Autobrush For Keiki

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Autobrush For Keiki

The Autobrush is a U-shaped electric toothbrush With excellent marketing (the founder even sent me a personalized video thanking me for the purchase and reviewing how to use it!) and cheaper options on Amazon, these U-shaped brushes promote a decreased brushing time since all the teeth are being brushed at one. 

Do they work as well as manual or other electric brushes? Can we really brush for 10-30 seconds? How do I like it for my 2.5 year-old son?

Before we continue, I'd like to emphasize that this post is limited to evaluating the Autobrush for kids under 3, as my son is 2.5 and I have no other personal experience with it. 

In summary: Yes, I like this brush for my son. Yes I do try to have him brush for longer than 30 seconds, and we do have to move it up and down and side to side for an effective clean. No, the LEDs don't help clean but they help make it more fun for my son. We don't use the foam toothpaste that comes with it. I'm going to transition him to a kids Oral B when he's a little bit older. Do not use the brands with silicone brushes. For adults, we still recommend using the Oral B electric brushes for 2 minutes, and the abrasiveness of the toothpaste we use really depends on our individual oral health. 

For the parents out there: I was lucky in that my son was very receptive to finger brushes, then the soft manual brushes, and then the light-up electric brushes. But the eagerness and willingness faded especially as we tried to have him brush his own teeth (with us following up). We tried the Autobrush at a little over 2 years old but it was too big for him. A few months later he would still gag a bit moving it side to side. Finally at 2.5 years, it would fit comfortably in his mouth and now he looks forward to brushing with Daniel Tiger. To get an effective clean, it must be moved up and down, side to side - relying on the oscillations alone will not clean the teeth well. 

Now for the published studies:

This is an independent third party study that supports the Autobrush. Please note, there are only 20 subjects age 5-8 included in the data, 2022 study, p<0.001, manual brushing was for 2 minutes, Autobrush brushing FOR 1 MINUTE, not 30 seconds, also they used a much more abrasive toothpaste that removes more plaque than the foam one Autobrush comes with.

This study says U-shaped brushes are just as bad as no brushing. Please note, only 22 people, adults age 18-30, p<0.0001 in this 2020 study, and they used this silicone brush instead of the Autobrush which uses nylon bristles like regular manual/electric brushes. Study link:

This study also says U-shaped brushes aren't as good as manual brushes. Please note, only 20 adults in this 2019 study, the U-shaped silicone brush was used for only 10 seconds, the manual brushes for 2-4 minutes, p<0.0001.

Credit Autobrush (link above): Nylon bristles0170499001708934384.jpg

Credit Nieri et al (link above): Silicone bristles V White0551844001708934510.jpg

Credit Schabl et al and Amabrush (link above): Silicone bristles Amabrush0673656001708934452.jpg

I think the Autobrush is a good alternative for our young keiki who we as parents struggle to help them not only brush properly and for 2 minutes, but to gain an interest in caring for their teeth. It must be moved up and down, side to side for a proper clean and try to go longer than 30 seconds. Don't forget to floss! If your child is already able to spit out and rinse, then use a normal paste fluoride toothpaste but use the same amount you would with a regular brush. The foam one Autobrush gives is way easier to use but the study used a regular, more abrasive toothpaste. Transition to the Oral B electric ones when possible. Adults should stick to the Oral B ones for now. Keep in mind, all mouths are different, and the Autobrush may not fit your keiki as well. The Autobrush has a couple sizes but it's still a one size fit most deal, and is likely not as good as a 2 minute electric brush with your guidance.