Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide
What is a Electric Toothbrush?
One thing that people hear over and over again is how important oral hygiene is. There are hundreds of oral care products on the market today. With that many choices available, it might be really difficult to decide which ones are worth spending money on and which ones are more hype. Electric toothbrushes are a popular part of oral hygiene but what most people may not know is that most dentists recommend using electric toothbrushes rather than manual ones.
The reason for this recommendation comes from the fact that electric toothbrushes are much better about cleaning the teeth and reaching harder-to-reach spots like between the teeth. They are a great foundation for healthy teeth and gums which result in a much more beautiful smile. With the variety of electric toothbrushes on the market, you might find it frustrating to figure out which one you would like the best. This buyer’s guide will tell you everything you need to know about them and how to tell the good, reliable and long lasting ones from the ones you’ll have to replace a lot.
Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush
There are many positives about using an electric toothbrush. We have outlined them below so you can see how much cleaner and healthier your teeth and gums will be if you replace your regular manual toothbrush with an electric one.
- Faster Brushing– an electric toothbrush moves much faster than you can do on your own manually. It’s this faster brushing that helps to get rid of more plaque and food particles, especially between teeth.
- Easy to Use – Electric toothbrushes are designed to do all the cleaning work for you so users only have to hold the toothbrush in the right place and move it around to different sections of your mouth until you’re covered the entire area. This works very well for younger children who have not developed the muscle and hand control, or for older people who are dealing with illness such as arthritis, carpel tunnel and other ailments.
- Deeper Cleaning – Sometimes it’s hard to reach all areas of your teeth with a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are much better at reaching the hard to reach areas, especially between the teeth and around the gum lines. Because the bristles move to fast, sometimes even rotating, the teeth get a deeper clean than you would be able to provide, especially when it comes to getting rid of plaque.
- Less Pain – As long as your gums are not already inflamed, electric toothbrushes will not cause any pain or discomfort. If your teeth are highly sensitive, you might consider using toothpaste for sensitive teeth as well as warm water to brush with. This will lessen the discomfort that sensitive teeth sufferers can experience.
- Removes Stains Better – Drinking a lot of drinks like coffee, tea, grape juice and sodas as well as smoking can cause the teeth to stain and yellow. The extra power that an electric toothbrush provides can help remove these stains, especially when combined with tooth-whitening toothpaste.
- Promotes Fresher Breath – When bacteria isn’t removed from teeth properly this can lead to bad breath. The extra cleaning that an electric toothbrush provides reduces the amount of bacteria or plaque that is on the teeth which means fewer problems with bad breath, especially when you brush your teeth 2-3 times a day.
- Healthier Teeth and Gums – Using an electric toothbrush regularly has been proven to lower plaque buildup and reduces the chances of gum disease over those who use manual toothbrushes. It’s the consistency and dedication to taking care of your oral hygiene that produces healthier teeth and gums long term.
Things to Think about Before You Start Shopping
Before you start comparison shopping be sure you know the answers to the following questions. They will help you narrow down your choices and you won’t waste time looking at models that don’t fit what your needs are.
- What kind of power source do you prefer? – are you interested in battery operated models or those that you can plug in and recharge?
- Do you travel a lot for business? – If you’re on the road more than at home, you won’t want to have to lug around a big electric toothbrush kit. They have travel cases that you can get for electric toothbrushes, some that have chargers in them. A couple of other factors you will need to check are the longevity of the charge and how easy it is to cart around. Never let the toothbrushes just sit uncovered. This makes it a great target for germs and bacteria.
- Do you prefer a compact toothbrush? – There are many different sized brush heads. You may need a compact one if a child will be using the brush or if you just don’t like the feel of a larger toothbrush in your mouth. Some people have extremely sensitive gag reflexes, so a smaller brush may help with this.
- Do you have special features that are a must have for you? – We go over features that electric toothbrushes can have a little later in the guide, but if you already know that you’re looking for specific features, make sure that you don’t waste your time looking at those that don’t fit into the features you want.
- Do you care about the toothbrush design? – If you want the stand for your electric toothbrush to look good, then style matters to you so look for models that have sleeker or more stylish stands.
Types of Electric Toothbrushes
There are many options that you have to choose from when it comes to buying an electric toothbrush. You want to look at factors such as overall performance, additional features, and customer reviews when deciding. Higher end models will cost more, but unless it has features that you will definitely be using, you won’t need to spend the extra money. There are many ranges of price points available from inexpensive models to the much more expensive. Be sure to check into the cost of replacement heads as well when you are comparison shopping.
Oscillating or Spinning Electric Toothbrush – Spinning toothbrushes will provide anywhere from 3000 to 8000 strokes per minute. A manual toothbrush will typically provide about 600 so as you can see, there is a big difference just in the motion of the bristles alone.
Sonic Toothbrushes – The true “Ferraris” of electric toothbrushes, the heads on these types can provide 40,000 strokes per minute. Sonic electric toothbrushes move side to side rather than in a circular motion. Sonic models clean the teeth deeply and they are favored by many who want an electric toothbrush because of the intense clean feeling they experience after using one.
Some models of electric toothbrushes have specialty bristles that have specific purposes. Specialty bristles may include those that whiten and polish the teeth as well as those designed for those who suffer from tooth sensitivity. If you have specific oral hygiene needs, you will want to look for electric toothbrushes that have features that cater to your specific wants and needs.
Rechargeable Electric Toothbrushes – These toothbrushes can be kept at full charge at all times and because you don’t have to worry about constantly buying batteries, they can be more cost effective over the long term. Rechargeable toothbrushes use a battery pack that is connected to the mains.
Battery Powered Electric Toothbrushes – This type of electric toothbrush requires double or triple A batteries and are easier to transport when going on trips, etc. They are cheaper than rechargeable models, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of buying replacement batteries.
Different Cleaning Modes
There are several different cleaning modes that most electric toothbrushes have available for the user. Some models may have all of them, some may combine modes and others may just have one or two. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can most definitely find an electric toothbrush that has the types of cleaning modes that you want.
- Daily Clean – This is the setting that users will use every day. It is a great setting for the everyday plaque and bacteria removal.
- Polish – This setting will help users whiten their teeth over time. It is often used in conjunction with polishing cups to give a naturally white smile.
- Sensitive – For anyone who suffers from sensitive teeth, this mode is excellent and should be used in combination with a sensitive brush head. This is also the mode that is best for children to use.
- Massage – This mode is used to massage the gum line which is very good for those who are dealing with bleeding gums or gum disease.
- Deep Clean – The deep clean mode is great for really getting all those hard to reach areas. This might be the mode to use once a night before bed or at the very least several times a week.
Electric Toothbrush Features
There are many extra features that electric toothbrushes can come with. Some of the higher end models may have all of them, but some just have a few. It depends whether you want a higher end model or are looking for a more economical variety. Below are features that are commonly offered by different electric toothbrush manufacturers.
Battery level indicator light – This indicator light will let users know when the toothbrush needs new batteries or when it needs to be recharged.
Comfortable Ergonomic Grip – Ergonomic grips are very popular because the toothbrush fits perfectly in your hand and is comfortable to use and hold. Some manual toothbrushes have slender handles which are not always that great to hang on to for the recommended two minutes of brush time.
Variety of Brushing Modes – We talked about the different modes above and depending on the model you’re looking at, you may find that they offer many or at least a few different brushing modes. The more modes the better if you’re looking for a deep clean that will also help with whitening and polishing.
Less Noisy – Electric toothbrushes can be surprisingly noisy. Many of the models on the market today take that into consideration and have come up with noise reduction styles that don’t echo off the bathroom walls while you’re using it for two minutes. This is a popular and much wanted feature especially since those who get up early or who stay up later at night won’t be disturbing other members of the house.
Pressure Sensor – There are some electric toothbrushes that automatically turn off if you start pressing too hard on the teeth and gums while you are using it. This is to protect the sensitive membranes of the mouth and is a good feature to have for younger kids and teens who may not realize that you don’t have to press hard to get the benefits of the electric toothbrush since it does the work for you.
Brush Timer – another great feature if kids are using an electric toothbrush is a timer that automatically shits the toothbrush off at the two minute mark. Other models have timers that pulse or beep every 30 seconds so the user knows to change the area of the mouth they are working on. These can be great for those who want those reminders.
Travel Case – Comes in handy for anyone who travels for business often or for when you go on vacation or other trips. Protects the electric toothbrush from damage and getting dirty and it keeps it sanitary as well.
Charger Stand – Some models may have what amounts to a recharging dock or stand that can be put in the bathroom on the counter. In some models it may be a part of the case and in others it might be a standalone charger. Battery operated models will not typically have charging stands but they still may come with travel cases.
Ultraviolet Sanitizer – Some models of electric toothbrushes come with an ultraviolet sanitizer that kills viruses and bacteria while your toothbrush is charging. This is terrific for maintaining the health of your mouth and gums because toothbrushes can definitely be germ carriers when not properly cared for. If the model of electric toothbrush does not have this as a feature, you can purchase a separate one to use.
Shapes, Sizes and Colors – Electric toothbrushes, whether oscillating or sonic, come in a variety of colors and shapes. The bristles and brush heads can be different shapes as well which may depend on the brand name. Some models can look quite fancy and look great on the counter top but this is all personal preference as to what style you prefer or what color.
Warranties – You may not think that warranties are important for a product as small as an electric toothbrush, but most manufacturers offer them for at least one year and they are good to have. Since they are electric, things can go wrong and it’s nice to have your investment protected. Most warranties will be about 1 year but some companies may offer longer ones.
Buying Electric Toothbrushes for Kids
Electric toothbrushes are not just for adults. They are actually a great investment to make for kids because they will enjoy using them a lot more than they will a manual brush. They promote a good brushing technique for the kids and also help keep their teeth and gums much healthier and cleaner with a lot less effort from the child.
There are a lot of bright and colorful designs available for a child to choose from. There are even character electric toothbrushes in beloved action figure or other movie or TV characters that will encourage a love of brushing even more with your child. Some models even play music or songs to help pass the two minute time frame…the song ends and the child knows they are done.
Look for brushes with a small, soft bristled brush head. You want to find a model that doesn’t require a lot of effort on the part of the child beyond having it in the right place. When they are first learning, it is very beneficial that it doesn’t require a lot of effort. As they get older and learn the process, they can advance to more interactive models.
Keeping it Clean
It may sound a bit strange but it is important to keep your electric toothbrush clean. There are a few things you need to remember to do to ensure that your toothbrush will last and remain a positive health choice for your teeth and gums.
- Brush Head – Rinse your electric toothbrush head thoroughly after every brushing. Get rid of excess toothpaste and any food bits that may have ended up on it from brushing. Once a month you will want to soak the toothbrush head in 1 pt bleach to 10 parts water for at least an hour. After soaking, sine it completely.
- The Base – wipe the base off with a cloth dipped in the bleach solution before you soak the toothbrush head. Once you notice the bristles splaying open, you will need to replace the brush head with a new one. Many electric toothbrush models come with several replacement heads or you can buy them separately.
- The Handle – Your electric toothbrush is an electrical appliance. You should never submerge the entire product in water at any time. The way you can effectively clean it is to take a cloth and dip it into the bleach solution, wipe all over the handle thoroughly, next take a cotton swab and dip that into the bleach solution. This will then be used to clean out the area where the toothbrush head attaches to the handle.
- Don’t store your electric toothbrush in with a bunch of others. You will need to make sure each toothbrush is kept separate in a proper case or that it has a head cover. This is extremely important to prevent the spreading of germs and bacteria from one brush to another.
Electric toothbrushes are popular with many people and once you’ve used one, you’re likely going to want one for yourself and your family members. Since kids love them, they can make fun presents, especially since there are so many styles and designs available. This buyer’s guide has provided all of the information you need to choose the right electric toothbrush for every member of your family. They are fun to use, efficient and very effective. You will definitely notice a difference once you start using one on a regular basis.
Oral hygiene is important and having a good quality electric toothbrush with solid features will help you do your part to get that healthy mouth and attractive smile that you will love showing off.
- Waterpik – https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/water-flosser-toothbrush/WP-900/
- Oral B – https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/
- Health – http://healthproinnovations.com/health-hp-stx-ultra-high-powered-sonic-electric-toothbrush-with-dock-charger-10-brush-heads.html