Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide

Before discussing the electric toothbrush buying guide, let us go through the advantages of electric toothbrush over manual toothbrush.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a toothbrush with soft bristles that fits your mouth well and motivates you for daily brushing. For optimum results, brush twice a day for 2 minutes each.

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The ADA or any other recognized body of dentists across the world doesn’t favor electric toothbrushes over the manual ones. They emphasize more on the correct way of brushing and adopting tooth brushing as a part of your daily routine.

The correct way of tooth brushing implies- placing the bristles at 45 degree angle against the gum line and brushing side-by-side focusing on one to two teeth at a time. Do not apply excessive pressure on the gum line. Tooth brushing should be followed by tongue cleaning and flossing. Brush your teeth in front of the mirror for visual check so that all areas of your mouth are cleaned properly.

Various case studies reported in health journals also approve the opinion that a manual toothbrush can significantly remove the dental plaque, if used properly. Hence, replacing a manual toothbrush with a powered (electric) one would not do any wonder to your oral health.

Read more: Case studies- Manual vs Electric Toothbrush

So, why would someone spend more money to buy an electric toothbrush in the first place?

Why I am writing this post if electric toothbrushes have nothing better to offer in comparison to the conventional manual toothbrushes?

Well, hold on..the scenario is not that dark. It is quite bright actually. The electric toothbrushes would definitely dominate the future of oral health and there are genuine reasons for that.

Various value added features in the latest models of electric toothbrushes make it very easy to follow all the basic rules of tooth brushing. Unlike manual toothbrushes, you just need to give the direction to a piece of electric toothbrush and it would take care of the rest.

Electric toothbrush buying tips

These features in electric toothbrushes make tooth brushing easy. That’s why more and more people are replacing their manual toothbrushes for latest electric models.

Also, people with dexterity problems such as- arthritis and hand injuries- found it hard to grip the thin handle of manual toothbrush. For them, electric toothbrushes with wider bases are better alternatives. Also, there is no need to apply any manual pressure- the electric toothbrush works by itself. You just need to give it the direction.

Similarly, people with vision impairment and mental disorders can attain good results with electric toothbrushes over manual.

Electric toothbrushes are eco-friendly over manual

In case of electric toothbrushes, you just need to change the brush head after every 3 months. But, in case of manual one, the whole unit is disposed off. Hence, electric toothbrushes result in far less plastic waste generation.

Electric toothbrush buying guide

Till now, we have understood that an electric toothbrush makes brushing easy and it can give better cleaning results because of the in-built value added features.

Now, the million dollar question is- how to choose the best electric toothbrush for us?

Things to consider before buying an electric toothbrush:

>> Cleaning Mechanism

Cleaning mechanism is the working principle of an electric toothbrush. It is certainly the most important aspect of an electric toothbrush. There are two basic types of cleaning mechanisms:

  1. Rotating

The latest models of rotating toothbrushes has a small, circular brush head which rotates-oscillates-pulsates to rub off the dental plaque.

Electric toothbrush tips

The high speed pulsating action of the brush head agitates the oral fluids (saliva, water and toothpaste) to remove the plaque from those hard-to-reach areas where the bristles can’t reach actually. It is known as non-contact cleaning effect.

Due to the small size of the brush head, these toothbrushes work on one tooth at a time for better cleaning. Also, the small brush head has better access to each and every corner of your mouth.

2. Vibrating (Sonic)

Electric toothbrushes with vibrating heads came into existence in the early 90s. The brush head vibrates at a super high frequency to break up away the dental plaque. Such a high speed vibrating brush head produces incredibly high brush strokes per minute.

best electric toothbrush buying guide

The non-contact cleaning effect generated in vibrating toothbrushes is far more powerful than the rotating-oscillating toothbrushes. Also, the manufacturers of these toothbrushes claim that super high vibrating speed generates a significant flossing action as well. They try to justify the high cost of these sonic and ultrasonic toothbrushes with these two advantages.

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The brush head design of vibrating toothbrushes is quite similar to manual toothbrushes.

Rotating and vibrating electric toothbrush buying guide

 >> Battery charging facility

The basic model of an electric toothbrush would run on separate AA batteries. But, the latest ones have in-built rechargeable bases. These latest models are compact in size and eco-friendly in nature- no need to dispose of the alkaline batteries. As far as cost is concerned, the initial cost of rechargeable models in high, but, in the long term, the cost difference is not that much because changing the AA batteries frequently would add on a lot of cost.

>> Easy availability of separate brush heads

The latest electric toothbrushes have separate brush head and the handle. Just like a manual toothbrush, you would need to replace the brush head of your electric toothbrush after every 3 to 4 months. Hence, opt for a model whose heads are easily available in the market. To reduce the cost, always buy a multi-pack of brush heads.

Don’t buy an electric toothbrush whose head can’t be replaced because you would need to replace the whole toothbrush every 3 months.

With separate brush heads, the whole family can share one electric toothbrush.

Some electric toothbrushes come with a range of heads. Different heads for different areas/ purposes- interdental (between the teeth), back teeth and tongue cleaning.

>> Travel friendly

If you travel frequently, opt for an electric toothbrush with longer battery backup so that you don’t need to recharge frequently. Some premium toothbrushes include travel cases as well to keep it clean and safe during travel.

>> Look for Warranty and Return Policy

Check for the return policy and money back guarantee, if they offer. If it is going to be your first electric toothbrush purchase, go for a safe bet and choose the one that offers some sort of replacement guarantee. Generally, most of the toothbrushes do include a warranty of around 6 to 12 months.

The Best Electric Toothbrush- Rotating vs Vibrating

If we go by the case studies published in medical journals, both the toothbrushes can significantly reduce the dental plaque and gingivitis upon daily use.

Read more: Case studies: Rotating vs Vibrating toothbrushes

It is more of a personal decision based on your budget and specific requirements.

Opt for an electric brush with rechargeable base, advanced cleaning mechanism and variety of value added features for optimum oral cleaning.

If you have dentures, fillings or orthodontic bands- consult your dentist before choosing the electric toothbrush.

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From where to buy

Braun Oral B series of toothbrushes use rotating-oscillating type cleaning mechanism and Philips Sonicare toothbrushes use vibrating (sonic) technology.

Check these toothbrushes at Amazon for some discounts:

Braun Oral B

If you are from USA, check here

If you are from UK, check here

If you are from India, check here

Philips Sonicare

If you are from USA, check here

If you are from UK, check here

If you are from India, check here

 

References

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/toothbrushes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15001285

https://www.cdha.ca/pdfs/Profession/Resources/tooth_brushing_paper_reprint.pdf

http://www.jicdro.org/article.asp?issn=2231-0754;year=2010;volume=2;issue=3;spage=136;epage=142;aulast=Dadlani

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_toothbrush

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