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Cool gadgets to encourage grandchildren to brush

Sometimes being a grandparent can be a delicate juggling act – we all want to guide our grandchildren in the right direction, but don’t want to come across as being too bossy.

This issue can be particularly relevant when it comes to certain triggers such as bedtime and teeth brushing. Of course it’s important that you encourage youngsters to brush their teeth properly, but equally you don’t want your bathroom turned into a battle-ground twice a day!

Luckily, there are a number of excellent resources available which are specifically designed to make brushing fun for children of all ages. We’ve compiled a list of top tips and gadgets that help make brushing ‘cool’ as well as helping you to keep your cool when you’re left in charge!

Babies and toddlers

Chewable Toothbrush and Teether

Dental care can begin from a very early age – even before teeth are visible. This chewable toothbrush and teether from Brush-Baby helps to clean teeth with or without toothpaste, and also helps to sooth painful gums.

Young children


There are a vast array of manual and electric toothbrushes designed especially for small mouths and hands. From brightly coloured brushes decorated with cartoon characters, to handles moulded into a myriad of shapes – buying a brush that your little angel will want to use is half the battle!

Timing devices

Two minutes can seem like a long time to little people so using an inexpensive egg-timer type device is a great way of making sure enough time is spent brushing.

Some battery powered toothbrushes have built in flashing timers specifically designed to remind children that they should brush for two minutes.

Mobile apps

The Disney Timer app from Oral B is a fun way of getting youngsters excited about brushing, with the help of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters.

Educational fun

A Wild Smile is an initiative from registered charity Heart Your Smile designed to ‘promote and protect oral health using fun and accessible animal themed resources.’

Big brands

Global toothpaste brands Colgate and Aquafresh both have a number of resources on their websites, but be aware – they’re very American in style!


Mobile apps

Philips Sonicare has launched the Brush Buster app designed to make brushing a satisfactory mission for slightly older children – this short film provides more details.

Young adults

Brush DJ

Brush DJ is a free app specifically designed to make brushing fun for older children. Available on Google play and iTunes, Brush DJ randomly selects music from the user’s mobile device and plays it for two minutes – the perfect length of time for a thorough teeth cleaning session. The dentist designed app also provides lots of useful advice and includes a reminder function for dentist and hygienist appointments.

A word of advice

Illume owner dentist Tim Rumney, “Thorough brushing for two minutes, twice a day, is the best way of preventing dental decay.

“Anything which helps children to understand the length of time they need to brush for is great, but using a quality brush is vital. We recommend parents and grandparents stick with reputable brands and use fluoride toothbrush for the best results.”

Illume membership for children

Illume offers membership  for children to spread the cost of regular dental care. Membership for children aged 0-18 includes Healthy Mouth Reviews, and Hygiene Support Visits at intervals prescribed by our dentists and a number of other benefits - all from just £8.80 per month.

Please contact us to find out how you can help give your grandchild the gift of great oral health.

*Please note Illume has not independently tested any of the items or resources referred to in the article above and cannot be held responsible for their accessibility or performance.