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Electric Toothbrush – Is It Right For You – A Consumer Guide


If you really want to live longer, then you need to brush your teeth regularly and properly! Okay, so there may be a whole host of other factors that affect how long you actually do live but science has shown that poor oral hygiene can and will affect our general health.

Scientists have already discovered that regular and proper brushing can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, further studies have shown that gum disease can speed up mental decline six times faster than those without. If that isn’t enough to make you want to up your brushing skills, then poor oral health has also been heavily linked to a whole host of other problems such as strokes, heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. 

For these reasons, having the right toothbrush is important. 

The question is… Do you go for a manual brush or an electric toothbrush?

In this guide we’ll cut through much of the confusion surrounding electric toothbrushes and tell you what you need to know, namely, is an electric toothbrush right for you. So without further ado, let’s dive straight in and get started…

When you buy an electric toothbrush here in Australia you are in reality investing in your oral health care. So yes… 

We’d suggest that the best electric toothbrushes are most certainly worth it.

A manual toothbrush, for example, provides a cleaning efficiency of around 300 brushing strokes per minute whereas the top electric varieties provide between 30,000 – 40,000 movements per minute. Even a quality children’s electric toothbrush operates at around 15,000 strokes per minute. That’s some cleaning power!

Whether you are considering a children’s electric toothbrush for your youngest family member or a ‘grown-up’ version for yourself, most manufacturers will tell you that an electric toothbrush is an absolute necessity.
Yet, despite the fact that sales of the electric toothbrush here in Australia are on the rise, the truth is that you really don’t need to own one.
In fact, when used correctly, a manual toothbrush can clean equally as well as their electrical counterparts.That said, many dental professionals agree that the best electric toothbrushes do come with a number of added benefits. Benefits that include

  • Consistent power to produce something similar to a professional clean
  • A variety of cleaning modes
  • Timers and pacers to encourage a ‘proper’ 2 minute clean
  • Differing attachments and brush heads
  • Fading bristles to remind you that it’s time to change your toothbrush head

That’s a difficult question to answer as you can pay anything between $20 for a standard quality kids electric toothbrush right up to $300 or more for a branded top-of-the-range electronic cleaning kit. Ultimately it’s not about the cost as a higher price doesn’t always equate to better cleaning capability. Instead, choose one that has good reviews and that suits your budget. 

The requirements that make up a good toothbrush for one person will be different from those of another. Need and personal circumstance can all play their part. That said, we do believe that there are some key factors that make up a quality electric toothbrush here in Australia. So let’s take a look. 

Firstly essential factors…

Whether it’s a kids electric toothbrush or an adult version,  two essential features that a toothbrush needs are a 2-minute timer and a quad pacer (this lets you know that it’s time to move to another area of the teeth).

Factors that are worth considering but are not critical include

  • Good battery life
  • Pressure sensors
  • Additional cleaning modes
  • Brush intensity
  • Cost of replacement brush heads

Finally, other factors that might be considered low importance include smart features, weight and size of the brush, noise, water resistance etc.

Sonic, vs Oscillating-rotating vs Ultrasonic

Irrespective of whether you buy a kids electric toothbrush or an electric toothbrush for an adult, its main job is to effectively clean away any plaque, bacteria and food debris from in and around the teeth and gums.

Whether you opt for Braun, Oral B, Colgate or another branded brand, most leading brands tend to do exactly this and results have also been proven across many clinical studies. 

However, just to confuse you, they achieve these results in different ways –  primarily through the use of sonic, oscillating-rotating or ultrasonic methods. While different brands will suggest that they offer the next level in dental cleaning, there is no real evidence to suggest that one method is any better than the other – However, for the sake of this guide, it’s well worth taking a closer look to see what these methods are…

A Sonic Electric Toothbrush

Sonic toothbrushes use two methods to clean teeth. Firstly they utilise a side to side motion, just like a manual brush – except in this instance the motor moves the brush. The second is a non-contact method that harnesses the power of sonic energy to disrupt plaque. To do this the brush head needs to vibrate at speed. As it does so, the vibrating wave loosens plaque in locations that are beyond the initial reach of the brush head.

Sonic electric toothbrushes were first brought out in the early 1990s and are typically recognised by their ‘toothbrush’ style heads.

Rotating-oscillating toothbrushes

Rotating-oscillating varieties of electric toothbrush are typically distinguished by their rounded brush heads.

Rotating brushes are the oldest style of electric toothbrush and typically require the movement of the electric toothbrush against the teeth to remove any debris. In other words, they clean where the brushes touch. Because of their simplicity and proven ability to remove plaque, oscillating brushes remain incredibly popular.

Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush

Consider ultrasonic toothbrushes the same as sonic toothbrushes but on steroids. With an ultrasonic toothbrush, the vibration is so intense that it operates at over 2 million movements per minute. It’s suggested that an ultrasonic vibration has the ability to remove bacteria up to 5mm below the gum line. Essentially speaking, it has the ability to clean teeth simply by resting on them.  

So there you have it, everything you need to know about the electric toothbrush!

Hopefully, this consumer guide has answered many of your questions that should help you decide whether an electric toothbrush is right for you. If you would like to find out more, check out Denfinity to find the right electric toothbrush for you. 

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