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Electric toothbrush reviews

CHOICE tested electric toothbrushes, looking at a number of factors including vibration, cleaning head design and user feedback after trials. Read our review on electric toothbrushes (member content).

We also have this free ultimate guide to electric toothbrushes for those looking for powered teeth cleaning.

What are experiences with electric brushes?

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We have used Oral B for years, and after trying the more expensive models, now we buy the most basic model we can find.

The major difference we have found is actually in the toothbrush heads. The basic bristle brushes wear out and becomes dog eared quickly. The more expensive ones with some form of plastic (eg plaque removal) built in with the bristles lasts many times longer.

By the way, they all have a low battery indicator… they stop.

IMHO, the batteries in their major weakness for at least three reasons. Firstly, there is no manufacture date on the packaging, so when you buy a new toothbrush you have no idea how long it has been in storage. Some toothbrushes have only lasted us six months before needing to be in the charger every day. This could be because either they have been in storage a LONG time, or perhaps the batteries are poor quality.

Secondly, the batteries are not replaceable. If the toothbrush is in good condition but the batteries won’t hold charge, why should you have to throw out an expensive electric toothbrush? The batteries are soldered in, and I have not been able to find any available replacement batteries.

Finally, I am not sure what sort of batteries they use in them, but they are not good quality in terms of how long they hold charge, and how little use it takes to flatten them.

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Like you I have Oral for ages, 40+ year, in fact was using them when they really were a German brand Braun, rather than part of huge conglomerate.
I agree about the batteries, very frustrating, there are online places that will replace the batteries, so worth searching.
I have experimented with several types. The professional 3000 with the Flossaction brush is the best I have used. Kind to your gums, and according to my dental hygienist very effective. I think its mixture of rotation and vibration may contribute to that. Also its pressure sensor is fantastic, I use far less pressure than before.

I changed my own “3000 series” batteries a few times but as my eyesight is no longer the best, no more. If your eyes are good, your hands are steady and you can solder, it is not difficult. For the Vitality range, it is different so see here.

The hardest part is properly seating the new battery, facilitated by good desoldering around the PCB holes prior to insertion. If the tabs are not inserted into the PCB all the way so the battery sits flush the battery can interfere with PCB or case reassembly.

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Yes @longinthetooth, I still occasionally refer to them as Braun.

thanks for the links Phil

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I am quite sure that the Oral-B electric tooth brushes are still manufactured by Braun. Proctor & Gamble bought the Oral-B brand decades ago, bought Braun and used that name for the Braun tooth brushes.

Oral-B/Braun - they work well ! Wait until they are on special at woolies …

I recently bought an oralB eletric toothbrush as Coles had a range at a discount. I find the power too strong and vigorous. I don’t know if it is normal or if it’s manufacturers fault. When adjusting angles the hard back and stem bangs against my teeth, it’s hard to know exactly which way the brushes are pointing. I’ve recently read of dentists finding abrasion scratches on teeth and I suspect electric toothbrushes may be the cause. There is no speed control so I’m hoping it may weaken with further use over time.

FWIW the “higher” models of the Orab-B have 2 speeds and some have fast-slow-fast-slow pulsing. The 3000 also has a pressure senor to warn of pressing too hard. The 1-speed “Vitality” range is usually the one on sale at the groceries.

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Yes, mine is not the more expensive model. I suspect that these are discounted because they were calibrated to be too fast running and word of mouth has not encouraged sales. I could probably achieve more control by switching to the sensitive brush head where as the current one has yellow silicone inserts that remove plaque or 'floss yet create a rougher ‘ride’. I don’t feel like returning a product that’s been in my mouth -even the body of it has been under the tap and had toothpaste on it.

My gut feel about the 50% discounting is that Oral-B is following printer companies strategy and all but giving away the handle to sell replacement brushes since there are price point problems for many people with the higher models, or perhaps they hope some will upgrade after using this entry level product.

Here is a good overview of the Oral-B range, and especially note that the Vitality is slower than the others, and there is a link to brushing with electric toothbrushes.

http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/oral-b-power-toothbrush-buyers-guide

Right, mines the Vitality, bottom of the range. It’s the slowest yet goes like the clappers. I’ll switch from Flossaction brush one day to a rounder brush to help it buffet less.

A PS to an allied product. We recently bought a Waterpik Waterflosser. It came with 6 tips, but each different. It beggars belief they sell a $110-150 product packaged for one person since most of us would be unhappy to share toothbrush heads or water flosser tips. No worries, the tips are documented to need periodic replacing so surely they sell the tips separately. $20 for a pack of 2, and to replicate the 6 tips for 2-3 people it is another $120, although few people would need or want the whole collection.

It is made more insulting since the product is readily available in the US at $USD60 inclusive for the WaterFlosser and $USD9 for a pair of tips.

Conclusion, the replacement / extra tips are a rip off (or they make little on the Pik and everything on the tips) as they cost about as much as the entire product, and WaterPik is one of those “trusted companies” doing us over with the Australia Tax, which is another topic.

I have been a fan of Colgate electric toothbrushes for 30 years. My original Colgate was mains powered not battery and it went for 10 plus years. I find the rechargeable battery models have a life of around 5 years. I like Colgate because it has brushes that are similar to manual brushes, but with smaller brush heads that let you get right to the back. I can’t stand the round rotating ones produced by Oral B and Braun. My current model s the top of the range Colgate/Omiron model. Purchased at half price from the online Shavershop at half the RRP. I couldn’t be happier, it adjusts the power levels according to the shape of your teeth. The round rotating brushes don’t match my teeth shape. They look good on TV but my teeth are not the same as the model in the advertisements so the bristles do not get down to the gums as they do in the adverts Unless you have gaps between your teeth I doubt that they would work as well as the brush heads that look like manual brushes

Has anyone else noticed that the current Oral B batteries have a much shorter life? Ours are typically running down after about two days- that is four to six uses.

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Welcome to the community @Tom1,

We have multiple Oral-B electrics, a few years old, but each will still hold charge for 6 days or more - eg 12 uses minimum - usually longer/more. Do you have a single or multiple units and if multiple, are they all exhibiting similar charge life? Or it it an instance of one unit?

I suggest you contact Oral-B customer service as it doesn’t seem right. There is also a 180 day guarantee you could take up if not satisfied.

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As @TheBBG outlined, there appears to be a fault or defective batteries in your new Oral B toothbrush. Oral B indicate they should last between 5 to 12 days between charging. This Oral B website has info on battery life and some troubleshooting solutions worth trying before contacting Oral B…

https://www.oralb.co.uk/en-gb/oral-health/why-oral-b/faq/battery-issue-with-my-electric-toothbrush

I would contact Oral B and let them of your problem if troubleshooting doesn’t work…contacts in the link provided by @TheBBG.

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For your next review on these, I’d really suggest noting if the device has a LITHIUM battery or other inferior. I have found that is a key difference in the price gap between $100+/- range & the $200+ range.
Cheers

Specifying the battery type should be easy for upcoming reviews, but as a practical matter few lithium batteries are rechargeable, so I presume you mean lithium-ion? Could you elucidate differences you observe regarding advantages in consumer electric toothbrushes? Li-Ion batteries have advantages over others in some applications while others may provide better service and longer lives in others.

This seems a good tutorial even though toothbrushes are not mentioned.

https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/whats_the_best_battery

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