The Sonicare for Kids electric toothbrush does an excellent job of cleaning teeth and making brushing fun for kids. With a two-minute interval timer and Bluetooth-enabled interactive app, the toothbrush also teaches kids how to brush for the proper amount of time. The soft, kid-size bristles and the gradual increase in brushing time and intensity add to its ease of use. Be warned though, it's for kids ages 4 and up, it may be too large and unwieldy for children younger than that. The app is also only available for iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad and you have to have your iPad on hand to "watch" the animations.
Parents say it does a better job than a manual brush. The Philips Sonicare for Kids uses rapid side-to-side vibrations to clean teeth and users at Amazon.com say that it does an excellent job of cleaning teeth. The toothbrush, at maximum settings, produces up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute. It has two brushing modes: low mode (gentler) for children ages 4 and up and high mode (more powerful) for ages 7 and up. Many parents note that, since they moved their child to the Sonicare from a regular toothbrush, their dental hygienist has noted better overall oral hygiene and easier professional cleanings.
Brushing made fun and easy. Many parents say that the Sonicare for Kids is the first toothbrush that their child seems to enjoy using. The toothbrush has a two-minute timer that chimes musical tones at 30-second intervals to alert children to move to a different area of the mouth. The toothbrush has smaller brush heads that are made to fit comfortably in children's mouths, but it's really best for ages 4 and up, quite a few parents buy it for younger children only to be disappointed that it's too large and cumbersome for them. The Bluetooth connectivity can be finicky -- the app tends to cut in and out, parents say -- and they get tired of having to haul out the iPad every time their kid brushes their teeth; a few also aren't crazy about having their expensive iOS devices in the bathroom to begin with.
Loaded, maybe over-loaded, with kid-friendly features. The Philips Sonicare for Kids is loaded with features that are supposed to help make brushing fun, including a base with interchangeable panels and musical tones, not to mention the Bluetooth-enabled app. However, parents say their kids get bored with the app very quickly and the many prompts to change to a different area of the mouth can get confusing (although, there will be a learning curve, especially for younger children). If you find a Bluetooth connected toothbrush to be a bit much, you may want to take a look at the previous version of this electric toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare for Kids HX6311/07 (Est. $40). It gets much better reviews overall, because its ratings are not pulled down by complaints about the app. It's no longer on the Philips website, but is still available at Amazon.com.
Keep your receipt. The Sonicare for Kids loses a few points for durability. Several owners at Amazon.com say the unit stopped working properly after just a few months. However, the toothbrush comes with a two-year warranty, and most reviewers say the company honors it willingly and has great customer service. While the brush itself is less expensive than full-size models, the replacement brush heads are nearly $10 each -- above average for adult brush replacement heads. Also, the kid-sized replacement heads might be harder to find than the adult sizes; quite a few reviewers complain that they have to buy them directly from Philips' website. We also saw a large number of complaints that the toothbrush arrived without any of the stickers that allow children to customize the handle -- they simply were not in the package.
Philips Sonicare for Kids Reviews
This version of the Sonicare for Kids is being replaced by a Bluetooth-enabled model (see below), but both models perform identically otherwise. This kid's Sonicare toothbrush gets an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 900 reviewers at Amazon.com. Owners say their kids are more excited about brushing their teeth with this toothbrush because it has kid-friendly features. Some say that it's a bit cumbersome for small hands, however, and we saw several complaints about product failure after just a few months.
Review: Philips Sonicare HX6311/07 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush for Kids, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2015
There are about 50 reviews for this newer version of the Philips Sonicare for Kids; however, the vast majority are from the Vine program, which gives customers a free product in exchange for a review. While reviewers are not bound to high-star, positive reviews, a close read of these reviews reveals a startling number of complaints about the app, even in 5-star reviews. So, while we used this source to evaluate the app itself, we relied more on reviews of the older model for performance.
Review: Philips Sonicare for Kids Connected Sonic Electric Toothbrush, HX6321/02, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2015
In more than 15 reviews, the Sonicare for Kids gets just 3.8 stars out of 5, but most of the low ratings have to do with the stickers falling off easily -- something we did not read elsewhere. Otherwise, parents say their children like it and brush longer and more thoroughly than with a manual toothbrush.
Review: Philips Sonicare for Kids Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush - HX6321/02, Contributors to Target.com, As of September 2015
Melissa Schweiger details her 5-year-old son's experiences with the Sonicare for Kids, saying "wow, does it ever work." She also notes that having such an efficient toothbrush means she can leave him to his own devices. Although it's pricey, she likes the "environmental plus" of a reusable, rechargeable electric toothbrush. This Sonicare is not the connected version.
Review: The new Philips Sonicare for Kids power toothbrush: Like a babysitter for their teeth, Melissa Schweiger, May 14, 2014