Which Electric Toothbrush is Best for You?


Many people can do a proper job brushing their teeth if they use a quality toothbrush and devote the proper time and effort. However, using an electric toothbrush has been proven to reduce plaque and gingivitis levels beyond what most people achieve with a manual toothbrush. If your dentist suggests that you start using an electric toothbrush, that means that your oral health requires a brush that provides extra TLC to your mouth and that can better reach difficult areas that are easy to miss.

With the marketplace flooded with so many different models, how do you choose the electric toothbrush that’s best for you? First, it’s important to set your budget, since electric toothbrushes can cost as little as $15 to several hundred dollars. Advanced features, such as a sensitive teeth setting, gum massage and battery level display are only included on higher priced models.

One aspect that impacts your cost of ownership is whether you choose a rechargeable or battery operated model. Battery operated electric toothbrushes take standard batteries (typically AA size), which are readily available and tend to be the lowest priced models. However, that low price often means that your electric toothbrush is little more than a manual toothbrush that vibrates. Also over time the costs associated with frequently replacing batteries adds up.

Electric toothbrushes are either sonic or rotating-oscillating. Sonic models vibrate from side to side, while rotating-oscillating models rotate in one direction and then reverse. Rotating-oscillating models can also have a pulse option, which causes the bristles to pulsate  and require very little work on your part: hold the toothbrush against your teeth for a few seconds and then move the brush over. Sonic models require you to move the brush to and fro yourself. Another difference is that sonic models tend to have regular size brush heads, while the brush head on rotating-oscillating models is smaller, which makes it easier to reach difficult areas.


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If you tend to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush, then look for a model with a pressure sensor. These models signal when you are applying too much pressure, which can help you scale back the amount of pressure you’re using.

Decide whether you need a basic model or want more bells and whistles. Optional features such as a travel case, UV sanitizer, variable speed settings and different head sizes definitely enhance the brushing experience, but are not necessary for everyone. However, if you know that certain features will increase the chances that you’ll use the selected electric toothbrush regularly and consistently, then you should seek out a model that includes them.

Most models include a two minute timer. Consider whether you would like a model where the timer simply signals the two minute mark or whether you want a model that shuts off at two minutes. Some models include thirty second quad spacers, where the timer beeps every thirty seconds to help you spend equal time on each of the four quadrants.

To help keep cost of ownership in check, see how often the manufacturer recommends changing the brush head. Many manufacturers recommend replacing every three months, which depending on the price of the given replacement could wind up costing a bundle long-term.

When making your purchase, ensure that your electric toothbrush comes with a money-back guarantee and a warranty. The money-back guarantee allows you to request a refund if you find that the brush head doesn’t work for you once you use it at home. The warranty protects you for the stated period against malfunctions due to defects.

At the end of the day, buying an electric toothbrush is an investment in your oral health. Purchasing a model that works for you and that you will use regularly is key to selecting the model that’s right for you.

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