The Brushies Review

The Brushies Finger Puppet Toothbrush Review - Header Image

Pros

  • Bold colours
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Option to buy with storybook

Cons

  • Size
  • Price

The 3 BIG Question about the Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush

If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Brushies toothbrush.

If you want more detail, you can read our full Brushies finger puppet toothbrush review further down the page.

1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?

Far from anything drastically wrong, the Brushies offer a fun and interactive way to begin brushing your child’s teeth.

The silicone is soft and gentle, but parents will likely feel the pinch, not only as children bite down when you brush, but when you come to pay for these.

I do not feel they are a long term solution for most parents, I really can’t see me brushing my sons teeth with this when he is 3+ years old.

For me, the concept is better than the reality.

Preview Product Rating Price
The Brushies - Baby and Toddler Toothbrush and Storybook The Brushies - Baby and Toddler Toothbrush and Storybook 2 Reviews

2. Which other brushes should I consider?

Finger toothbrushes like this, tend to be geared towards the newborns and young babies, with more traditional brushes generally used for toddlers.

Similar, yet slightly different alternatives include Baby Banana teether toothbrush (make sure you see our caveats on replicas) and Brush-Baby’s chewable teether and would be my go to alternatives.

However, you may wish to consider some of the other options listed in my article on the best baby toothbrushes.

The Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush/Storybook Gift Set
Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush for Infants
Brush-Baby Teether Brush 10 months - 3 Years - Pack of 2
Brush Name
The Brushies
Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
Brush-Baby Chewable Teether
Customer Rating
-
Price
Price not available
£8.99
£19.90
Prime
-
-
The Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush/Storybook Gift Set
Brush Name
The Brushies
Customer Rating
Price
Price not available
Prime
-
Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush for Infants
Brush Name
Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
Customer Rating
Price
£8.99
Prime
Brush-Baby Teether Brush 10 months - 3 Years - Pack of 2
Brush Name
Brush-Baby Chewable Teether
Customer Rating
-
Price
£19.90
Prime
-

3. Where is the best place to buy the Brushies toothbrush?

The Brushies is an American designed and manufactured product.

It is sold primarily in the USA, but is distributed around the world.

At the time of this review, there are few retailers selling it within the UK, the only major retailer is Amazon.

Brushies own website sells them direct to customers, but does not actually offer UK shipping.

Why should you listen to us?

Electric Teeth is an independent organisation with a mission to simplify dental health.

Our team is a mixture of consumers and dental professionals.

We strive to create honest, informative content, telling you the facts, good or bad.

We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.

Why not watch this short video to find out all about us?

And now for a bit more detail….

Brushies was created by 2 mums who are Doctors.

Hilary Fritsch is a dentist and Colleen T Crowley a clinical psychologist.

They drew on their professional expertise and parental knowledge to create the Brushies finger puppet toothbrushes.

Rather than some big corporate looking to create the next best dental product for kids, Brushies has much more humble beginnings and is rooted in making teeth brushing more fun and engaging for children.

Variants of this brush

There are 4 different coloured and slightly different designed finger puppet brushes.

  • Willa the whale is blue in colour
  • Pinkey the pig is pink in colour
  • Chomps the dino is green in colour
  • Momo the monkey is orange in colour

Each finger puppet toothbrush can be purchased individually or with a storybook.

There is then a set which contains all 4 brushes and 4 storybooks.

What’s in the box

The box contents depends on which variant of the Brushies you buy.  For this review my box contained.

  • Momo the monkey toothbrush

Key Features

  • Made from food grade silicone
  • Flexible and durable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA and phthalate-free
  • Recycled packaging
  • Designed by 2 doctor mums
  • Suitable for babies and toddlers aged 0-4 years

Pros & Cons

Here are what I consider to be the pros and cons of the Brushies.

The positives

  • Design – Different colours and patterns to appeal to children.
  • Durable – The food grade silicone is hard wearing, flexible and safe for the teeth and gums of babies.
  • Dishwasher safe – It can be cleaned and sanitisied by being put in the dishwasher.
  • Storybook – Option to buy with storybook to help with the fun and engagement part of brushing.

The negatives

  • Size – Suitable for 0-4 year olds, it is too big for some mouths, too difficult to move around the mouths of some toddlers and does not necessarily fit on the finger of all parents.
  • Independent brushing – It is not designed to encourage independent tooth brushing.
  • Price – Fairly expensive for what it is.

Design, Usability, Clean & General Use

There are several different types of baby/toddler toothbrushes as explained in the buyers guide to baby toothbrushes I wrote.

The official product name does not suggest this is a finger toothbrush, but as you can see from the hands on images, this is exactly what it is.

A standard toothbrush, this is not.

In fact, the makers of the Brushies actually class them as finger puppet toothbrushes.

Why puppets?

Well there are 4 different characters, which means each finger toothbrush is a different colour and has a slightly different design on it.

By giving a colour and character, it makes the brushing experience more fun and engaging for babies and toddlers, as in this early stage of their life, it is about making brushing fun.

The 4 characters and their colours are:

  • Willa the whale is blue in colour
  • Pinkey the pig is pink in colour
  • Chomps the dino is green in colour
  • Momo the monkey is orange in colour

Each brush is sold individually, with a storybook or as a gift pack which includes all 4 brushes and storybooks.

Which and how you buy is up to you.

For the purpose of this review I tested the brush on its own without the story book.

The best way I can describe the brush, is an oversized thimble.

It is like a cap for you your index finger (the one next to your thumb). The silicone covers the top half of your finger protecting the nail and skin beneath, but being designed in such a way that you can control and move your finger.

You essentially place the finger, complete with the Brushie into the babies mouth and move it around to do the brushing.

You can twist the Brushie around on your finger to a position that you find comfortable, but you essentially have a front where the cluster of bristles are and the sides and back have the pattern/design on it.

The silicone is just a couple of mm thick.  Many say it is too thick. I can see why they say this.  I can see the benefits to being thinner, but I liked the idea of a bit of extra protection…more on that shortly.

Made from food grade silicone it is BPA  and phthalate free and is non toxic, meaning it is perfectly safe for children.

Soft to the touch, the movement of the finger brush in and around the mouth of your baby or toddler is not going to cause any damage or oral injuries.

Being soft, it is gentle on the teeth and gums, tongue and cheek tissues and because things like your nail are covered, you can’t scratch their mouths.

The bristles are robust, but soft and flexible in a way that they are helpful in removing plaque and bacteria, but not so stiff that it feels like they are doing more damage than good.

Like a manual toothbrush, it is up to you as the parent to move the Brushie about in the child’s mouth, passing over all the surfaces to clean the mouth.

The bright colours and design of the finger puppet brush can make children more engaged, particularly if you as the parent or guardian can accompany it with wide eyes, big smiles and the generally fun and chirpy tone needed to get babies and toddlers happy and motivated to take part.

Designed by a dentist and a psychologist, thought has gone into the Brushies and what they need to achieve.

Whilst ideally you will brush your child’s teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride based toothpaste, the reality is that in the early days this is simply not always possible.

Of course achieving such is the aim, but doing so in a fun and engaging way and getting the child to be a part of it and accepting the brush is important.

If you can gradually introduce the brush and build up the brushing time to a point that the child is happy to have their teeth brushed, this is more important and better than the perfect brushing technique where you are having to pin down or bribe the child to achieve this!

Toothbrushing, the sensation and necessity is all new to a baby and it takes time for them to understand and adapt.

For some children, the accompanying storybook can be helpful and makeup an important part of the overall experience.

The Brushies book is a rhyming storybook that introduces Momo, Chomps, Willa and Pinkey and their unique personalities and skills for fighting the sugar bugs.

It’s meant to be silly but also educational and help babies and toddlers see brushing as fun.

From my own experience, brushing the teeth and reading a book is a challenge when all the baby wants to do is wriggle free and do something else.  But, every baby and parenting style is different.

Some other parents have complimented the book for the imagery and the rhyming nature.  But it is not without criticism as the story is perhaps a bit weak, focusing on how bad sugar is and stereotyped characters traits.

Suggestions include more advice on how to brush the teeth and longer books.

The Brushies is said to be suitable for babies and toddlers from 0-4 years old.

I am not saying that it can’t be used for such a broad age range but I can’t see many parents choosing to use such a product for that long.

Personally I think this is best for babies from about 2 months old, through to toddlers aged 18 months and my feelings are fairly consistent with other feedback I have seen.

The idyllic marketing images that promote the product, tell a slightly different story.

The brush itself will not fit all adult fingers that well.

It has been designed to fit the vast majority of index fingers, and with my ‘office hands’ it was a snug fit.

However, I can see that men in particular with large hands will simply not be able to wear it and for those with  a particularly dainty fingers it may also be a bit lose.

Admittedly I did not use this brush until my son was 8 months, but for most newborns or young babies the fingerbrush complete with parents finger is simply going to be too large and bulky in their mouth.

Even when the child is a bit older, putting the brush in and moving it around in a way that you can get good coverage can be a bit tricky.  I do believe it is possible, but I think to achieve a brushing that you feel really confident in, your child will have to be very placid and cooperative, something I struggled with a bit.

A thinner silicone might help a bit, but this may compromise long term durability.

Not that you necessarily want bristles all over the finger brush, but I think there could be an advantage to have a few more bristles to offer more surface area for cleaning.

Teething babies and toddlers will find the silicone nice and soft and want to bite on it.  Depending on how firmly they bite, there is only so much the silicone will absorb before your finger feels the pinch.

I certainly learnt that 2 teeth, top and bottom are very effective pincers.

At 3 years old a child has all their milk teeth.

I haven’t tried, but I would rather not stick my finger in their mouth for 2 minutes brushing with this attached.  I think it will be awkward and more prone to being bitten, plus it will be awkward.

I still expect to brush their teeth at 3-4 years old, but I would also like them to be getting to grips with doing it or at least having a go themselves so they learn and understand.  The Brushies does not allow this.

Whilst you should always supervise your child, unlike the Baby Banana brush or Brush-Baby’s cheweable teether, you could not really give them this to use to ease teething pain or take a bit more self control.

Some kids could put it in their mouths completely, a possible choking hazard, something that is more difficult to do with the aforementioned products.

On the plus side for sure is the fact that being silicone it is soft, durable and should last up to 12 months on average before you need to replace it.

You could probably get away with longer, but you will not need replacing every 3 months like a regular toothbrush, where nylon bristles split and fray more easily than the silicone.

The brushies is easy to clean and sterilise.  It is actually dishwasher safe for the ultimate in convenience.

Neatly packaged, the packaging itself is made from recycled materials, a nod to the environment.

So, whilst in my eyes it is not all perfect, there are some benefits, but I haven’t spoken about the price yet.

Summary of Design, Usability, Clean & General Use

  • 4 different characters, each with a different colour brush
  • Made from food grade silicone
  • BPA and phthalate free, non toxic and safe for children
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lasts longer than regular brushes – about 12 months
  • Fits over the index finger like a thimble
  • Won’t fit all fingers
  • Thick silicone can make it too big for some mouths and hard to move around others
  • Can’t be used as a teether
  • Optional story book has nice rhymes and images but a little short and not overly educational, focusing on sugar rather than brushing technique
  • Designed for 0-4 year olds, but practicality suitable for up to 18 months olds

Price & Where To Buy

Designed and manufactured in the USA, here in the UK, the Brishies is only really available through Amazon.

There are some other stockists, but the range is not necessarily as complete or the retailer as well known.

You have 4 different package options you can buy.

  • Package 1
    • The finger brush only.
    • 4 different design options to choose from.
    • £7.50 each
  • Package 2
    • The finger brush with a story book
    • 4 different design options to choose from.
    • £15 each
  • Package 3:
    • All 4 finger brushes with all 4 story books.
    • £28 (£7 per brush)

Bearing in mind, that each Brushie should last for about a year (subject to wear and tear) the price of each is not all that bad at £7.50 each when you consider, during a year period, you may buy 4 regular manual toothbrushes at say £2.50ish each.

The best value comes when you buy the complete set, with all 4 brushes and all 4 books at £28.

This brings the cost down to £7 per brush and includes the books.

Theoretically the brushes could last 4 years so again not bad value.

However, given some of the drawbacks in day to day use as explained earlier, I and many other parents will see this as quite an expensive option.

Most parents will I think get maximum a year out of the Brushies, but really in that time, to help engage your child you want to make use of all 4 characters, so over a year you could be looking at £28.

If you are on a budget, this can seem a pricey option, but for others it might be more than acceptable, if you believe your baby or toddler will respond well to them.

For me, I wasn’t confident enough that I could clean the teeth and mouth well enough with the Brushies that I could justify this expense.  Even if my son was more engaged with Brushies, I would likely still opt for another option for my own peace of mind that I was actually achieving a better overall clean for his overall health.

Please note that all costs quoted are approximates and prices will vary based on location, supplier, time of purchase.  These figures should not be relied on as hard fact but as a guide, based on real information at the time of writing.

Summary of Price & Summary

  • Different prices for different packages
  • £7.50 for an individual finger puppet brush
  • £15 for an individual finger puppet brush and story book
  • £28 for the complete set of 4 brushes and 4 books
  • Not necessarily more expensive if kept for a year
  • More expensive when you factor in actual likelihood of usage time

Reliability & Long Term Use

With all products reviewed here at Electric Teeth, we go hands on.

Each product is actually bought, used, tested and reviewed, so we can speak first hand about our experiences.

The Brushies is no exception.

With the additional help of my 10 month old son, I have tested this toothbrush over the last few weeks with him to come to the conclusions I have.

Ideally we would test products for much longer than a few weeks, but this is not always possible.  However, I have taken into consideration comments of other users of this product.

Made from food grade silicone, I have no immediate concerns about the quality of this product.

It certainly feels and appears to be durable and hard wearing.

To be honest, there is very little to go wrong with it anyhow.  No electrical motors or such like.

The bristles are relatively small, but I do not feel this affects the product or how long it will last for.

No strict guidelines are placed on the ‘usable life’ of this brush, but I would suggest based on other silicone based products 6-12 months is roughly how often you will wish to replace it.

Technically you can use it for longer, but there is no need to replace every 3 months like you might with a regular toothbrush, due to the ability to easily santise the finger brush and the durability to the bristles.

Conclusion

All things considered, I really like the concept of Brushies.

The different characters and the storybooks are certainly a tried and tested method for engaging children.

But, in reality, everyday use and practicality is not quite so rosy and I won’t continue to use this ongoing.

I do believe some parents will absolutely love Brushies as will their baby and toddler.

However, I think for the greater majority, this is an expensive option with fairly limited additional benefit.

The fit of the finger puppet toothbrush in the mouth of the baby can be difficult, it is simply to big.

Not all parents will find it fits on their finger correctly and generally ensuring you brush your child’s teeth properly can be difficult.

I personally found, despite trying to make brushing fun, my finger became a chew thing as my toddler teethed.  There is only so much protection a layer of silicone offers to a finger when there are many a teeth biting down.

And finally, whilst you need to supervise your child when brushing until about 7-8 years old, Brushies offers no opportunity to begin independent brushing.

Without doubt a well presented idea that will work well for some babies and younger toddlers, most parents won’t find it appropriate for children up to 4 years and will likely feel happier using more traditional kids toothbrushes.

Preview Product Rating Price
The Brushies - Baby and Toddler Toothbrush and Storybook The Brushies - Baby and Toddler Toothbrush and Storybook 2 Reviews

Electric Teeth Rating

Size Guide

  • Height – 6cm
  • Width – 2.4cm
  • Thickness – 2.4cm
  • Weight  – 7g

All are approximates

Your Opinions

Do you own or have you used the Brushies Baby and Toddler Toothbrush?

Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?

Let me and other users know your opinions know, your input is valuable.

And of course, should you have any questions, just ask.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Brushies
Author Rating
31star1star1stargraygray
Jon Love

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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