With So Many Choices, Which Electric ToothBrush Is the Best Choice for You?

Best Electric Toothbrush 2013

from L-R, Oral B spin brush, Rotadent, Revolation and Sonicare Diamond Clean

I am often amazed at the oral health care isle in the store….and when I say amazed, I really mean overwhelmed!

TV commercials aren’t really much help either, because each commercial makes it out to seem as if their product is the best.  So really who is telling the truth, and who is a big fat liar liar pants on fire?

My attempt today is to give you a few pro’s and con’s on some of the major electric tooth brushes, if I attempted to go through all of them, this post would be thousands of words and I would lose you.  I find some many amazing posts out there that are just too long and readers get lost, or fall asleep reading.

These are my personal professional opinions from working in the mouth for nearly 20 years.  These are observations I make when regularly cleaning teeth and working with patients as an oral health coach.

So which is the best electric toothbrush in 2013

Sonicare (this includes all of them)

Sonicare tooth brushes work by vibrating at high speed back and forth.  Often people confuse this for ultrasonic technology, but that’s not really the case.  The vibration is meant to break up the plaque.

Pro’s

  • They are easy to find, and relatively easy to use.
  • The heads can be bought in stores and there are 2 sizes to choose from.
  • The smaller of the size is good for getting back to tight areas.
  • It is good for stain removal, and overall plaque control.
  • The newest member of the Sonicare family is the Diamond Clean which has the softest bristles and has 4xs the amount in the head.  For the record, the Diamond Head toothbrush tip fits the other ones (not the old screw on type of head).
  • They have a children’s toothbrush with multiple front covers kids moods.

Con’s

  • If you have receding gums it can cause teeth to be sensitive.
  • It can also cause the gums to recede further if you are not careful.
  • It can be hard to access crowding areas or the back of the mouth.
  • Many people think that if they just hold it to the tooth it will do the work (partly because the instructions tell you to do so), in reality you need to still brush with it and engage the gums or you will miss quite a bit of plaque which contributes to cavities and gum disease.
  • It is limited on how far below the gum line and in between the teeth it can reach.
  • People complain that it is loud.

Braun Oral B.

This small rounded head oscillates side to side and slightly in and out.

Pro’s.

  • They are easy to find and the basic brush head can be purchased from most retail stores.
  • Multiple head styles that claim to access multiple areas.
  • 2 minute timer on most models, one even has an LED screen that has a happy face when.
  • Helps to remove stain on the teeth.
  • When used correctly, it can be quite effective for braces.
  • Can be very effective if you don’t have gum disease.
  • This is a “tooth” brush, not a “gum” brush.  If you have gum disease like gingivitis, periodontal disease or dry mouth you need something that will clean the gums.

Con’s

  • The brush simply oscillates back and forth, most people thinks that it spins.
  • If you press too hard the head stops oscillating.  This sounds good as to not damage the gums, but people don’t realize that it has stopped moving and therefore miss many areas.
  • People still tend to build up stain and calculus because it is easy to miss the place that the teeth and gums meet.
  • Looking at the reviews, you would think that it was an AMAZING brush, and for what it does, it is.  However this is a tooth brush that MAY or may not clean your gums.
  • If you have any current or past history of gum disease this brush may not get to the areas that need cleaning.
  • My professional opinion has me question why so many people that use the Braun Oral B still require frequent cleanings,  still build up plaque and tartar and why they still have stain.

Rotadent and the new and improved version Revolation.

These two electric toothbrushes feature round heads that effectively clean every area of the tooth and gums.  This style brush is designed after the polishing tool that is used at the dental office, and are the only ones that rotate in a full 360 circle.

Pro’s

  • Extra soft micro filaments that fully rotate. There are approximately 4,600 filaments per tooth brush head.
  • Multiple style brush heads ensure that you will be able to get to all areas of the mouth.
  • The fastest plaque removal time of any other brush.  This comes from knowing HOW to use it.
  • The only electric “gum” brush that will also clean your “teeth”.
  • As effective as a combination of floss, interproximal brush, toothpicks and conventional toothbrush in removing plaque, controlling gingivitis and reducing the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
  • Especially effective for plaque removal from the area at or just below the gum line and between teeth, the most critical areas for cleaning to prevent gum disease.
  • Simplifies plaque control for the general population, as well as for orthodontic, special needs, arthritic and geriatric patients.
  • Perfect for cleaning dental implants and bridges.
  • The New and Improved Revolation has all of the same features of the Rota dent Plus, but also comes with a UV Sanitizer for cleaning the heads!
  • Revolation Toothbrush heads are available in single brush packs vs. the Rota dent Plus which is a double pack.
  • This is a great tool to use for applying medications like desensitizing products, mouth rinse and medication into deep pockets.
  • Reduces stain and calculus build up.  Helps to remove coffee, tea and smoking discoloration.
  • Whitens your teeth without chemicals by polishing away stains that contribute to the yellowing of teeth.

Con’s

  • There have been many complaints about the battery on the newly redesigned Rota dent Plus.  The issues stem from not recharging to spontaneously turning on and running until it died.
  • The older style Rota dent Classic lacks a timer.  They are currently phasing the classic design and only offer a limited 1 yr warranty, however they will still make the brush heads for the classic style.
  • Generally they are only available through dental offices, or through the customer service line.  Not all offices carry them.
  • Because they are somewhat technique sensitive they require a bit of training and getting used to.
  • Used incorrectly, they really don’t do a very good job, but that is true for most oral health tools.
  • The precise head allows you to be extremely effective, but you have to pay attention when using it, especially in the beginning.
  • There are 3 different brush heads, each requiring a different understanding of how to use it.  This is only frustrating in the beginning.
  • It will tickle like crazy, but only for the first week or so.  You are cleaning areas in your mouth that you have never cleaned before, and yes they are sensitive and ticklish at first.
  • Small head makes it time consuming to brush the tongue, you are better off using a tongue brush of tongue scraper for this.

I was a huge Rotadent fan for 15 years, and have spent years working with patients working with them on how to use it effectively.  I have been disappointed by the Rotadent Plus and the kinks involved with the new style, and the lack of customer service.

Recently another company began making the same style brush, and I have to say I am more than happy to replace the Rotadent electric tooth brush with the Revolation electric tooth brushI love the sleekness, the control button, the two minute timer, the travel case and the UV Sanitizer located in the charging base.   The customer service is great and the company that manufactures the product, DentistRx, has been nothing short of amazing!

Each electric tooth brush provides different results.  Knowing what you are looking to avoid or treat at home will help you narrow down the possibilities.

Natural Gumption works hard at helping connect people to the right product, give us a call at 855-448-6784 and we will be happy to answer your questions!

About 

Carrie is a dental hygienist, oral health coach and creator of 21 Days to a Healthy Mouth, an online course that teaches you how to care for your mouth with life long results.  Her daily “bite-size” pieces to understanding what it takes to achieve a healthy mouth make it easy to learn and implement at home.

Carrie owns and operates Natural Gumption, where she studies and recommends natural oral health care products that are effective and deliver great results.  She helps families all over the world via Skype, and works locally in person as well as an oral health coach, a personal trainer for your mouth.  She is happy to consult with anyone who may have questions. Come say hello on , Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dr. JTMDDS says:

    Carrie-
    I’ve been a dentist for almost 24 years and I have yet to find the “perfect” electric tooth brush. That’s why I recommend patients use an electric as well as a manual (soft) toothbrush. Here’s the regimine- 1)-rinse with water of mouth rinse to remove loose debris 2)-brush thouroughly but GENTLY with the manual toothbrush 3)-floss 4)-thouroughly brush with an electric toothbrush 5)-rinse with Fl- rinse (ACT). We have found, as you have too, that the electric brushes miss certain ares but the combination of the electric & manual is very thourough. My patients that follow this regimine have shown great results. Hope this helps.
    JTMDDS

    • Dr. JTMDDS,
      Thank you for the reply. I love that you are thinking outside the standard brush and floss regimen…..which electric do you prefer? When you do recommend an electric, are you brand and type specific, or is there a specific one that you lean toward?

      As a hygienist, and working alongside clients for so long the only issue I see with the regimen you recommend is that it seems too time consuming for most people that do not have an established relationship with you and can appreciate your commitment to care for patients.

      If I had to guess, you have great relationships with your patients, and they do what you recommend because they trust you….would you agree?

      Thanks for taking the time to post, I love to find people within our profession that love what they do and take the time to make a difference in patients lives!

      All The Best,
      Carrie

  2. I love how you layed out the the pros and cons. great post.

  3. This is my problem, too. I think that there are too much electric toothbrushes in the market and its price is too expansive to try it all. Thanks for pros and cons of the major brands.

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