How to choose an electric toothbrush: tips

An elec­tric tooth­brush has a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage in con­ve­nience over a tra­di­tion­al man­u­al tooth­brush. How­ev­er, it’s got some stiff competition—we mean son­ic brush­es. Both elec­tric and son­ic tooth­brush­es pro­vide a beau­ti­ful and healthy smile, but they dif­fer in per­for­mance and effec­tive­ness. Which brush to choose? We will tell you!

electric brush price

Brush­ing teeth is one of the basic hygiene pro­ce­dures per­formed every day, and yet not every­one does it. One con­clu­sion fol­lows from this: not only do we not know how to take care of oral hygiene, but we also do not know how to do it cor­rect­ly!

Den­tists say that it is not only the fre­quen­cy and tech­nique of brush­ing that is impor­tant, but also the acces­so­ry we use. Today, there are no prob­lems with pur­chas­ing a reg­u­lar tooth­brush, as they are sold even at gas sta­tions. More and more often on store shelves we can find:

  • elec­tric tooth­brush­es,
  • son­ic tooth­brush­es.

We will dwell on them and under­stand how they dif­fer from each oth­er and which one to choose.

History and evolution of toothbrushes

1950 — That’s when Dr. Hut­son, a peri­odon­tist, devel­oped a brush with fine, soft, dense nylon bris­tles to pro­tect his patients’ gums. Thus was born one of the most pop­u­lar brands today — Oral‑B®. Her exam­ple per­fect­ly shows how tooth­brush­es have evolved and changed. Let’s fol­low their sto­ry!

Anoth­er impor­tant year in the his­to­ry of tooth­brush­es was 1969, when Oral‑B® intro­duced the round­ed tips of the bris­tles, which made brush­ing even more pleas­ant and gen­tle on both the enam­el and the gums. A real rev­o­lu­tion in oral hygiene took place in the 90s of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Name­ly, in 1991, pro­fes­sion­als devel­oped the first Oral‑B elec­tric tooth­brush with a round noz­zle head that cov­ered every tooth. Which worked with an inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy of reverse-rota­tion­al move­ments and pro­vid­ed (and still pro­vides) a more com­plete removal of den­tal plaque. At the same time, son­ic brush­es began to appear, which also pro­vid­ed high-qual­i­ty teeth clean­ing.

Impor­tant­ly, the Oral‑B® brand focused not only on inno­v­a­tive solu­tions for more effec­tive teeth clean­ing, but also on oth­er impor­tant issues, such as: how long you brush your teeth, whether you make the right move­ments, etc. Thus, in 2007, the brand devel­oped a dig­i­tal Smart­Guide ™ with a 2‑minute timer and a quad­rant indi­ca­tor to improve con­trol over the brush­ing process. The nav­i­ga­tor showed the select­ed clean­ing mode, sig­naled when there was exces­sive pres­sure on the brush, and also remind­ed of the need to change the clean­ing place.

In 2016, the Oral‑B® brand intro­duced the inno­v­a­tive Genius 9000 elec­tric tooth­brush, which con­nects to a smart­phone app to use the func­tion of deter­min­ing the posi­tion in the oral cav­i­ty.

electric toothbrush

We’ve cov­ered 60 years of the tooth­brush rev­o­lu­tion for one brand, but what was it like before? No one will be sur­prised if we write that the first tooth­brush was … an ordi­nary wood­en stick. Teeth brush­ing was per­formed sim­ply by bit­ing a twig. We can talk about reg­u­lar brush­es since the 18th cen­tu­ry — then peo­ple start­ed using brush­es with pig bris­tles.

How should you take care of oral hygiene?

As already men­tioned, when it comes to oral hygiene, it is impor­tant:

  • fre­quen­cy;
  • dura­tion;
  • cor­rect tech­nique;
  • tool.

The main ques­tion is how often you should brush your teeth. In this mat­ter, den­tists have been con­sis­tent for many years: you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morn­ing and in the evening. When brush­ing the teeth before going to bed, we will remove the bac­te­ria accu­mu­lat­ed dur­ing the day from their sur­face, as well as get rid of food residues that can harm the teeth and gums. The pro­duc­tion of sali­va, which pro­tects the teeth from bac­te­ria, decreas­es at night, so clean­ing the teeth is manda­to­ry. Brush­ing in the morn­ing helps remove plaque that builds up while you sleep.

Here’s a lit­tle note: it’s best to brush your teeth after every meal, using a mild tooth­paste and a soft-bris­tled brush to avoid dam­ag­ing the sur­face of your teeth.

As for how long to brush your teeth, a min­i­mum of 2 min­utes is sug­gest­ed. And it’s the gold stan­dard that can be found in both elec­tric and son­ic timer tooth­brush­es that beep every 30 sec­onds of brush­ing (sig­nal­ing that the brush­ing area needs to be changed) and after 2 min­utes as a sign that brush­ing is done. can be com­plet­ed. Why is punc­tu­al­i­ty so impor­tant? It turns out that we remove the most plaque in the first 2 min­utes of brush­ing! In addi­tion, the active com­po­nents con­tained in the paste, such as flu­o­ride, dur­ing this time pen­e­trate deeply into the tooth enam­el and have a pos­i­tive effect on its struc­ture.

Regular manual toothbrush vs electric and sonic toothbrush

Elec­tric and son­ic tooth­brush­es have a big advan­tage: the noz­zle heads move much faster than a reg­u­lar man­u­al brush. It should also be remem­bered that the tech­nique of clean­ing an elec­tric tooth­brush and a son­ic brush is dif­fer­ent and is main­ly deter­mined by the shape of the noz­zle. In the case of elec­tric tooth­brush­es, where the head of the attach­ment is round and cov­ers each tooth indi­vid­u­al­ly, our task is only to put the head on the tooth and watch the time. In the case of the son­ic tooth­brush, it is advis­able to use an addi­tion­al hand move­ment: a wide move­ment, as with a reg­u­lar tooth­brush. An ordi­nary man­u­al tooth­brush requires maneu­ver­ing, so we make more efforts — no won­der, accord­ing to research, Ukraini­ans do not brush their teeth long enough and thor­ough­ly.

The advan­tage of recharge­able elec­tric tooth­brush­es is that they work inde­pen­dent­ly of the pow­er grid, requir­ing recharg­ing only once every 10–14 days. More­over, they are much more effi­cient than man­u­al brush­es, because they make tens of thou­sands of move­ments per minute and reach hard-to-reach places, as well as per­form move­ments in dif­fer­ent planes. They are equipped with addi­tion­al func­tions that facil­i­tate prop­er brush­ing. It is worth not­ing that one tooth­brush can be used by all fam­i­ly mem­bers — the noz­zles are inter­change­able, so the whole fam­i­ly can use one device by chang­ing only the noz­zle.

Is the shape of the cleaning head important?

Yes, the choice of noz­zles, and espe­cial­ly their clean­ing head, is of great impor­tance. Here, on the podi­um, a round clean­ing head, sim­i­lar to a pro­fes­sion­al den­tal instru­ment, appears. Thanks to this shape, the bris­tles of the attach­ments cov­er the tooth from all sides, pen­e­trate into the inter­den­tal spaces and thor­ough­ly remove plaque and food residues. There­fore, round noz­zles are suit­able for every­one.

The Oral‑B® brand is worth men­tion­ing here again, as it is the only one that uses a triple head move­ment in elec­tric tooth­brush­es, name­ly rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing and pul­sat­ing move­ments, thus increas­ing the effec­tive­ness of plaque removal.

In the case of a noz­zle head with an elon­gat­ed oval shape, as in a son­ic tooth­brush, the effect of cov­er­ing one tooth with bris­tles is not observed. The bris­tles in these brush­es move in two planes: from side to side.

The advan­tage of the round head of elec­tric tooth­brush­es over the elon­gat­ed oval head of son­ic and man­u­al tooth­brush­es is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of more thor­ough and del­i­cate removal of plaque from hard-to-reach places, such as the inner sur­face of the low­er front teeth, where tar­tar is most often formed or in places of crowd­ing and mal­oc­clu­sion.

Advantages and operation of an electric toothbrush

Fun fact: Any tooth­brush that isn’t a man­u­al tooth­brush and has a bat­tery that requires elec­tric­i­ty is an elec­tric tooth­brush. Accord­ing to this state­ment, the son­ic tooth­brush is also elec­tric. The dif­fer­ence lies main­ly in the shape of the clean­ing head and the way it moves.

The clean­ing head of the clas­sic elec­tric tooth­brush head is round and moves left and right with­in 45 degrees (rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing move­ments) and per­forms pul­sat­ing move­ments. Some com­bine these two types of move­ments to remove plaque more effec­tive­ly. Experts agree that with the help of an elec­tric tooth­brush we can remove 2 times more plaque than is pos­si­ble with a man­u­al tooth­brush.

Advantages and operation of a sonic toothbrush

The gen­er­al prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of son­ic brush­es is to use the vibra­tions of the bris­tles of the brush to mechan­i­cal­ly remove bac­te­r­i­al plaque. The addi­tion­al effect of cre­at­ing a cloud of bub­bles helps to trans­fer tooth­paste with active com­po­nents that strength­en teeth. The whole process is pos­si­ble due to the fact that dur­ing clean­ing there is a liq­uid in the mouth con­sist­ing of paste, water and sali­va. The sound wave gen­er­at­ed by the brush in the water medi­um is trans­formed into a hydro­dy­nam­ic wave, con­tribut­ing to the for­ma­tion of microbub­bles. It is amaz­ing to see that tra­di­tion­al elec­tric tooth­brush­es with a round head also gen­er­ate a sound wave with a fre­quen­cy of 37 to 400 Hz, and also cause a cloud of bub­bles and a hydro­dy­nam­ic wave. What dis­tin­guish­es a son­ic tooth­brush from a tra­di­tion­al elec­tric tooth­brush is, first of all, the shape of the noz­zle head and the way it moves. In the case of an son­ic tooth­brush, the noz­zle has an elon­gat­ed oval shape and moves from side to side (vibrates). This tooth­brush is shaped like a reg­u­lar brush and makes it eas­i­er for the user to switch from a man­u­al tooth­brush to an elec­tric brush with a small round head that cov­ers each tooth indi­vid­u­al­ly.

Additional functions of toothbrushes, useful for proper oral hygiene

Son­ic and elec­tric tooth­brush­es (with a round head) can have dif­fer­ent types of clean­ing (up to 6 clean­ing modes), and are also equipped with options that sup­port dai­ly oral hygiene. They are equipped with a bat­tery charge indi­ca­tor, a pres­sure indi­ca­tor and a pro­fes­sion­al timer. Impor­tant­ly, the bat­tery can last up to 14 days with­out recharg­ing.

The pres­sure indi­ca­tor pro­tects our enam­el from dam­age and our gums from irri­ta­tion — in prac­tice, the speed of brush move­ments is reduced and the device lights up a warn­ing light, if it is equipped with one.

The pro­fes­sion­al timer mon­i­tors the brush­ing time — every 30 sec­onds it emits a short sound or vibra­tion sig­nal (time to change the brush­ing area) and after 2 min­utes of brush­ing a long sound or vibra­tion sig­nal (a sign that brush­ing can be com­plet­ed).

In some elec­tric tooth­brush­es, we can find a Blue­tooth func­tion with which we can con­nect to a mobile device with a free appli­ca­tion installed. Thanks to the appli­ca­tion, we will be able to observe in real time how we brush our teeth. This is an inter­est­ing solu­tion, espe­cial­ly for peo­ple who start their adven­tures with this type of tooth­brush­es, who often do not know how to brush their teeth prop­er­ly. Chil­dren should be hap­py with this solu­tion, as the app encour­ages them to brush their teeth and teach­es them to do it cor­rect­ly.

Which brush is for adults?

Man­u­al, elec­tric or sound? It all depends on per­son­al pref­er­ences. Con­sid­er­ing the effi­cien­cy of the action, the elec­tric tooth­brush is the best, due to the fact that it per­forms counter-rotat­ing and pul­sat­ing move­ments. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, son­ic tooth­brush­es don’t, and when it comes to oral hygiene, it’s impor­tant to thor­ough­ly remove plaque and food residue. Of course, the son­ic option also has sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages, as the elon­gat­ed brush head resem­bles a man­u­al tooth­brush, mak­ing the tran­si­tion to the world of elec­tric tooth­brush­es eas­i­er.

Can children use sonic and electric toothbrushes?

Yes, man­u­fac­tur­ers also remem­ber chil­dren and have pre­pared inter­est­ing col­or options for them, which are also effec­tive in clean­ing teeth. Chil­dren’s brush­es are cor­re­spond­ing­ly small­er, and the shape of the noz­zle is adapt­ed to small teeth and del­i­cate gums. We will meet here a col­or­ful pen, often with print­ed heroes of favorite fairy tales and car­toons, to fur­ther encour­age young chil­dren to brush their teeth.

children's electric toothbrush

Which tooth­brush for chil­dren to choose? Def­i­nite­ly from a lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­er, because then we will have a guar­an­tee that the fiber used for the bris­tles is safe and non-tox­ic, and the device itself is suit­able for use by small chil­dren. In addi­tion, the best tooth­brush­es are equipped with addi­tion­al fea­tures, such as mon­i­tor­ing the dura­tion of brush­ing and a mobile appli­ca­tion, where the child can mon­i­tor the move­ments of the brush and learn how to brush prop­er­ly.

Prices for electric and sonic toothbrushes

Remem­ber that, as with man­u­al tooth­brush­es, elec­tric tooth­brush­es require reg­u­lar replace­ment of the noz­zles, so when choos­ing brush­es, you should con­sid­er the price of replace­ment noz­zles.

A good tooth­brush is one that makes brush­ing a plea­sure, not a chore. A prop­er­ly select­ed brush will not only not dam­age the enam­el and will not cause the gums to bleed, but will also empha­size the nat­ur­al white­ness of the teeth. After brush­ing, our teeth should be shiny and smooth. How to get this effect? Elec­tric and son­ic tooth­brush­es mean com­fort and con­trol over prop­er oral hygiene. They will help you get beau­ti­ful, white teeth and a per­fect smile.

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