Toothbrush Tips

The many types of Electric Toothbrush

Conventional vs. Electric Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth well is the first and most important factor to good oral hygiene. It helps to remove leftover food and built up plaque from the surface of your teeth takes manage the bacteria that live in your gums. Toothbrush technology has come a long way since the first nylon-bristled toothbrush was invented in 1938. The humble toothbrush has evolved into the much fancier electrical toothbrush many of us use today. But what is so special about these electrical toothbrushes? There are so many types from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare, do they do something that a regular brush can’t? Not exactly, but it can do the same job better. So much better that dentists recommend an electric toothbrush over the conventional. Why is that?

Why an Electric Toothbrush?

One of the main reasons to own a an electric toothbrush is to help brush long enough and in the proper way. How you brush is more important than what you brush with. According to the British Dental Association, brushing your teeth for a complete two minutes is vital to keep your teeth clean and gums safe. But lets be honest, how often do we brush our teeth for a full two minutes? On average, we spend only about 40-50 seconds on each bushing. And even then, we don’t do it properly all the time. We are not robots! It is not possible for any human repeat a something perfectly every time. This is where an electric toothbrush can help!

An electric toothbrush covers a larger area of your mouth in less time, a more efficient brush. A recent study revealed people who used an electric toothbrush developed less plaque and periodontal diseases. A good example of why is when you brush by hand, you make up to 300 strokes per minute while an electrical toothbrush can make thousands, even tens of thousands of strokes per minute.

Which one should you pick?

There are several models claiming themselves as the best electric toothbrush. With models costing from less than $10 to $200, it is not an easy task to find filter through all those claims. What we hope to do is educate you on the various types of electric toothbrushes that are out there. By knowing more about your options you can make a better decision for you and your family.

Types of electric toothbrushes

Rotating electric toothbrush

Rotating-only brushes are the cheapest type of electric toothbrush. They have a set of bristles that rotates or individual tufts of bristles that spin. They are also very easy to use. Guide the brush head to your teeth and move the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth along with the gum line. But they are not the most efficient but do a decent job.

Rotating-oscillating electric toothbrush

These electric toothbrushes have small, round heads. The head is consists of a set of bristles and rotates in an oscillatory motion. It whirls in one direction and then in the opposite direction. This mechanism of motion is in fact very effective in removing plaque. Due to this bi-directional motion, the plaque and tartar are dislodged easily. This type of brush is commonly found in Braun Oral-B electric toothbrushes.

Pulsing electric toothbrush

Some advanced toothbrushes feature a pulsing motion. These toothbrushes pulsate to make the head move back & forth against the teeth. This help dislodge plaque and it is highly efficient. As a result, these toothbrushes cost a lot more than others.

Counter-oscillating electric toothbrush

These electric toothbrushes feature the same head shape as oscillating brushes. The difference is that the groups of bristles rotate in different directions simultaneously. If a group of bristle rotates in clockwise motion the group next to it rotates in the counter-clockwise direction.

Sonic and ultrasonic electric toothbrush

These toothbrushes vibrate at very high frequencies and speeds. Some can even attain a velocity of 30000 strokes per minute. This tremendous amount of bristle movement is highly effective against plaque. The brush action allowing you to clean even hard to reach areas between the teeth. The dynamic cleaning action forces fluid (a mixture of toothpaste, water, and saliva) deep into areas between teeth and along the gum line where plaque bacteria flourish. The Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush is the most popular ultrasonic electric toothbrush in this category.

Tri-zone head electric toothbrush

This one seems more like a manual brush. It has three different groups of bristles. The power tip at the top, shorter firm bristles and sweeping bristles. Shorter bristles clean surfaces when longer sweeping bristles reach two times longer than a normal manual brush.

Floss action head electric toothbrush

These heads are specially designed for deep cleaning. If your teeth are not aligned properly, you may find this particular brush head useful. This is a modified version of the rotating-oscillating head.

Side to side electric toothbrush

This mechanism is found along with sonic toothbrushes. These toothbrushes sweep from side to side at high speeds. Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush combines sonic and side to side movement.

Dual head electric toothbrush

These combine two heads in one. While one part rotates the other sweeps from side to side.

Power tip electric toothbrush

This one is a very special type. The head is specially designed aiming of cleaning braces. The tip easily gets in between the teeth and any dental work (bridge, crown, and brace) going on.

The Essential Features To Look for in Your Electric Toothbrush

Two-minute timer

To keep the track that you are brushing for the proper time length this feature is very important. Most of the toothbrushes now have the feature of tracking in 30 seconds increments. By spending 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth you complete the reccomended 2-minute brushing time.

Pressure sensor

This is very important. Your teeth surface is protected by a hard enamel. You certainly don’t want to damage it by too much pressure. A sensor helps you know if you are pressing too hard when you brush. This ensures you don’t do any damage. It is a must have feature particularly for people with sensitive gums and teeth.

Comfort grip

The best electric toothbrushes have a comfortable soft grip. The grip also reduces the vibration caused due to the motor and makes it easy for your hand to hold the brush comfortably.

Long-lasting battery life

An electrical toothbrush should last for several days before needing a recharge. You are using it to save your time not to waste.

Brush head size

It is preferred that the head should be conveniently small. Otherwise, you might not be able to clean the back of your terminal teeth

Brush head selection and compatibility

Check out the selection of brush heads available. Make sure they meet any special needs you may have.


Most of the good brands offer a standard of 2-year of warranty.

Final Reccomendation

An electrical toothbrush is particularly the best solution for people with braces. With a conventional toothbrush, it can get tiresome having to frequently clean all those problem areas. An electric toothbrush makes this quicker and easier. People with arthritis or limited mobility could also greatly benefit from using an electric toothbrush.

An electric toothbrush can also be useful for children! These brushes come with enticing bright colorful designs that can make brushing more fun. Worry less if they are brushing properly and making it easier to help them brush more often.