With an estimated 3.5 billion electric toothbrushes sold worldwide last year, the market is continuously growing with plenty of choices at a variety of prices. With that in mind, I regularly scan the dental aisles in various shops to keep up to date with what’s on the market. It’s also where I usually meet a poor soul scratching their head trying to work out which electric toothbrush they should buy. I take mercy on them and step in to offer my expert opinion. Let’s break down some points:
Types of electric toothbrushes
There are several different mechanisms but to keep it simple the two leading types are rotary/oscillating heads and sonic vibration heads.
Rotary/Oscillating heads are small and round, rotating in one direction and then the other, one tooth at a time to sweep plaque away. Often these heads pulsate too.
Sonic heads vibrate at certain high speeds and frequencies to break down plaque as well as agitate the toothpaste and fluid in the mouth to clean between teeth and along the gumline.
So which is more effective? Both will remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush but in clinical trials, sonic brushes removed significantly more plaque – therefore more effective.
Why go electric?
1) You get a far more superior clean and effective plaque removal because you get more brush strokes per minute than you could ever generate yourself with a manual brush.
2) Using an electric toothbrush with the correct technique will prevent overbrushing, which causes irreversible and permanent wearing away of the gums, known as recession (see picture below). The exposed underlying tooth surface is not as strong as the tough outer enamel, leaving it more susceptible to further wear, dental decay, sensitivity and an unpleasing aesthetic appearance.
3) Electric toothbrushes have much smaller heads and are designed specifically to ensure each tooth is cleaned individually, helping you get to all the hard to reach areas.
What I use
I recently switched from an oscillating electric toothbrush to a Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean, a great everyday brush. Do I like it? I love it! Why?
1) It has five different cleaning modes. The deep clean is my favourite as it gives you extra time to really ensure you’ve cleaned effectively.
2) The slick USB travel charger case. I normally never take my electric brush abroad as I worry I won’t be able to charge it, but now I can bring it on all my holidays.
3) Performance. The vibrations from the brush took a couple of cleans to get used to as they tickled my lips and the roof of my mouth at first, but the brush certainly lives up to its claims. I couldn’t stop running my tongue along my teeth after.
For the Gear Junkies
I’ve also tried the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum and I was impressed with the intuitive pressure sensor – a great choice for the aggressive brushers out there. It also comes with a really cool, easy-to-use app which allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your brush head and whether it needs changing. It also highlights focus areas for extra care, sets daily goals, tracks your progress and addresses missed areas. Think of it as having a computerized version of me in the palm of your hand at home coaching you on! Pretty neat and amazing to see how far we’ve come in technology developments.
The Philips Sonicare range starts from £50, which can be daunting for some given it’s a toothbrush. But keep in mind that an investment in your oral hygiene routine could save you money in dental bills in the future. I always say ‘prevention, over cure’!
Still not sure which one is right for you? Try the ‘Sonicare Toothbrush Advisor’ or feel free to contact me - I'm happy to help!