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When my two daughters saw their cousin’s vibrating toothbrushes over Christmas, they immediately started pestering me because they wanted one too. I am not really keen on electric toothbrushes, preferring a bit of elbow grease and good scrubbing to keep their teeth clean, but with the constant wittering and moaning from them both, I eventually caved in and bought them one each to coincide with my eldest’s birthday in mid January. When I was browsing for them in Asda, I realised the Colgate ones only came in two designs – Barbie or Spiderman, and with me having two girls this caused me a bit of a dilemma - I could not get them both the Barbie one because they would get them mixed up; so my eldest drew the short straw and ended up with Spiderman, whilst my youngest received the Barbie version.
The toothbrush itself is quite a lot larger than normal children’s toothbrushes, although the size of the head is about the same size as a standard head, but it’s only the top circular section that vibrates, which to be honest did concern me. The handle of the toothbrush is rather large but I presume this is because it houses the 2 x AAA batteries (which come supplied with the unit). The on/off button is located on the handle and is really easy to press, and both of my children (aged 3 & 5) can do this with ease. Overall, in my opinion the brush is a bit out of proportion and I would have liked to have seen a smaller handle.
When my children first used their new toothbrushes, my 5 year old was really excited and loved the vibrating effect, but my 3 year old seemed more frightened than anything. I think she found the noise quite upsetting, and to be honest it is quite a loud vibrating sound which is not unlike my husband’s electric shaver! The head vibrates rather quickly and it seems to move from side to side, but it moves so fast that it’s hard to tell. At first I was unsure whether these were actually going to clean my children’s teeth at all, but I did put the vibrating head to my teeth and it did seem to have an effect and I felt confident that it would do the job on my children’s teeth.
Both my children need assistance with cleaning their teeth, although I do let my 5 year old do hers on her own, I just give them a quick clean up once she’s finished, but because my 3 year old is afraid of the toothbrush I have to do hers from start to finish. The problem I have found is that although the head is small, I struggle to get it down between the lip and the edges of the teeth because the plastic part behind the brush head is quite broad, so although the head is vibrating away, sometimes I cannot get it to touch parts of the teeth that I really want to get clean, and I have noticed parts of her teeth becoming yellow, when they wouldn’t have done with a normal toothbrush.
The thing is that I don’t know how much pressure to exert with the brush, because I gather that the vibrating head does a lot of the cleaning, so do you just hold the brush near the teeth, or do you use a brushing motion as well as the vibrating effect? It’s hard to tell, and I suppose if I had my own electric toothbrush I would be better informed on how to clean my children’s teeth with theirs. My 5 year old tends to just move the brush around her mouth, but also spends a lot of time tickling her tongue and holding it between her teeth to see what different sounds she can make. And although I do assist in cleaning her teeth most days, I have also noticed a slight yellowing on parts of her teeth which perhaps weren’t there when we were using normal toothbrushes.
It Drinks Batteries
The batteries also did not last very long – I kind of expected the batteries to last as long as the lifespan of the toothbrush, but I have had to replace them with just over a month of usage, so that was disappointing when I guess we should be using the toothbrushes for another 2 months. But to be honest I think I will probably be replacing both electric toothbrushes with standard ones before long because I am really not particularly impressed with them, and I don’t feel confident that they are keeping my children’s teeth clean enough. I have never used an electric toothbrush and only when I was in my 30s did I need a filling, so I am hoping that my children will be the same, and their teeth can perhaps survive without the need for an electric toothbrush, I certainly won’t be encouraging their use after this trial run.
You Cannot Replace The Head
Once the head wears out, the toothbrush is essentially useless because you cannot replace the head, which to me is a bit of a waste and a disappointment - it would make more sense for Colgate to provide changeable heads, then it wouldn't seem like such an expensive throwaway purchase.
I suppose if you are a fan of electric toothbrushes then you may think this is okay, it certainly vibrates a lot and seems to clean areas of the teeth that are easy to reach. Perhaps it is more designed for older children who are more skilled in cleaning their own teeth, and can get to those hard to reach places. But for my 3 & 5 year old, it is not something I will be buying again.
I have seen these in Asda and Tesco for around £5.