The Hygiene Message in a Bottle Mailbag is a monthly feature of the e-newsletter, Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. Each month, Colleen Olson, RDH, BBA, the editorial director of the Hygiene Product Navigator, will answer reader-submitted questions to help you navigate your dental hygiene product decisions (and more!). This month, she shares her electric toothbrush recommendations.
Maria from Florida wrote: What are our choices these days in the way of electric toothbrushes?
Thanks for the question, Maria! My current favorite electric toothbrushes to recommend are the Oral-B rotation-oscillation power toothbrushes and the Philips Sonicare sonic electric toothbrushes. Each of these brands has many different models at a variety of price points. I personally use a Sonicare FlexCare Plus, but my husband loves his Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries.
Other than the differences in the way each toothbrush brand operates, there are a couple of differences and similarities worth noting. Both brands now have Bluetooth-connected toothbrush options that communicate with smartphone apps, and both brands have rechargeable versions available for kids.
The Oral-B line includes a wider selection of brush heads, including specialty options, such as those for orthodontics and for sensitivity. However, the Sonicare brush heads are smaller and look more like standard manual toothbrush heads.
My favorite feature of both brushes is the timer. Unless they are making a concerted effort to time themselves, most patients who brush with a manual toothbrush probably don’t actually brush for the recommended two minutes twice a day. There’s no excuse not to know how long you’ve been brushing,with both the Oral-B and Sonicare brushes. Both brushes buzz in 30-second intervals to remind patients to move to another quadrant of the mouth. Furthermore, at least one model in each toothbrush line has a pressure sensor, which comes in handy for patients who brush too aggressively.
When I’m recommending an electric toothbrush to patients, I usually recommend both brands and tell them that the best toothbrush for them is the one they will use the most consistently!