Dental health is holistic, the teeth as a visible sign of vitality are a prominent feature of humans. The last three decades have brought immense progress. Many treatments are now based on science-based data. A “conservative dental treatment”, which focuses on the preservation of own teeth, is the result of this. Since teeth are no longer pulled or over-crowned with a simple indication, the focus inevitably focuses on comprehensive dental care.
As in other areas of life, there is no universal means here. It is necessary to proceed individually according to a number of factors and to use the appropriate armor. It all depends on the right toothbrush – Electric toothbrushes allow for care like that of a professional, but here too there are some serious differences to consider. We will focus on the specific features in the following paragraphs and give guidance on all relevant comparison features.
The Best Electric Toothbursh Guide in 2020
The beginnings of the electric toothbrush
Although electric toothbrushes have only been known to a broad public since the 1990s, the first models suitable for everyday use were already available at the beginning of the 1960s. Oral-B captured a growing market with the Mayadent model, which documented a deeper understanding of dental health in general. Models of the first generation were considered unwieldy, impractical and meaningless. It was only at the end of the 1970s when a series of product innovations began that brought significant improvements that the electric toothbrush was once again the focus of public attention. Rotating brush heads were now able to remove significantly more plaque and reach difficult areas, which put hand toothbrushes in the shade.
By and by battery-powered models were brought to the market, they could now be controlled in their cleaning power, thus avoiding too fast gum irritation. Since then, the focus has been on oscillating-rotating brush heads – small, fast-moving circular movements in both directions. It was also possible to benefit less proficient motorists because the cleaning technique was practically dictated by the model. In the course of time, piezoelectrically operated toothbrushes have now come onto the market. In this case, linings are cleaned by counterpolar bristle vibrations in high-frequency ranges without applying pressure.
The last innovation, however, are sonic toothbrushes, which allow about five times as many oscillations per minute (40,000 vibrations) as oscillating-rotating models. There are even ultrasonic toothbrushes, which allow up to 1.6 million vibrations, with no direct tooth surface contact is necessary.
2nd sound vs. Rotation – The different toothbrush types
Rotating toothbrushes (2D)
This design is based on one or more brush heads, each rotating about its own axis. Practically it represents a basic model, which is to be found today only conditionally in the trade. Required here would be a certain manual skill.
Rotating / Pulsing Toothbrushes (3D)
Also known under the name of rotating-oscillating toothbrushes, this type of construction is the “classic” dar. The core is the arrangement of the toothbrush, which is used alternately in left-right movements. The bristle head is rounded and is applied in high frequency on the teeth. They have been proven to remove a large amount of plaque but require a certain amount of skill. Just like manual toothbrushes, they have to be applied with care according to the hard tooth substance and dentition situation. Everything is about the pressure here, but in the reverse function also effectively removes correspondingly resistant coverings.
The models are already available for little money, they offer a good and proven cleaning. Very well, however, follow-up costs, as a regular replacement of the brush heads is necessary. The above-mentioned risks due to a wrong brushing technique can be reduced to a minimum through exercise and instruction by the dentist (comparable to a manual toothbrush).
Sonic toothbrushes have been around since the beginning of the nineties and are the toothbrushes already described above as “piezoelectric”. Sound technology generates vibrations in the area of the bristles ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 movements per minute (pulses). As a result, the bristles “float” over the tooth and gums, no pressure is applied. This results in a uniform, even the interdental spaces effectively cleaning plaster process. Such models are particularly advantageous because of the significantly reduced risk of tooth enamel or dentin abrasion.
This cleaning technique is relevant precisely because equally only a slight pressure on the gums is exercised. This prevents chronic gingival injury and also reduces the risk of a concomitant decline in the gum. Of these, more and more older people are affected, resulting in not only aesthetic problems but also the periodontium overall factors involved.
The ultrasonic toothbrush is a specification of the sonic toothbrush described above. The sound frequency is at least 20,000 Hertz, which is equivalent to 2.4 million vibrations per minute. In some cases, there are even models with much higher power ratings in the segment up to 1.6 MHz, which corresponds to 192 million cycles per minute. Piezo ceramic vibrators are used as standard. Normally, however, such models also offer a regulation to “classical” sound components and sound frequencies.
They are priced partly well above commercial sonic toothbrushes, although there are no scientifically sound statements about the “better cleaning effect”. In addition, many users find the noise that arises when they are used very annoying.
Drive types in comparison
|Hand brush :||up to 600 movements per min|
|2D rotary brush :
|up to 7,600 rotations per min|
|3D rotary brush :
|up to 8,800 rotations and
up to 40,000 pulsations per min
|Sonic Toothbrush :||up to 31,000 vibrations per min|
|Ultrasonic toothbrush :||up to 1,600,000 vibrations per min|
Electric toothbrush vs. Manual toothbrush – That’s what the experts say
As with other technical innovations, representatives of the guild were on the subject of “electric toothbrush” long disagreed. The focus was on the risks that have already been stated: gum injuries, gingival retraction, enamel loss (abrasion) and the like. But all these factors always have human influence, the wrong or correct application.
Basically only rotationally oscillating toothbrushes and “simple” sonic toothbrushes are scientifically researched. They are easier to integrate into the daily routine, more intuitive to control and, when used correctly, have no higher risk of injury than commercially available manual toothbrushes.
That says Stiftung Warentest – sound or rotation
The foundation goods test performs a basic division into oscillating-rotating toothbrushes and “active sound” toothbrushes. Again, no clear features were documented in tests that would bring advantages over one of the model types mentioned.
Very well, however, the recommendation is made to make the selection of the electric toothbrush based on personal cleaning behavior. Roughly speaking, a round-head brush requires a more active approach by the user, because every tooth has to be cleaned separately. Sonic toothbrushes, on the other hand, allow greater cleaning care, due to the longer heads.
The question should, therefore, be what your dental care is all about. If the prophylaxis results in regular after-care, even if only a part of the periodontium apparatus is actually cleaned despite brushing, sonic toothbrushes could be the first choice. If, on the other hand, the technique is controlled “basically”, then it is more a matter of difficult interdental spaces or the care of the dentures, oscillating-rotating toothbrushes tend to be recommended.
After we have clarified the basic differences in toothbrush type, it is now about practical issues. What is important when comparing multiple electric toothbrushes? Which features can I weight less in favor of another function? Below are the main features.
Rotations / oscillations
The specified number of rotations or oscillations per minute gives you an overview, but at first, it does not allow any significant conclusions. This is more about the type of toothbrush, that is rotating oscillating or based on sound technology. In short, a “fast” toothbrush does not necessarily mean better cleaning. It is clear that sonic toothbrushes are much more suited to the natural movements of a manual toothbrush. The transition to this would, therefore, be easier in principle. Vibration inevitably creates significantly more vibrations, so that a gentler cleaning is given.
However, studies indicate that ultimately more rotating movements unfold a better cleaning effect even on stubborn surfaces. Along with the natural risk of exerting too much pressure here and thereby damaging enamel and gums.
Whether 5,000 or more 35,000 turns per minute, is once again a matter of cleaning technique and therefore highly subjective.
Various toothbrushing modes and timers
Depending on the model and manufacturer, there are certain toothbrushing modes, regardless of the type of toothbrush. First and foremost, it is by default a timer that does not require constant time comparisons. The market offers products with an acoustic quadrant timer, which indicates the change of the jaw quadrant every 30 seconds. Others, like the smart timer, signal the end of the recommended brushing after two minutes. Higher-value products combine both functions.
There are also special cleaning programs that can be adjusted. This allows programs such as “sensitive”, “gum protection” or “cleaning” to be selected as needed. The device can then be used in a customized performance, depending on the selection.
Pressure sensor/pressure sensor
In order to reduce risks solely through the use of an electric toothbrush, well-known manufacturers now offer toothbrushes with integrated pressure control. These pressure sensors are installed, which measure constantly during cleaning and give a signal at too high pressure. There are usually two types of control function.
Visual pressure control
If too much pressure is exerted during cleaning, a signal lamp lights up on the handpiece. At the same time, the device throttles the pulsation, ie the vibrations per minute. The device will not work “normally” unless the pressure has been relaxed and the risk of gum damage is eliminated.
Sensitive pressure control
In this variant, too high a pressure is not only displayed, it leads in the same step to a complete interruption of the rotations. So you can avoid even in hectic situations, to overlook possible signal signs or to overhear.
The heart of the device, the brush heads, are a classic wearing part. Like simple manual toothbrushes, this must be replaced after a certain time. Typical follow-up costs are therefore incurred for replacement brushes. Included in the scope of delivery are usually several replacement brushes. Within the manufacturer’s own product groups, it is possible to use brush heads for different devices. In short, a household does not necessarily have to procure separately for each person an electric toothbrush.
In the course of digitization, there are also products with so-called “SmartGuide”, ie an innovative display. Here the change of the cleaning process, pressure warnings, set cleaning modes or the current cleaning time are displayed. This display is attached to the wall and can make it easier for beginners to make a better transition.
It would also be useful, with frequent trips, a separate storage box. Especially with regard to the storage of the brush head, it is easy to eliminate bacteria causes.
In addition, there are increasingly product lines designed for specific user groups. By default, connectivity via Bluetooth or App is possible, even in the field of children’s toothbrushes. Useful especially for control and comparison, regardless of age. In turn, certain product lines, such as Oral-B’s Genius models, incorporate a position-sensing technology. It is easy to understand which area has been cleaned for how long. For example, individual cleaning times would be adjustable, for example, to care for dentures carefully.
It also highlights high-performance rechargeable batteries based on lithium-ion technology. Mobile charging stations are suitable as a companion when traveling, even without constant recourse to electricity. Proof of proper brushing may also provide features such as a 360-degree SmartRing, a feature of Oral-B Genius’s superior products. By displaying in different colors and the combination with other functions, individual care instructions can be used.
Braun Oral-B is one of the market leaders in the field of electric toothbrushes, the company operates worldwide and was founded in 1950. It is part of Procter & Gamble and known for its innovations, such as digital toothbrush control functions or particularly effective Genius brushheads.
Philips is particularly active in the field of sonic toothbrushes, models from the “Sonicare” series are recommended by dentists worldwide. Depending on requirements, there are special product specifications such as “DiamondCare” or “FlexCare Platinum”, which compensates for irregular cleaning habits.
Panasonic is a proven manufacturer of sonic toothbrushes in every price range, which has become known for its long battery life and intuitive features. The most important products include sonic toothbrushes such as “EW-DL83” or the family set “EW1031CM”.
Emmi-dent offers products in the field of ultrasonic toothbrushes, which are suitable for experienced users. The German company is known for its innovations in the field of micro-cleaning processes, which produce up to 96 million oscillations per minute.
Electric toothbrushes for children
The benefits of an electric toothbrush are outstanding, especially since the early 1990s, a new generation was launched on the market. Modern devices can be individually and intuitively controlled so that even problem areas can be safely reached. However, this certainly requires a certain amount of practice, especially if children should also benefit from these things. Electric toothbrushes effectively reduce the risk of incomplete and correct brushing. For this reason, they are basically suitable for younger people.
- The handling of a child with an electric toothbrush is possible if it can write fluently in cursive.
- Previously, brushing your teeth should be established as a routine of the day, as well as addressing the issues of inadequate oral hygiene.
On the other hand, there are practical things to consider, especially in terms of the handiness of the device.
- Electric toothbrushes for children must have a specially shaped handle, which allows a safe and not too heavy handling.
- Studded or rubberized surfaces are useful in the handpiece, so they can not slip even with running water.
- The brush heads are correspondingly smaller versions, but above all softer and moreover rounded bristles are important, in order to reach even difficult places.
- Additional functions such as certain color essays, beeps and the like help to internalize the correct cleaning speed.
To clean the toothbrush properly
Just like with simple manual toothbrushes, the head part here is a neuralgic point. Incorrect care can form bacteria, also clean worn bristles no longer effective.
- Any residue of toothpaste and plaque that may be between the bristles should be rinsed with warm tap water after each brushing.
- Dry out immediately afterwards in the air sufficiently, only afterwards in the storage box give. Moisture would otherwise favor bacteria.
Proper use – How to clean the teeth
Application with round head brushes
Only use the round head brush when the toothpaste has been applied and it is in the mouth and touching the tooth. The correct brushing action is performed by the toothbrush on its own, you only have to move from tooth to tooth at a small angle. Less is more, this is especially true for the pressure exercise.
A smooth process, ie from upper to lower jaw and from quadrant to quadrant, favours a comprehensive dental care. Twice daily at two minutes is also useful here. Hold the toothbrush horizontally, walk evenly along the gum line and reach the interdental spaces with different inclinations. The insides are similar, but the incisors should be cleaned slightly longer (= more thoroughly). Otherwise, tartar would be too easily deposited here.
Application with sonic toothbrushes
In the sonic toothbrushes, in principle, larger surfaces can be cleaned at the same time. Often a 30-second window is scheduled for each quadrant, visible by signs or a short break. Recommended is a 45 degree angle to the gum line, without significant pressure to exercise. Otherwise, it is important to reach each area and let the brush do its work for a certain time at the right angle.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
How often should you change the brush head?
Bristles become frayed over time, they tilt to the side. That this clean and safe cleaning is no longer possible, should be clear. The basic rule here is an exchange every three months. Depending on whether a lot of pressure is exercised, but you already recognize before frazzling. In this case, a more regular cycle is recommended.
Can the electric toothbrush be stowed in hand luggage on a flight?
Clear answer: Yes. This is a normal electrical appliance that can be easily stowed in carry-on. It may even make sense, as certain batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, may no longer be stored in checked-in luggage.
Is the electric toothbrush also suitable for braces?
Yes, but sometimes required are specially designed essays. Many manufacturers also recommend cleaning only in care mode “Sensitive”. This allows individual wires, but also pins to be cleaned.
Can you change the batteries of the toothbrushes?
No, because the batteries are usually specially sealed and make a handy replacement almost impossible. But very possible would be an independent approach by means of soldering, in which case the manufacturer’s warranty could be affected. In case of doubt, it is worth asking for suitable replacement at the manufacturer.
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