Choosing an electric toothbrush

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benefits-of-electric-toothbrush-272x300With many electric toothbrush types available at the shops and online, this can prove to be a tricky decision for those who are thinking of buying an electric toothbrush in the sales but aren’t sure where to start.

Many of us choose electric toothbrushes as we believe that they help to keep our teeth and gums much cleaner and healthier than manual brushes. However, with models costing from around £20 to more than £200, it can be difficult knowing which one to buy and how much to spend.

Here are some tips on choosing an electric toothbrush that suits your needs.

Electric toothbrush types include:

Rotating, sonic, pulsating, oscillating, counter-rotating… there are all sorts of electric toothbrushes available and they all work in slightly different ways.

Rotating

These have a set of bristles that turn. Bristles can be arranged in a circle that rotates, or individual tufts of bristles can spin.  Rotating-only brushes are usually the cheapest type of brush you can buy.

Rotating-oscillating

These electric toothbrushes have small, round heads and are one of the most popular brushes in the Oral B range.The head oscillates and rotates in one direction and then the other, around one tooth at a time to sweep away plaque.

Pulsing

Some rotating and rotating-oscillating electric toothbrushes pulsate to make the head move backwards and forwards against teeth while it’s spinning.  This helps to dislodge plaque and is a technology that’s usually more expensive than rotating brushes.

Counter-oscillating

These electric toothbrushes have the same head shape as oscillating brushes, but the tufts of the bristles rotate in different directions simultaneously with each tuft rotating in the opposite direction to those next to it.

Dual head

As the name implies, these electric toothbrushes combine two heads in one as one part rotates and the other sweeps from side to side.

Side to side vibrating

These toothbrushes sweep from side to side at such high speeds that they vibrate against your teeth.

Sonic and ultrasonic

These are brushes that vibrate at certain high speeds and frequencies to help break down plaque. Manufacturers of sonic brushes claim that they also drive cleaning fluid (a mixture of toothpaste, water and saliva) between teeth to help dislodge plaque.  Vibrating brushes are generally more expensive than rotating models.

Electric toothbrush battery life

Before you invest in a state-of-the-art electric toothbrush make sure you consider how often you are likely to charge it.  If you plan to keep the charger readily to hand and the battery constantly topped up then it’s less important to choose a model with a powerful battery.  But if you prefer to keep the charger packed away, or you want to take your brush with you on long trips without the charger, look for a toothbrush with a long-lasting battery.

Electric toothbrush brush heads

You will need to replace electric toothbrush heads once the bristles are worn.  Replacements are pricey and worth buying in multi-packs to keep the cost down.

Most Oral B and Philips Sonicare brushes can be used with a range of different brush heads.  These are designed to give a more specific clean and include whitening, flossing or multi-directional cleaning.  If you are thinking about purchasing one of these all singing and dancing brushes, they are more expensive than regular brushes.

Electric toothbrush features

Basic models have a standard brush head and one cleaning programme; higher-spec brushes can come with a range of features and accessories that add to the price.

Brushing timers

These ensure that you brush for a full two minutes, which is the amount of time dentists recommend we spend cleaning our teeth.

Some are auto-programmed to only brush for two minutes so you don’t need to think about the time. Others will beep or stutter when it’s time to stop.

Pressure sensors

Pressure sensors are a great way of telling you when you are brushing too hard as brushing too aggressively can do your teeth more harm than good.

Some electric toothbrushes have a pressure sensor which is either a light or a beeping sound to let you know if you’re pressing too hard.  Some Oral B models will stop pulsing and just rotate if you’re putting too much pressure on your teeth.

Soft-grip handles

The best electric toothbrushes have a soft grip which can make them more comfy to hold and use. Soft-grip handles also lessen the vibrations you feel in your hand while brushing

How did you choose your electric toothbrush and why?  Share your thoughts with us over on our facebook page.

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