August 3rd 2020
When it comes to brushing to our teeth, it seems that more and more of us are looking to give our tools a high tech upgrade. More effective than manual alternatives, but definitely more expensive, which electric toothbrushes really deliver? To help you decide where your money’s best spent, we put a bevy to the test.
The promise: “Covers all oral care needs from plaque removal, gum health, and tongue care to tooth whitening.”
We give it: 9.5/10 (tearing up slightly at the price tag)
Review: “There’s your bang average manual toothbrush, and then there’s this. The private jet of toothbrushes (it sounds pretty whizzy too), it’s the latest jewel in the Sonicare crown, and its features and functions outdo anything we’ve come across on the market so far. First off, it ‘coaches’ you to better oral health by way of an Bluetooth app that provides you with a personalised ‘mouth map’, to show you where you’re brushing, where you’re missing, where you’re scrubbing or applying too much pressure , plus it’ll alert you when you need to replace brush heads. It’ll lightly cajole you into focusing on trouble spots, and all of your dental data can be sent onto your dentist, so that they know whether you’re spinning them a yarn about flossing or not.
“As for the brush itself, it sounds somewhat like you’ve let off a hornet’s nest at first, but the gentle power it revs up is seriously satisfying - once your toothbrush decides you’re finished (it times you), teeth feel smooth and glossy, and over the two months I’ve been trialling it the stain removal and natural brightening effect is akin to a hygienist's appointment. It won’t whiten your teeth, rather make your pegs look as good as they possibly can. With three brush heads to focus on deep cleaning, gum health and whitening (or rather, stain removal), plus a paddle-like tongue care head to buzz away bacteria, this brush could be worth shelling out for if oral health is a key health priority for you. Given the expense of dental bills, cosmetic treatments and how much we’re prepared to splash on our physical fitness, you can take the sting out of the tail of the price point by seeing it as prevention rather than cure, but definitely file this under life investments…”
The promise: “The perfect travelling companion to keep that super clean feeling wherever you may be.”
We give it: 6/10
Review: “I have often hovered over these in Boots debating whether to buy one. I am a Philips Sonicare devotee, but don’t want to lug a £200 toothbrush around in my handbag. This has always tempted me as a good alternative. So how did it test? Plus points for being small, battery-operated (no charging), travel size, funky and cheap for a sonic (battery and spare head included). Minus points for actual sonic cleaning power; there’s not enough buzz to use it as you would a normal sonic, where you simply hold the brush on the tooth and allow it to vibrate the debris away. The instructions say ‘brush as instructed by your dentist’ which isn’t all that helpful. So, I opted to scrub as I would with a manual toothbrush, with the result that it gave me a really good clean, thanks to the extra 22,000 strokes per minute it claims to add.
“Would I buy one? I don’t think so. Because my teeth get a thorough sonic clean twice a day, I’m happy with a manual for my handbag – at least I know it will never run out of battery. But if you're new to a sonic, this could be an affordable first step.”
The promise: “This highly advanced brush features a dentist-inspired round head that surrounds and cups each tooth with dynamic oscillating, rotating and pulsating movements to remove up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush.”
We give it: 8.5/10
Review: “I’ve been using this electric toothbrush for just under a year and my teeth have been all the better for it as a result. They’re cleaner and brighter and the slightly alarming rate at which my gums were starting to recede has started to slow down. Gentle yet effective, its useful 2 minute timer function goes off every 30 seconds to signal that you move on to the next section and its welcome pressure detector ensures that brushing on autopilot isn’t an option (a regular occurrence with me). Furthermore, its variety of different settings and brush heads come in particularly handy when I need to make my brush a little more bespoke (the more intensive Pro-clean function is a favourite of mine).
“In addition to these already impressive functions, it also comes with some forward thinking pieces of tooth tech, namely the ability to use Bluetooth to connect to the Oral-B App and get real-time feedback on your technique. While a treat to try a couple of times at the beginning, I haven’t personally felt the need to use these features all that much since which leads me to think that a less expensive version from the brand might do the job just as well for me. At £300, it’s a definite investment, but if you’re looking for a customisable clean that leaves manual brushes appear almost prehistoric, this is for you. It's thankfully usually on offer though - look out for discounts when you're next in Boots!"
The promise: "A revolutionary toothbrush with stronger cleaning that’s gentle on gums.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “First up, this is fairly expensive; one for the Christmas lists if you should be so lucky to have generous loved ones, or one to save up for given it doesn’t require new batteries and really is worth the investment if you have sensitive teeth and gums. For the high price you get a slick design that’s comfortable to hold, beautifully quiet and perfectly waterproof; just one charge lasts up to 6 months and a charge only takes an hour.
“This Issa 2 brush head is part silicone, part PBT polymer bristles; the silicone is soft and gentle on sore gums, while the bristles carefully take care of your teeth. The head is quite large which can be off-putting, and small mouths might be happier with the more compact and cheaper Mini version; however, I find it makes me thorough with getting close to the gums and means I take my time over it. This is helped by the built-in timer to tell you when to switch angles, and eight speed settings which you can adjust as needed. I sometimes find I lack that completely squeaky clean feeling that I’d get with more abrasive bristles, but the fact my dentist was impressed last time she saw me tells me all I need to know. It works.”
The promise: “Superior clean for teeth and gums on the go.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “If you don’t want to compromise on polished gnashers while you’re travelling, or want a day to day electric toothbrush that does double duty, the Pocket-Pro® is mightily impressive. The sonic cleaning action buffs teeth efficiently, leaving them looking and feeling clean and shiny, and while the brush head is shaped like a manual toothbrush, there’s none of the surface scrubbing that usually accompanies a bog standard toothbrush - light pressure does the job nicely.”
“The USB powered travel case is a great idea in that it sleekly packs your brush away for travelling, and you can charge it easily in the case, although I’m knocking a point off as my case proved rather flimsy - the top fell off, which doesn’t stop it charging, but leaves my brush exposed to the rest of my luggage which isn’t ideal. Otherwise, almost full marks, especially considering that the price has plummeted from £64.99 to £23.99. I bought mine at full price (the sting in the tail of the sales…), but despite my financial losses I’m still happy I did, as it is genuinely light and portable yet delivers enough power to be your go-to toothbrush rather than an emergency travel splurge.”
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