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Whilst searching for a replacement battery powered toothbrush for my middle son, I spotted this 'My Way' Spinbrush on the shelves at Morrisons, featuring a range of waterproof stickers to that children can decorate and personalise their own toothbrush. Like most young children, my five year old son loves stickers so I knew this toothbrush would appeal to him instantly.
I've purchased similar Spinbrush battery powered toothbrushes in the past as the range includes a number of child friendly designs. This one, however, comes packaged in a box rather than the usual plastic wrapping and, when initially opened, doesn't appear particularly exciting as the toothbrush itself is a pretty basic white design. It's also quite a large, fairly bulky style of brush with the handle being very thick and chunky so I think the recommended minimum age of three years upwards is pretty accurate. I certainly feel that this design is far too big and bulky for my own two year son to hold and use comfortably with his small fingers.
The main attraction of the toothbrush, as far as my five year old son is concerned, is the stickers. This comes complete with over 140 small stickers of various themes - all designed to appeal to a little boy's interests. (The brushes are sold in either 'boy' or 'girl' themes.) There is no attempt at political correctness with the themes as the stickers are all pretty stereotypical topics such as football, dinosaurs, cars and skateboards. Needless to say, my little boy was delighted with the range on offer and immediately set about sticking these on his brush, squeezing as many as he could possibly physically squeeze on to the brush handle. Here the large square sides prove to be useful as there is quite a large surface area to cover so he had a great time decorating his own brush. There is also a sheet of letter stickers included so the child can include their own name - helpful if more than one child in the family owns the same style of brush- or include other slogans and phrases if they wished. I must admit the finished effect is pretty tacky and tasteless, with stickers covering every available surface (apart from the narrow neck, for hygiene and safety reasons) but my son loves his toothbrush!
The stickers themselves were very easy to remove from their backing sheets and to apply to the brush surface and my son didn't need any help whatsoever. Despite his enthusiasm and his lack of attention to detail (so quite a few stickers have ended up overlapping slightly) the stickers have endured surprisingly well and are, indeed, fully waterproof. Despite their haphazard application and regular submersions under water, none of the stickers have peeled away or come loose in almost three months' of use, which has pleasantly surprised me especially as my son had been far too impatient to wait the 30 minutes recommended after application before using his new brush!
The crucial aspect for a parent is, obviously, performance as a toothbrush. I find the combination of a circular rotating brush head along with a static section helps to ensure that my son cleans his teeth thoroughly and covers a large area of teeth at a time, although I do still take over to ensure that he reaches the teeth at the back of his mouth. The brush head is still small enough to fit into his mouth comfortably and the bristles are soft and gentle enough to avoid any damage to teeth or gums, so my son has no complaints about cleaning his teeth regularly.
Despite being battery powered, this brush isn't overly noisy and the movement isn't particularly strong or fast so not likely to overwhelm sensitive young children who aren't familiar with battery powered brushes. My son is able to slide the on/off switch easily independently as it is logically positioned and pretty large. (He has even managed to fit a sticker on the switch itself.)
The two AAA batteries needed to power the brushing motion come supplied and can be replaced if needed, by unscrewing the watertight compartment. Having used this for almost three months, I have noticed a clear deterioration in the speed and power of the 'spin' recently but, given the inability to replace the brush heads, it is more cost effective to replace the entire brush than go to the trouble of replacing the batteries. I have also found, with similar products, that the batteries tend to fade far more quickly if they are replaced so I do wonder whether the process of opening the battery compartment makes them less efficient.
The cost of this product is a major consideration, given its limited lifespan. I paid £4.99 initially and then, annoyingly, I noticed these brushes were on a half price offer just a few weeks later so I actually bought another two as replacements for just £2.49 each as I couldn't resist a bargain.
At anywhere under the £5 mark, I do feel these brushes are good value for money as they are functional products for the period of use and have the added bonus of being able to be personalised by the child themselves. I'd recommend the 'My Way' spinbrush for children from around three years of age up to about eight years old, as by that age, most children would be ready to move onto a more powerful rechargeable electric toothbrush.