rolls around. Kids really do love their stickers.
At the top of the handle you will find a metal shaft.
The metal shaft is what holds the brush heads in place. The brush heads slide over the shaft and click into place. A quick tug is all that is required to remove the brush head. Now let’s take a closer look at the brush heads.
Sonicare For Kids Brush Head
A single brush head is included in the Sonicare for Kids box.
The brush head is the standard sized model. In terms of size the bristled area of the brush head is roughly the same size at that of an adults manual toothbrush except a bit narrower.
If you are thinking:
There is no way that will fit in my youngster’s mouth.
Then there is one other option. There is also a compact version designed for the Sonicare for kids. It is roughly half the size and makes brushing smaller mouths a much easier task, particularly if you have to brush your little ones teeth for him. Check out our Philips Sonicare brush heads guide for more information.
As you would expect, the bristles are very soft and have been deliberately designed with a mixture of short and long bristles. The shorter bristles help remove plaque from the surface of the tooth while the longer bristles help clean between the teeth.
Philips have chosen to coat the rear of the brush head in a soft rubber. This will help prevent that uncomfortable sensation when the back of the toothbrush head comes into contact with your teeth. Instead, the rubber provides a much softer almost ticklish sensation compared to the harder plastic of the “adult” Sonicare brush heads.
Truth be told I would love to see this rubber appear on all the other Sonicare brush heads. Losing concentration and knocking the back of the toothbrush into your teeth really sucks.
I do not know what material the clear bristles are made from but they are prone to staining. If you brush your child’s teeth too soon after chocolate cake (or other foods that stain) then you may notice your toothbrush bristles begin to discolor.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you rinse your child’s mouth out after eating foods that stain and thoroughly cleaning the bristles after. Stains do not mean that the bristles are dirty nor do they affect their performance. But boy, do they look ugly.
Another thing I love about Sonicare brush heads is that they come with protective covers:
You will truly appreciate the protective cover if you have ever began to brush your teeth only to discover that it tastes like hairspray or deodorant. The covers keep your kid’s brush heads clean and hygienic when not in use.
Like a regular toothbrush, it is recommended that you replace the brush head of your Sonicare For Kids once every three months. Refills come in packs of two and each replacement brush head comes with it’s own plastic protective cover.
Note: The Sonicare For Kids ONLY accepts Sonicare For Kids brush heads. You will be unable to use this brush handle with any other Sonicare brush heads.
Charging the Sonicare For Kids
Before you let your child use his first Sonicare you are going to have to charge it. You will do this with the help of the charging stand, included in the box:
The charging stand is perhaps the smallest I have come across in my time reviewing electric toothbrushes. Everything else about the toothbrush is kiddie sized so it makes sense that the trend would flow through to the charger.
That small plastic rod on top of the charger lines up with the hole in the bottom of the Sonicare handle that I showed you earlier.
If you peak underneath the charging stand you will see three small rubber feet. The feet stop the battery charger from sliding around on your slippery bathroom counter. At the center you will see the charger’s specifications:
Now there is only one small line printed on the underside of the charger that we are interested in. And that line says:
100 – 240V AC
What this means is that your child will be able to use this charger anywhere in the world. If you are planning on taking an extended holiday internationally or just travel often then you will be able to take your child’s new favorite toothbrush anywhere you go.
This is an important feature, one that is not present on the Kid version offered by Oral-B. The Sonicare For Kids is one of the only travel friendly electric toothbrushes on the market.
Like the entire Sonicare rechargeable range, the kid model charges wirelessly. No plugging in cords, no messing around. Just slide the handle over the small rod on the charger and the toothbrush will immediately begin to charge.
Two beeps and a flashing light will confirm that your Sonicare is charging correctly.
A full charge of the Sonicare For Kids takes a little over 24 hours. During our testing the Lithium-ion battery gave us 13 days on average, brushing twice daily for two minutes at a time. That’s 26 brushes before having to recharge.
When your child has finished brushing his teeth he can simply slide the Sonicare onto the charging base and keep it there when not in use. Constant charging will not damage the battery.
I would like to point out that the small size and light weight of the charger base does make it a little top heavy when you place the toothbrush on top. If you do not store the toothbrush in an out of the way place when not in use you will likely find yourself bumping it over.
Testing the Sonicare For Kids
Now our usual group of testers are adults. That’s no good for testing an electric toothbrush that is designed for kids. So we rounded up a group of young children and their parents to help give their opinion of the toothbrush.
Originally we were going to get everyone down to our office and have everyone test the toothbrush in a single room. We tried it. it was like herding cats. Getting young kids to do things on your terms is always a challenge, especially when they are not your own.
So we sent each of the parents home with a toothbrush and had them test it out over the course of a month.
The following contains summaries of their feedback as well as my experience with my own son.
The Sonicare For Kids handle contains quite a few features to not only help your child get used to brushing with an electric toothbrush but also encourage good brushing practice. Lets take a closer look at them.
The first feature is called KidTimer. Selecting the slower brushing mode when brushing for the first time will turn the Sonicare off after just one minute. Over the next 90 days the timer will gradually increase until your child is brushing for the full two minutes, as recommended by dentists.
The idea behind the KidTimer is that the slow change helps young children learn how to brush for the full two minutes. It was a hit with parents who can barely get their children to sit still for a minute at the best of times.
On Standard power the KidTimer simply turns the toothbrush off after 2 minutes are up.
Now parents who want to brush their child’s teeth may want to do so for longer than two minutes. If this is the case you will have to manually turn the brush back on when the time is up. The shutoff feature was designed for kids who brush their own teeth, so that they don’t walk away with the toothbrush still running.
The next feature is Easy-Start. For some, brushing with a Sonicare for the first time can be a ticklish and uncomfortable experience. Over the first 14 brushing sessions the EasyStart will slowly ramp up the motor intensity until you are brushing at the standard power.
All but one of our testers found this feature useful. Many reported that their childs first brushing session resulted in fits of giggles without it. One of our testers was not new to the Sonicare range so she chose to disable it, by following the instructions in manual.
3. Kid Pacer
The final toothbrush handle feature is the KidPacer. Every 30 seconds the Sonicare will play a couple of fun musical notes to alert you that 30 seconds has passed.
The purpose of this is to split your child’s mouth up into quadrants (quarters) and spend 30 seconds brushing each. I will use my sons brushing routine as an example:
- Brush left half of top teeth for 30 seconds
- Brush right half of top teeth for 30 seconds
- Brush left half of bottom teeth for 30 seconds
- Brush right half of bottom teeth for 30 seconds
And just like that not only has your child cleaned his entire mouth, but also brushed for the recommended 2 minutes. Younger children seemed to have difficulty understanding this pattern. If your child is too young to brush his teeth effectively it is recommended that you brush his teeth until he can do a proper job.
…And one more
There is one more feature, but it isn’t exactly found in the handle. If all else fails when it comes to getting your kid excited for brushing his teeth then it’s time to pull out the big guns. The Philips Sonicare For Kids app. Every single one of our testers commented on just how much the app helped to motivate their children when teeth brushing time rolled around.
Simply download the Sonicare For Kids app onto your phone or tablet (available for Android or Apple IOS). The app is 100% free. No hidden in app purchases whatsoever. I think I heard a bunch of you breath a sigh of relief.
All that’s left is to sync the Sonicare toothbrush to your phone . Yep, the Sonicare For kids actually has Bluetooth. Talk about high-tech!
Basically the app turns brushing your teeth into a game. As your child brushes his teeth, a digital simulation of a little furry creature called a sparkle (the same creatures from the stickers) will brush his teeth.
Your child will unlock digital rewards, give brushing advice and show the correct technique, track how long each brushing session lasted for, remind you to replace your brush heads and more.
The app may seem cheesy and repetitive but kids just love it!
For a better idea on how this works, watch the short video below!
But how well does it brush?
First you load up the brush head with a pea sized amount of toothpaste and angle the head (45ish degrees or so) where the tooth and the gum meet.
Press the power button and slowly move the brush back and forth over the teeth, applying slight pressure. The toothbrush should do most of the work.
It really is that simple. Except for one thing. If your child takes the toothbrush out of his mouth while the power is on, toothpaste will splatter everywhere. While covering Daddy with toothpaste freckles may have set my son into fits of laughter, I was much less impressed.
If your child can keep the toothbrush in the mouth then you will be very impressed with how well the toothbrush cleans, especially between the teeth and along the gumline. It cleaned so well the first time my son used it that he yelled “smoof!” and couldn’t stop rubbing his tongue against his teeth.
Other testers reported similar findings, especially those that still cleaned their children’s teeth for them. One such tester commented it was much easier than attempting to perform small circular movements with a manual toothbrush.
The icing on the cake was when I took my son for his dental check up and complimented my son on his brushing, something that has never happened when he was using a manual toothbrush.
My only concern is the life of the stickers on the face of the handle. At time of me writing this it has been a month and the first sticker is holding strong. I do have another 7 I can replace it with when it finally peels off. But when those run out I am left wondering just how my son will react…
When it comes to Kid friendly sonic toothbrushes you pretty much have two choices. The Sonicare For Kids or The Oral-B Pro Health Jr. The Philips Sonicare knocks the Oral-B out of the water.
With a with a design and features that make kids squeal with joy, this sonic toothbrush is just the thing you need to get your child excited about teeth brushing time.
Even if you are not sold on all the kid focuded features, you will love the clean your child will be able to achieve with the Sonicare for Kids.