If you’re still using the manual toothbrush you should know you’re missing out on a lot of benefits. Besides the fact that you may produce more damage than good to your gums and enamel, manual brushing is tedious and tiring. There’s no wonder why kids seem to hate it so much!
An electric toothbrush will reduce the time spent with teeth cleaning, but will also make the activity a bit more fun. Furthermore, these devices deliver more speed and focus on both protecting and cleaning. The bristles are softer and the movements of the toothbrush allow them to reach the furthest places of your mouth. Not to mention that some toothbrushes are equipped with a module for gum massage and protection; which is just as important as the cleaning.
Now, if you’re looking for a cool electric toothbrush, you may be astonished by the plethora of products on the market. Naturally, the first instinct would be to choose the cheapest one, but if you are about your teeth and want to stay away from dentists, we recommend being a bit wiser in this approach.
To help our readers in choosing the top-quality product for their needs, we reviewed some of the best toothbrushes available on the market following criteria such as speed, power, modes, price, and efficiency. Below you can read about each of these products and why they may be a good choice for you.
Foreo ISSA 2 – Editor’s Choice
- 365 days of power with one charge
- Bristles made of bacteria-resistant silicone
- Soft on the gums
- Integrated tongue cleaner
Our Rating: 9.8/10
The ISSA 2 from Foreo is quite the sensation on the market of electric toothbrushes! With a long-lasting charge, soft silicone bristles, and an aspect that will charm anyone, this toothbrush is definitely an admired product.
The cool thing is that it comes with several interchangeable heads so it provides for everyone’s needs (even designed for kids’ use). The brush also delivers sonic pulses to break up plaque and remove it from your teeth and gums without damaging the enamel.
Furthermore, the handle is equipped with tiny LEDs that notify you when you’ve done a good job brushing (a feature that works great for both kids and adults). In consequence, when you’ve brushed for at least two minutes, you’ll see a smiley face lighting up on the handle. On the other hand, if you’ve done a superficial job, you’ll see a sad face on your toothbrush handle.
Goby – Best Value
- Multi-colored design
- Comes with hygienic stand
- Easy to use due to the oscillating head
- Timer to ensure you do a thorough brush every time
Our Rating: 9.5/10
The Goby is one of the best toothbrush brands on the market due to the series of features it packs in an extremely affordable design. First, the toothbrush comes equipped with a special stand that also serves as a charging station. This allows you to keep the brush part away from the sink or the countertop while the product is idle or charging. To increase the protection of the bristles against bacteria, the head is also designed with a cover, which makes the toothbrush better suited for travels.
The oscillating head reduces the effort you have to do during brushing to a minimum and handle is equipped with a two-minute timer that prompts you every thirty seconds. This way, you know when to change the toothbrush and when you’re done doing a thorough job.
Finally, the bristles are soft and provide a gentle but thorough brushing.
Quip – Exceptional Teeth Cleaning
- A complete set equipped for 3 months of usage
- Durable handle & elegant design
- Cleans without damaging the enamel or the gums
- Soft nylon bristles
Our Rating: 9.3/10
The Quip toothbrush is a bit different than most designs on the market as it gets a lot closer to the standard design. The handle is a bit thicker than with a manual toothbrush but it is easy to hold and doesn’t wear off easily.
The toothbrush requires 3 batteries (residing in the handle) and is equipped with an electric motor that runs at 15,000 RPM. This is enough to provide a thorough cleaning without bringing any harm to the enamel or gums.
Both the batteries and the brushing head should be replaced once every three months, but this is easily secured through the Quip package deals (please read more about this on their site). The head is designed with 1,200 nylon bristles and has a cover to protect the toothbrush while traveling.
Being lightweight and fairly compact, the product is perfect for small bathrooms and for when you travel.
Oral-B Pro 5000 – Perfect Electric Brush
- Round brushing head for better results
- Bluetooth communication with your phone
- 3D cleaning action
- 5 brushing modes
Our Rating: 9/10
Oral-B is well-known in the niche of oral hygiene so you shouldn’t be amazed to find their electric toothbrush on our list of reviews. The Pro 5000 design is one of the best in the market due to the round brush head, the micropulse bristles, and the fact that it can track your brushing habits in order to provide you with real-time feedback.
The toothbrush is designed with 5 working modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, and Deep Clean) and it has a sensor that warns you if you put too much pressure on your teeth (it shines a red light and even sends a message to your phone).
The head oscillates, pulsates, and rotates in your mouth in order to break up the plaque and provide a thorough cleaning on and around each tooth. It also takes care of your gums and keeps you in check when you’re brushing too hard.
Oral-B Pro 1000 – Amazon’s Choice
- Best choice for portability paired with high-end cleaning
- Removes 300% more plaque than manual brushing
- Included handle timer that warns you every 30 seconds
- Works with different heads
Our Rating: 8.9/10
The Oral-B Pro 1000 with 3D action is one of the best electric toothbrushes on the market! The bristles are angled to make sure they get in between the teeth during brushing, and the head rotates and pulsates in order to break and remove the plaque.
The brush is also extremely efficient in removing surface stains and does a great job in removing plaque along the line. Furthermore, the handle is equipped with a pressure sensor and a timer. This way, you are notified every 30 seconds that it’s time to change the brush’s position, and you are warned if you press too hard on the teeth and gums.
The handle can also be used with a variety of Oral-B brush heads, to cover all your teeth cleaning needs. However, you will have to purchase these heads separately as the toothbrush only comes with the standard head.
When to Switch
As an answer to the ‘should you change your toothbrush question’: definitely yes! Toothbrushes, both manual and electric get worn out in time and, they may get cluttered with dust mixed with toothpaste leavings (in time).
The real question here is when to change your toothbrush, and the answer is dependent on your brushing habits. First, you should consider making the switch to a new one every three or four months, but if you see bristles in disarray/frayed or you feel your teeth aren’t as clean as they used to be after brushing you may want to make the switch sooner.
The best way to tell it’s time to change your brush or brush head is by looking at the bristles. If they bend, it’s time for a new one! Also, make sure to appreciate the cleanliness of your teeth by running your tongue across them after every brush. If they don’t feel slippery clean, it means the brushing wasn’t effective.
The same goes for electric toothbrushes – the head you’re using on every brush should be changed once every three or four months. However, if you don’t brush twice a day (which is highly not recommended) your toothbrush may last longer.
It’s also important to replace your toothbrush sooner than three months if you have been sick in this time period. Furthermore, if you keep your brush in the same cup holder with other toothbrushes, it’s best to make the switch faster.
In terms of bacteria that may build up around the bristles, specialists say it’s not a real threat as long as you don’t use a plastic cap. It may seem like you’re protecting the brush, but the cap doesn’t allow the toothbrush to dry, maintaining a favorable environment for fungi and bacteria. So, to prolong your toothbrush’s life, simply place it upright and let the air dry it in between uses. This will kill all the bacteria that may want to set up shop in your brush.
Types of Brushes (Electric Vs. Manual)
When it comes to the type of brushes, there are several ways to differentiate and categorize them. For instance, some brushes have special bristles, to provide for the needs of people with sensitive gums and teeth, while others are equipped with a tongue cleaner.
However, the best way to divide most toothbrushes right now is by their power source: manual and electric. And this is the comparison we’re going to discuss in this section.
Are manual toothbrushes bad for oral hygiene?
If you would consider the marketing campaigns for electric toothbrushes you may as well toss your manual toothbrush out the window. After all, who would want to deal with such an archaic way of cleaning your teeth?
But the situation is not as dire as producers and salespeople want you to think! Yes, manual toothbrushes have some disadvantages in front of electric ones, but hey, we’ve been using them for decades and we still have good teeth!
The disadvantage stands in your discipline and if you are ready to combine brushing and flossing every time you work on your oral hygiene. Yes, flossing is very important for the health of your gums and if you don’t do it regularly you will be sorry when you get older.
Another disadvantage stands in the way you brush. If you put too much pressure on the teeth you may end up with more problems because such a rough brush can lead to bloody gums and chipped enamel.
In conclusion, the benefits of an electric toothbrush are as follows:
- Better brushing technique – Given you are only holding the toothbrush and the head does the work, you don’t have to worry about how to move the brush.
- Flossing is included – Most electric toothbrushes today are equipped with special heads and bristles that work on the space in between teeth and gums. This compensates for those days when you forget about flossing.
- Pressure is just right – The electric toothbrush is equipped with pulsating moves to provide gentle pressure and break up the plaque without damaging the teeth.
Naturally, there are some disadvantages as well! For instance, an electric toothbrush is rather noisy, it needs a power source (electricity or batteries), and it’s quite bulky. All these make it a bit of an inconvenience when you’re traveling.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Each brushing device has its own pros and cons, and you should consider your own needs and budget (electric toothbrushes are a bit more expensive than manual ones). We tend to lean more towards the electric toothbrush because it’s more convenient and provides better results for everyone. But if you know yourself to be disciplined and you already have a routine, a manual toothbrush would do just fine!
When it comes to maintenance, it’s very important to keep your toothbrush clean! Whether you’re using a manual or an electric device, it’s important to rinse the bristles under clean tap water to wash the lingering toothpaste and saliva. Make sure all the debris are gone before you stop the cleaning process, and place the toothbrush in a vertical position, away from dusty places.
Make sure to not use a plastic cover for the head while the bristles are still moist. The cover will maintain the humid environment, which leads to bacteria thriving in your toothbrush! Only when the bristles are dry, you can place the brush in a protective cover.
Inspect your brush’s condition from time to time and make sure the bristles are in good form. If you see some of them are bent or in disarray, it’s time to replace it with a new product. Also, if some of the bristles appear worn out, this means you’re brushing too hard and you’re putting pressure only on one side of the brush. Naturally, if you can see this, the brush must be changed, but you also should check your technique.
Finally, each toothbrush should be changed every three or four months even though it doesn’t show any signs of wear and tear. You can try deep cleaning using UV light or other sanitizers available on the market, but it’s important to know when to let go (even if you’ve spent a lot of money on your brush head!).
The size is important for people who travel a lot, given that you would need a device that’s portable. But it’s also important to consider the person who will be using it. If, for instance, you buy an electric toothbrush for a child, you would want it to be reasonably sized.
The handle is usually the biggest part of the brush as it contains the motor, the batteries (for portable ones) or other systems for more advanced features. So, if you’re buying the brush online, make sure to read reviews and check for how easy users got used to the handle. If it’s difficult to hold by people with small hands or if the device is heavy, it can become weird to brush for two minutes at a time.
It’s also important to consider the head – if it’s too big you may feel weird during the first uses. Most brushes feature a small, rounded head, but some designs feature an oval shape that looks like an extension of the body. Overall, the aspect is nice, but make sure you can feel comfortable with such a head.
Finally, if you’re just making the switch to an electric toothbrush, it’s best to prepare yourself. Start with a smaller design, to get used to the sensation and move on to bigger ones, with more features, in time.
The bristles are the ones in charge of the actual cleaning of your teeth so you must make sure their softness and material fit your needs.
Most producers will feature nylon bristles, but the most recent designs feature a combination of nylon and silicone that works best for people with sensitive teeth and gums. Furthermore, designs made to be used by kids may have bristles made entirely of silicone to provide a soft, gentle brushing experience.
So, if you have sensitive teeth or your gums tend to bleed when you’re using a brush with nylon bristles, it’s best to switch to one made of silicone. Naturally, you should also talk to your dentist about this, as bloody gums can be caused by more serious problems.
Now, besides material, you should also pay attention to how the bristles are disposed on the brush. Most modern brushes feature bristles of different thickness and they use color to highlight the difference. This is done to better clean and reach various parts of your mouth. Furthermore, some producers even use differently angled bristles to reach places in your mouth a regular brush couldn’t. By using angled bristles, the brush will also take care of flossing and cleans the base of your gums (areas that are usually ignored).
Extending the Life
Nothing is better than having your natural teeth for as long as possible. We know you’re probably thinking about eating and looking good in general, but studies show that natural teeth give strength to the jawbone, which is important for a good level of health. Naturally, when you can eat without an impediment and your food is properly chewed, your digestive system will work better, resulting in a healthier body and a better life.
Now, in many cases, if you take good care of your natural dentures, you have the chance of keeping them for a lifetime. The secret is to take good care of them and do everything possible to extend their life. It sounds simple enough, right?
Well, it may be simple in theory, but in practice, it requires a lot of discipline and a thorough brushing technique. Even more, teeth require constant care – it’s not something you can work on as a young person and forget about as an adult.
The good news is that, once you form a habit, you’ll be able to keep it going your entire life. But what exactly does dental maintenance mean? Below we listed some of the most important steps you need to follow for this:
- Regular brushing – Brushing is the best way to clean your mouth and remove plaque and harmful bacteria, which is why you learn how to do it from a very young age.
- Flossing – Whether you choose to do it manually or with an electric toothbrush or water flosser, the idea is to clean the tight places from in between your teeth. The advantage of using an electric device is that this can also reach and treat the area at the base of your gums.
- Regular dentist visits – You should go for a checkup at least once every six months. This way, your dentist has the possibility to discover and prevent any minor problems before they turn big.
- Eating right – Your teeth require nourishment to be strong, so it’s important to eat foods that will provide for them. Make sure to include in your diet foods like cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, carrots, apples, celery, and so on.
- Stay away from food/drinks that stain – Coffee, red wine, cigarettes, beets, and more should be banished from your diet if you want sparkly-white teeth. These items contain powerful colorants that, in time, stain your teeth and give them a yellowish color.
How Often Should You Brush
No two persons have the same oral hygiene habits as we tend to adapt to our own situation in life. For instance, some people like to brush their teeth after every meal while others consider it’s enough to brush in the morning and in the evening. Of course, there are people who only brush once a day and people who do it when they remember it, but we’re not going to talk about bad oral hygiene habits in here.
As it turns out, there is such a thing as too much brushing. If you overdo it, the constant friction can damage the enamel, which, in time, leads to cavities. Furthermore, if you don’t change your brush when the bristles start to look torn, you also run the risk of damaging your teeth.
This happens because the bristles get sharp and they start to pick apart your teeth’s structure instead of cleaning and protecting them. When you first start using a toothbrush, the bristles are shaped like a dome at the tip. This protects the enamel and cleans the mouth nicely. But, as you use the brush, the bristles start to get sharper, leading to a genuine weapon of mass destruction for your teeth.
So, what’s the right frequency?
According to specialists, you should brush at least twice a day (in the morning and right before you go to bed) but it is best if you throw in a midday brush, after you take lunch. This will keep your teeth safe from the foods you eat in the middle of the day and will provide protection until the evening.
It’s also important to know how to brush, because applying too much pressure can also be damaging. Use short and gentle strokes and put your focus on repetition rather than force – after all, you’re not scrubbing the floors!
For a thorough cleaning, it’s important to reach both the outer and the inner surfaces, but you should also consider cleaning your tongue.
We know you are religious about brushing and flossing your teeth, but how often do you give your tongue a brush? Studies show that most people tend to forget about the biggest muscle in their mouth and many don’t even consider they should be using the toothbrush on the tongue.
Yet, most toothbrushes, both manual and electric are equipped with a tongue scraper on the back. But you don’t have to use that one if you’re not comfortable! There are special devices on the market, called tongue scrappers that can help with this delicate operation. We recommend getting a metal one, as it prevents the gag reflex that naturally shows up when you first start cleaning the tongue.
If you don’t have a tongue scraper and your toothbrush doesn’t feature one, you can use the bristles of a toothbrush (not as effective as a special cleaner); just make sure you don’t put too much pressure on the brush as the surface of the tongue is very sensitive.
Now, regardless of the device you choose, it’s important to make sure you are cleaning/brushing correctly. The idea is to use linear motions, brushing from the root of the tongue towards the tip. This way, you get the dirt out of your mouth instead of rubbing it deeper inside. It’s important to use the tool several times and make sure to be thorough at the back (most food and bacterial debris live there).
Why do I need to brush my tongue?
Yes, it can be weird, and in most cases, you will have that gag reflex showing up (at least at first). But most bacteria in your mouth live on your tongue. So, even if you are religious with your brushing, the bacteria on the tongue will jump back on the teeth in a few hours. This is why it makes no sense at all to be cleaning the teeth without brushing the tongue as well!
Not to mention, a dirty tongue leads to bad breath and can harbor bacteria harmful to your general state of health.
According to specialists, it’s enough to clean your tongue once a day – just a few gentle strokes and you’re done!
Choosing Beverages Wisely
We already mentioned that there are some beverages that can stain your teeth, but what about those that can wreak more havoc? Sadly, many of the beverages we consume today are harmful for the teeth because of high sugar content.
The problem comes from the fact that, when you consume a beverage you’re basically bathing your teeth and tongue in it. So, the content of that drink can reach all over your mouth, taking advantage of tiny cracks in the enamel. In time, these cracks get bigger, leading to cavities and disturbing your life and your oral health.
This is why it’s important to learn about the two main culprits that make beverages unhealthy for your teeth: sugar and acid. Both attack the enamel and can be found in virtually every modern drink such as:
- Sweetened coffee and tea
- Wine (contains acid)
- Sodas, diet sodas and sportive drinks (both sugar and acid)
- Ice – when you chew on it
- Caffeinated drinks with lots of whipped cream
Of course, the list can easily get longer, but we believe you should know it’s not just about the content of the drink; it’s also about the way you drink it. According to specialists, if you like nursing a beverage and you like taking small sips, the damage to your teeth will be greater than when you drink it quickly because you keep the contact longer.
Furthermore, drinking with a straw showed to be the greatest way to enjoy a sugary drink! This way, the liquid passes directly into your digestive system. Of course, it would be ideal to avoid harmful drinks altogether, but if there’s no other way, drinking them quickly using a straw is always better.
Our teeth are protected by enamel, which is the hard outer layer you can feel when you’re running the tip of the tongue over the teeth’s surface. However, foods and beverages containing acids and sugar are constantly attacking this protective layer, which in time can lead to cracks in the enamel.
But there’s a way to make the enamel more resistant (besides rigorous cleaning) and this is by the intake of fluoride. This is a mineral, naturally present in water and some of the foods we consume, that helps prevent tooth decay and makes the enamel more resistant to plaque bacteria attacks.
However, the fluoride we get naturally is not enough to protect us from the acidic sugary foods and drinks we consume in the modern age. This is why many types of toothpaste also contain fluoride, and in some areas, it is added directly to the water supply.
If this is not enough, you should talk to your dentist as there are more direct ways to add fluoride such as gels or varnishes. However, these are only available based on a doctor’s prescription and you should never use them without proper indications.
According to specialists, the best time to be exposed to fluoride is between the ages of 6 and 16, when the permanent dentures are settling in. But you should also continue using special toothpaste as an adult because it helps in fighting tooth decay and it keeps your teeth strong against the constant badgering of bacteria.
Many people consider mouthwash to be a must-have in their oral hygiene toolkit, but there are voices that claim this is just a marketing scheme. So is mouthwash actually helping our daily brushing routine?
As you probably know by now, the market is flooded with all sorts of products that claim to give you the perfect oral health you’ve been dreaming about. Furthermore, mouthwash comes in different colors, which can be quite misleading and confusing. So what’s the deal with that?
Well, the color and actual benefits are highly dependent on the ingredients used. So, before you choose based on color, make sure to read the label. Here’s what you should find on it:
- Alcohol – It kills bacteria and germs that reside in your mouth even after you finished cleaning and brushing. As a side note, not all mouthwash products contain alcohol, but they will always contain something that’s just as effective.
- Detergents – Not the kind you’re using to wash your clothes, but the kind that will help dislodge and remove any food debris or plaque.
- Water – The agent that dissolves all the ingredients and creates the mouthwash blend.
- Preservatives – Even with alcohol and detergents in its content, some bacteria may grow in the mouthwash, which is why it’s important to use preservatives.
- Flavors – Mint, eucalypt, or even lemony, the color and taste of your mouthwash are decided by the flavor agents.
You may also find products that aggressively promote their fluoride content because it helps prevent tooth decay, but this is not usually contained in most blends.
We had a chat with the specialists in the industry and it seems there are studies that prove mouthwash is actually efficient. As long as you’re using it properly (after brushing and flossing) and you’re only using it for rinsing your mouth (not swallowing), the benefits can be great:
- Reduces plaque and gingivitis
- Gives you a fresh breath
- Provides additional protection against tooth decay
- Reduces the type and number of bacteria living in your mouth
There seems to be a bit of a war going on between the supporters of a classic, standard manual toothbrush and the people who made the switch to electric and loved it. Of course, there are pros and cons on both sides, but when you run the comparison the manual toothbrush gets left behind.
If you don’t believe us, take a look at the pros and cons we highlighted below:
- Better brushing technique – Studies have shown that a brush with rotating, oscillating, and pulsating moves is better at removing plaque and cleaning the surface of the teeth. These are moves featured by an electric toothbrush in each cleaning session.
- Less effort from your side –
- You actually brush for 2 minutes – When you don’t have a timer to actually show you the 2-minute time, it’s easy to forget about this rule. Electric toothbrushes have a timer incorporated in their handle, and it gently warns you when the 2 minutes have passed.
- Easier to use – A manual brush must be moved, rotated, it requires a lot of effort from your arm muscles and it keeps you from doing anything else. An electric one only requires some guidance and does the work for you.
- They are cooler – Yes, it may be a superficial thing to say, but new designs look cool and come with interesting features such as Bluetooth communication. After all, if you have real-time data on your brushing behavior, you will soon know where you’re having problems.
- More attractive for kids – New designs make brushing a lot more fun for kids with interesting colors and shapes, and nice messages that let the kids know they did a good job.
- They are noisy – The level of noise depends on the model you buy, but there are some designs that can wake someone up. Of course, if you use the toothbrush in the comfort of your own washroom, this may not be an issue.
- Requires a power source – Given the fact that it’s an electric toothbrush, you see why it requires a power source. However, most batteries in today’s products are durable and will last for at least one month. Still, you should make sure the battery is removable; otherwise you will have to throw the entire device away if the battery dies.
- A bit more expensive – As you can imagine, these devices are not exactly cheap (especially when compared to their manual counterparts). Still, the price is justified by the types of features they bring.
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep a rigorous oral hygiene routine and use all the tools at your disposal to have healthy teeth and stay away from the dentist’s chair for as long as possible. Naturally, getting the highest quality electric brush is highly recommended and we do recommend an electric toothbrush because of all the benefits it brings (see above), but if you’re not sold on the idea, a manual device will do just fine.
Still, if you do decide on an electric device, we hope we provided you with enough information to make your choice easier. The products we recommended are top-of-the-line and many online reviews from actual users prove their efficiency. So, choose wisely and don’t forget to brush!