Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What’s the “down-low” on Electric Toothbrushes?

Doesn't it seem like there's been a lot of advertising going on lately about electric toothbrushes? Especially those funky ones on TV infomercials? Well, to help sort through all the hype, I'd like to cover some features to look for when buying an electric toothbrush. If you have decided to go ahead and buy an electric toothbrush, either sonic or high end conventional rotary type, you will find that the various models you have to choose from will each offer their own combination of options. Some of these options will vary by way of the design type of the toothbrush (i.e. sonic or conventional electric) while other features will vary by way of the individual manufacturer and what they feel is important to offer.

Listed below are the options we have observed as being available. No doubt you will find some of these to be of great benefit and then others of much less importance to your specific situation, but I list them all in an attempt to be thorough and complete.

Electric toothbrush timers: As you probably know, one of the main problems with brushing is that many people simply do not brush long enough. So to help to alleviate this problem many electric toothbrush manufacturers have incorporated timers (with either audible or tactile signals) into their products so to give their users an idea of how long to brush. The most common variations on the idea of brush timers are as follows:

Brushing duration timers: These timers are intended to provide a guideline related to the total amount of time to brush. Typically these timers trigger at one or two minute intervals.

Quadrant timers: Dentists will often refer to the mouth as being composed of four "quadrants" (i.e. the upper left teeth, the lower right teeth, etc...). Some electric toothbrush manufacturers have incorporated timers into their brushes that trigger at intervals marking how long you should brush each single quadrant of your mouth. Usually these timers trigger at 30-second intervals.

Electric toothbrush power settings: Some electric toothbrush designs allow for an option that sets the power of the brushing action to either a "high" or "low" level.

Typically an electric toothbrush's greatest benefits will be achieved with the brush set to its higher setting. The lower power setting is usually suggested for those who have just started to use the product and find that either they or their oral tissues require a transitional brushing motion.

Is more than one person going to use your electric toothbrush?: If more than one person will be using your new electric toothbrush you will need a way of identifying each individual person's brush head. Most manufacturers color code their brush heads so they can be easily identified. You will also have to consider where you are going to store these extra brush heads when they are not in use. With some electric toothbrush models the brush heads can be stored on the toothbrush's recharging base.

Replacement brush heads: Just as with manual toothbrushes, the bristles of electric toothbrush brush heads do wear out. I reviewed the websites of several electric toothbrush manufacturers and found that they typically recommend replacing brush heads somewhere between every 3 to 6 months. When choosing an electric toothbrush don't forget to figure in the cost and availability of replacement brush heads.

Does the electric toothbrush have a money back guarantee trial period?

Some toothbrush manufacturers and/or vendors offer a trial period during which you can use and evaluate an electric toothbrush. This may be an important option to those who have never used an electric toothbrush before and are hesitant to go to the expense of buying one, not knowing if they will use it.

I hope that this was educational and that it helps you find the right brush for you! And if you really want to know which brush I actually use, please leave a comment/email address and I'll message you back!

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