Welcome to Frequently Asked Questions about ‘How To Buy An Electric Toothbrush’.
How to buy an electric toothbrush?
Maybe you’re a first-timer, eagerly Googling the topic. Or perhaps you’re a more seasoned electric toothbrush user who’s looking to replace or upgrade.
It doesn’t matter. The doubts and questions still remain.
- Which is the best electric toothbrush?
- Can I really afford to get this one? Can I afford not to?
- Will I put all these features and options to good use?
- How expensive will all of this get over time?
- Am I keen to track and record all this information?
- Should I bother with all these adjustments and settings?
On and on and on... the questions simply won’t stop.
And you get more and more confused about how to buy an electric toothbrush.
Which is why ‘A Dentist’s Daughter’ set out to create this F.A.Q.
It’s a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions about how to buy an electric toothbrush.
There are over 30 of them. In this first part of the FAQ, we’ll address some of them. You can see the rest in the second part of this report.
You’ll find a list of the FAQs below.
If all you’re looking for is the answer to one specific question, click on the link and read it.
If you’re trying to figure out how to buy an electric toothbrush, then work your way down the entire FAQ.
Either approach will leave you better informed… and more confident about picking the ideal electric toothbrush.
And you may also want to check out our Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide – which lists 17 major points to consider before you buy one.
Your ‘How to Buy an Electric Toothbrush’ F.A.Q.
Question #1: What should I look for when buying an electric toothbrush?
There are many factors to consider when you buy an electric toothbrush.
Among the features to pick one brand or model over any other, look for:
- How it cleans: By oscillating, rotating or sonic vibration
- Brushing Power: What’s the number of brush strokes per minute (BPM)
- Convenience: A timer, quad pacer and pressure sensor are good features
- Comfort: Suitable size, fits in your hand, user-friendly
- Cleaning efficiency: Soft and durable bristles clean better
- Control: A range of cleaning modes is helpful
- Charge: How good is battery life? Also check on recharging method
- Cost: Ranges from $50 to $400
- Waterproof? : Only then you can use it in the shower
- ADA approved? : A good indicator of quality is the ADA acceptance seal
You could also begin with the 17 questions to ask yourself in this Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide.
Question #2: Which kind of electric toothbrush is best?
Which kind of electric toothbrush is best to buy in 2022 and beyond will depend upon your unique needs and preferences.
These are some of the best electric toothbrushes in 2022
- Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
- Oral-B iO series
- Sonicare ExpertClean 7500
- Sonicare for Kids
- Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5300
- Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
- Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+
For more detail on which kind of electric toothbrush is best, you might want to explore the curated collection of reviews of the best electric toothbrush in each category.
Simply click the links below to see which kind of electric toothbrush to buy:
- Best costly electric toothbrush – if money is no object
- Best electric toothbrush for under $100
- Best Sonicare toothbrush
- Best Oral-B electric toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush brands
- Best electric toothbrush for receding gums
- Best travel electric toothbrush
Question #3: How much should I spend on an electric toothbrush?
How much you should spend on an electric toothbrush will depend upon your budget and your needs.
While simple and basic battery-powered toothbrushes only cost $8 to $19.99, the more expensive rechargeable models are priced between $40 and $100.
But before you ask yourself how much should I spend on an electric toothbrush, think about the value and benefits you’ll get from using one.
It has been proven beyond question that electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes at removing dental plaque and improving oral hygiene.
These devices are particularly useful for children, lazy brushers, and people wearing braces or with dental implants.
So when determining your budget for an electric toothbrush, consider things like:
– lifetime cost of owning an electric toothbrush
– how many people will use/share a device
– value and benefits of improved oral hygiene and whiter teeth
– convenience and comfort of using a battery-powered brush
Putting all these things together, you’ll be able to decide how much you should spend on an electric toothbrush.
Question #4: How do I choose an Oral-B toothbrush?
Many visitors to ‘A Dentist’s Daughter‘ ask how do I choose an Oral-B toothbrush.
Well, the best way to choose any toothbrush is by asking: Do I LIKE it?
Likability is the single most important factor that determines whether you’ll use your electric toothbrush regularly – and for long enough – to enjoy the benefits.
The best electric toothbrush is one that you’re the most likely to put to use. When you brush regularly for the dentist-recommended 2 minutes, you’ll enjoy whiter teeth, a clean mouth, fresh breath, no cavities and gum health.
So whenever anyone asks how do I choose an Oral-B toothbrush, the best answer is to go with your preferences and pick a model you’re most comfortable with.
Learn about the different types of electric toothbrush. You’ll be able to make better choices when you know how brands differ in variables such as:
- battery life
- brushing modes
- method of cleaning
- technological innovations
- advanced features
For instance, rotatory brush heads spin around to clean your teeth. Oscillating brush heads move from side to side. And a vibrating action toothbrush will generate gentle pulses that wash grime and debris off your teeth.
An Oral-B electric toothbrush combines all three technologies to remove 100% more dental plaque than a manual toothbrush.
Other factors that guide how you choose an Oral-B toothbrush are the brush heads that deliver your desired experience.
The types of brush head are:
- Cross Action, with angled bristles for plaque removal
- 3D White, to polish the teeth better
- Sensitive Clean, with soft bristles for users with gum disease
- Floss Action, for better cleaning in between teeth with MicroPulse bristles
Question #5: What should I look for in a toothbrush?
Here’s what you should look for in a toothbrush:
1. Bristle Design:
Many manufacturers like Philips Sonicare and Oral-B have invested heavily into research that determines the ideal bristle design to ensure excellent cleaning.
With varying size bristles, you’ll be able to get into crevices between and behind teeth. Even parts of your mouth that are hard to reach will now be cleaned adequately.
2. Brush Head Size:
Electric toothbrushes have removable brush heads that come in a range of different sizes. A smaller brush head is often better since you can more readily access all parts of your mouth.
3. Brush Head Shape:
As with size, brush heads come in various shapes. Generally, an electric toothbrush with a rounded head is better. Dentists usually recommend them over an angled design.
4. Comfort of Hand Grip:
An electric toothbrush handle that’s easy to hold firmly and convenient to move around is better. A brush that’s too heavy or unwieldy makes it hard to brush for the recommended two minutes. A longer and lighter handle with a secure grip is a good choice.
5. Firmness of Bristles:
Different models offer bristles with varying firmness. Brush heads can have hard or soft bristles.
It might seem as if harder or firmer bristles will be better at removing grime and plaque. But soft bristles on an electric toothbrush are often better. Also, hard bristles can damage your teeth or irritate your gums.
There are several other features to look for in a toothbrush. You can learn more about them in this Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide.
You’ll also discover 17 questions to ask yourself before you buy an electric toothbrush.
Question #6: What features to look for in an electric toothbrush?
The main features to look for in an electric toothbrush are:
– If it has an oscillating/rotating brush head, or cleans through sonic action by setting up a pressure wave.
– How many brush strokes per minute (BPM) the electric toothbrush has (higher is better). Oscillating/rotating brushes have 1200 to 8000 BPM. Sonic brushes operate at 24,000 to 33,000 BPM.
– If you’ll have a choice of different brushing modes, like whitening, gum care, sensitive/gentle and deep clean.
– Whether it has a built-in timer with quadrant pacer, to ensure that you’ll clean for the dentist-recommended 2 minutes and cover all areas.
– If there’s a pressure sensor to avoid accidentally hurting your gums or damaging your teeth by pressing down too hard while brushing.
– How the electric toothbrush recharges (USB or inductive). The former can use any USB port. The latter requires a standalone charging station.
– Whether your electric toothbrush is powered by disposable batteries, or if it runs on a rechargeable battery (better value and more convenient).
– If you’ll get a travel case to store the device on trips, and that will protect the bristles, store spare brush heads, and even recharge it.
– What kind of brush heads are compatible with the electric toothbrush handle, and how often they’ll need to be replaced.
– How costly are the toothbrush and the replacement brush heads, and what will be your ‘cost of ownership’ over the lifetime of using it.
All these are features to look for in an electric toothbrush before you buy one.
You can get more guidances in our Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide too.
Question #7: Is there a difference in electric toothbrushes?
Not all electric toothbrushes are alike. So is there a difference in electric toothbrushes? Absolutely, yes!
Take a sonic toothbrush and a rotatory model, for instance. They have many differences.
The brush head on a sonic device vibrates rapidly at 33,000 brush strokes per minute (BPM).
A rotatory electric toothbrush, on the other hand, has a brush head speed of 2000 to 8800 BPM. That’s barely a tenth to a quarter as fast.
And yet, both kinds of electric toothbrush are comparable in cleaning efficiency – and better than manual brushing, which moves at just 300 BPM.
This is just one of many differences in electric toothbrushes.
Various brands and models differ in terms of:
– choice of brushing modes
– color options for brush handle
– travel case
– battery type (disposable or rechargeable)
– timer, pacer and pressure sensor
– Bluetooth wireless functionality
– type and shape of brush head
– battery life after recharge
– varieties of compatible brush heads
Question #8: Does it matter which electric toothbrush you use?
Yes, it does matter which electric toothbrush you use.
Dental health professionals are not always convinced that cleaning your teeth is more effective with an electric toothbrush than by regular use of a manual toothbrush.
But there’s little doubt that an electric toothbrush is easier to learn how to use correctly. And because most models combine rotatory, vibratory and oscillatory actions, an electric toothbrush is usually more efficient.
Even without having to work hard at it, you’ll enjoy a great cleaning experience and refreshingly clean breath along with sparkling white teeth.
So while it does matter which electric toothbrush you use, it’s more important that you brush regularly after learning how to use it correctly.
And if you’re concerned about an electric toothbrush being more expensive, then you can confidently go ahead using a manual brush. But if you’ve decided to get an electric toothbrush, then it matters that you choose the perfect one for your needs.
Our Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide will be very helpful in selecting your ideal device.
Question #9: Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes?
Yes, dentists do recommend electric toothbrushes quite often – especially when they realize you are serious about improving dental hygiene and oral health.
Using an electric toothbrush is a convenient, quick and easy to enjoy whiter teeth, healthier gums and fresh breath. The device aids in keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
The downside of using an electric toothbrush is the extra cost. Not only is the device itself more expensive than a manual brush, there’s also the extra cost of replacing brush heads every 3 months or so.
So if you’re wondering which is better – an electric or manual toothbrush – then remember that this is about laying a foundation for good oral care.
More than the choice of toothbrush, dentists recommend that you:
- brush your teeth regularly, twice daily
- each time, clean your teeth for at least 2 minutes
- avoid rinsing vigorously or using mouthwash after you brush
Then why do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes at all?
Because they offer some advantages when compared to manual brushing, like:
- removal of dental plaque in hard-to-reach areas
- convenience for those with limited movement
- timers ensure you’ll brush for an adequate duration
- being less wasteful – you toss away a manual brush more often
- kids love brushing with an electric toothbrush
- suitable for even people wearing braces or appliances
Question #10: Is round or oval electric toothbrush better?
The choice between a round or oval electric toothbrush is difficult – because both are about just as effective.
An electric toothbrush with more rotations, pulsations or vibrations will clean your teeth better… regardless of which shape the brush head takes.
So is a round or oval electric toothbrush better?
Oval electric toothbrush heads are larger and cover more surface area of your teeth. This means fewer brushing movements will cover more teeth, and clean them effectively. Oval brush heads are also quite similar to a manual toothbrush.
A round electric toothbrush that cleans by rotatory motion must be applied to one tooth at a time, if you wish to ensure excellent cleaning. They also clean more thoroughly, and make it easier to reach behind the molars.
The difference in performance also varies depending upon whether the electric toothbrush is rotating or sonic in action. But any one technique of brushing isn’t better or worse than others.
So don’t worry too much about whether a round or oval electric toothbrush is better. Just choose the one that suits you best. You might have to try out a variety of heads before you can find your best fit.
Question #11: Is Sonicare better than Oral-B?
Both Philips Sonicare and Oral-B manufacture electric toothbrushes with a host of features. And they are both excellent choices for beginners and more experienced users alike.
Is Sonicare better than Oral-B? That’s really difficult to answer.
There’s no clear winner in this contest. Which one you pick boils down to your personal tastes and preferences.
An electric toothbrush from the Philips Sonicare or Oral-B brand usually has
- an inbuilt timer with quadrant pacer,
- excellent battery life,
- powerful motor that delivers cleaning efficiency, and
- elegant design that’s also user-friendly
So you can’t go wrong by choosing either a Sonicare or Oral-B electric toothbrush.
The Sonicare electric toothbrush cleans by sonic action. You can use the same handle with multiple different brush heads. And battery life lasts 3 weeks on typical use.
An Oral-B electric toothbrush cleans by rotatory and vibratory action. It is easy to use and is effective at removing dental plaque. A single recharge will keep the battery going for 2 weeks.
So… is Sonicare better than Oral-B?
Question #12: Do dentists prefer Oral-B or Sonicare?
Nobody has yet conducted a survey to ask: Do dentists prefer Oral-B or Sonicare electric toothbrush models.
So we’re left to decide based on claims by the manufacturers and outside reviewers.
According to them, Oral-B is globally the number one recommended electric toothbrush brand by dentists.
Is this actually true? Surely, nobody can tell.
But there’s good reason for dentists to prefer BOTH Oral-B and Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush models.
Both are high quality products that maintain oral hygiene, clean teeth effectively, and remove dental plaque better than a manual toothbrush.
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice every day, and for at least two minutes each time. This requires an electric toothbrush that is both comfortable and easy to use.
Sonicare and Oral-B electric toothbrushes fit the bill. They are light, easy to hold and use, have a firm grip, and are ergonomically designed for convenience.
Oral-B electric brushes clean your teeth by using a 3D brushing action. This has been shown to be superior at cleaning teeth than other techniques. It’s no surprise that using an Oral-B electric toothbrush is twice as effective at plaque removal.
Sonicare electric toothbrushes use sonic action at brush head movement speeds of upto 62,000 times per minute. That is enough to remove grime, debris and bacteria from the spaces between and behind your teeth, leaving them sparkling white and clean.
No wonder thousands of dentists enthusiastically recommend a Sonicare electric toothbrush.
Question #13: Why do dentists recommend Sonicare?
There are several good reasons why dentists recommend Sonicare electric toothbrushes.
Any Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush is powered by patented sonic cleaning technology. The brush head moves rapidly at 31,000 to 62,000 brush strokes per minute.
This makes a Sonicare electric toothbrush upto 4 times better at removing dental plaque than a manual toothbrush.
A Sonicare is also effective at removing stains on teeth, leaving you with a bright sparkling smile.
Here are some more reasons why dentists recommend Sonicare…
– A Sonicare electric toothbrush has better reach to clean behind and between teeth, removing plaque and leaving your teeth whiter and healthier.
– Inbuilt timer with quad pacer ensures adequate and uniform cleaning of all sections of your mouth for better overall dental health.
– Using the Sonicare electric toothbrush makes brushing your teeth quick, easy and fun… which is why Sonicare for Kids is such a popular model.
– Vibratory sonic waves that a Sonicare electric toothbrush sets up in your mouth gently massages the gums and improves their circulation. This promotes gum health and prevents gingivitis.
– By removing food debris and bacteria trapped in between teeth, a Sonicare electric toothbrush will get rid of bad breath and leave your mouth feeling clean and healthy.
All of these are reasons why do dentists recommend Sonicare.
Question #14: Does Sonicare or Oral-B remove more plaque?
Let’s take an evidence-based approach to find out if Sonicare or Oral-B removes more plaque.
It wasn’t until oscillatory-rotatory (OR) and sonic electric toothbrush models hit the market in the late 1980s and early 1990s that dental plaque removal became significantly better than with manual toothbrushes.
Several randomized controlled trials (RCT) have proven conclusively that:
– an OR and sonic electric toothbrush is better at removing dental plaque and preventing gum infections than a manual toothbrush
– OR technology is better than its sonic equivalent at removing dental plaque.
This means Oral-B is significantly better at removing dental plaque than a Sonicare electric toothbrush. The difference is big enough to show conclusively that Oral-B electric toothbrushes remove more plaque.
The effectiveness at plaque removal varies for different parts of the mouth. So some models are better at getting rid of plaque behind your molars. Others work well for plaque build up between your teeth.
Question #15: Which is better – electric or battery operated toothbrush?
Electric and battery-operated toothbrushes are different. Each has distinct pros and cons.
So which is better – electric or battery operated toothbrush? The right answer is:
Both… depending on the circumstances!
A battery-powered toothbrush has 2 AA batteries that deliver a vibratory action. However you use it like a regular manual toothbrush, going over all your teeth and gums with a brushing action.
An electric toothbrush (or ‘power toothbrush‘) is charged from an electric outlet and provides all the vibratory or oscillatory-rotatory motion required to clean your teeth and gums. All you have to do is move it over your teeth.
So for cleaning effectiveness at very little effort, an electric toothbrush is better. You’ll also get several other sophisticated features such as
- inbuilt timer with quad pacer,
- a pressure sensor,
- a choice of special cleaning modes,
- replaceable brush heads,
- longer-lasting device,
- better plaque removal and gum health
A rechargeable electric toothbrush is however more expensive than a battery toothbrush.
If cost is a major constraint, then a battery-powered toothbrush is almost as inexpensive as a manual toothbrush and can deliver additional cleaning power. In this case, it may be a better choice.
Question #16: Is Oral B an oscillating toothbrush?
Yes, Oral B is an oscillating toothbrush – and much more.
Oral-B electric toothbrushes deploy technology based on oscillation, rotation and pulsation (the patented 3D tech) to clean your teeth.
A round brush head on Oral-B electric toothbrushes pulsates actively. When you run it over your teeth, it loosens and removes dental plaque. This frees up the spaces between and behind your teeth, leaving them clean and white.
The Oral B oscillating toothbrush also ensures gum health through a gentle massaging action which improves blood flow. The powerful motion of the brush head removes stains fromt he surface of teeth, and gets rid of bacteria-rich food debris in your mouth.
So even though Oral B is an oscillating toothbrush, the impact it can have on your teeth and dental health go much further.
See our ULTIMATE Electric Toothbrush Buyer's Guide - and make an informed and smart choice.