Choosing an electric toothbrush shouldn’t take half a day, right? At least it seemed that long when confronted with an entire aisle of these devices.
Some basic research on how to compare electric toothbrushes can save both time and money. Here are the most important things you should consider beyond cost when comparing products.
ADA Seal. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises consumers to buy only toothbrushes – manual or electric – with this seal. In order to display it on packaging, a company must prove that all components are safe in your mouth. The bristles must be free of any sharp or jagged edges of endpoints. The handle has to meet durability standards, and the bristles can’t fall out when used normally. Finally, when an average adult uses the toothbrush, it must meet a standard for decreasing mild gum disease and plaque.
Powered toothbrushes must meet the standards of a safety laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. The vendor must also present research results showing the toothbrush is safe both on soft and hard oral issues and dental restoration work.
Battery: If you travel frequently, you might not want to carry a battery charger. According to consumersearch.com, Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro rates highest overall of electric toothbrushes that aren’t rechargeable. A pack of two sells for $15.98 at amazon.com.
Among rechargeables, the Oral-B Professional Care ($86.00 to $96.57 at amazon.com), the Sonicare FlexCare ($126.99 at AmericaRx.com) and the Oral-B Vitality ($16.95 at drugstore.com) are tops, consumersearch.com reports. The Oral-B Vitality has a battery life of five days versus two weeks for the other two rechargeables.
Cleaning modes: If your dentist recommends a toothbrush with multiple cleaning modes, the Oral-B Professional Care has four: daily clean, sensitive, whitening and deep clean. The Sonicare FlexCareoffers three: clean, sensitive and massage.
Brush heads: Consider both the number of brush heads with which the toothbrush is sold and the cost of replacing them. The Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro and the Oral-B Vitality have just one. You’ll get two with the Sonicare FlexCare and three with the Oral-B Professional Care.
The replacement cost for the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro is around $9 for two heads. For the three rechargeables, it ranges from $22 to $24 for three.
Brush movement: More is better. Like most non-rechargeables, the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro comes with just two brush movements, spinning and side-to-side. The Oral-B Vitality provides rotation. While the Sonicare FlexCare gives side-to-side vibrations, you’ll get pulsation, rotation and oscillation with the Oral-B Professional Care.
Convenience: If you’re going to use it every day, an electric toothbrush must be convenient. The handle should be easy to grip. The brush size should fit your mouth.
Warranty: Each of the rechargeable toothbrushes has a type of two-year warranty. For a limited warranty, check the time period during which satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back. With the Oral-B Professional Care, it’s 60 days. You’ll get 28 days with the Sonicare FlexCare.
American Dental Association (ADA) site