The ultimate guide to choosing an electric toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have revolutionised the way ordinary people care for their teeth at the simple touch of a button. Since their introduction in the 1960s, these dental wonders have undergone several advancements from superior battery power to high-end functions such as oscillation, vibration and even water flossing to keep your teeth whiter, cleaner and less prone to decay. But with so many options available on the market, how do you select the right electric toothbrush for your needs?

As South Africa’s first online store dedicated to bringing you premium dental care at your convenience, Smile Shop wants to help you make the correct choice for your budget, lifestyle and unique requirements. All our products are tested and personally recommended by a local dentist, assuring you that we aren’t taking you for a ride by selling high-end products without a solid reputation.

Benefits of electric vs manual toothbrushes

Before we dive into the conundrum of what toothbrush to buy, let’s spend a bit of time highlighting the advantages of spending a bit of extra cash on an electric toothbrush.

electric toothbrush

While it may appear to be an extra expense in the short term, the long-term savings (in terms of trips to the dentist) make buying an electric toothbrush a real no-brainer. 

  • Superior cleaning efficiency
  • Equipped with advanced technology to ensure a more thorough and consistent cleaning process, electric toothbrushes are a real game changer, particularly for children and persons with limited mobility. Their rotating or oscillating heads can remove plaque and food particles with greater precision, significantly reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease. 

  • Built-in timers
  • According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person spends a dismal 45 to 90 seconds brushing their teeth each day. This is less than half the recommended 4 minutes that dentists advise us to spend brushing those pearly whites (that’s broken down into two 2-minute sessions a day). But the technologies of an electric toothbrush make that much more achievable. Many come standard with built-in timers, sounding a beep or turning off after 2 minutes are complete, allowing you to rest easy that one task is completed as per the ‘doctor’s’ orders. 

  • Pressure sensors
  • People tend to apply unnecessary pressure to their gums and teeth when brushing, particularly those who use manual toothbrushes. But electric toothbrushes make way for another breakthrough in this department. Pressure sensors alert you of moments where you overstep the mark, preventing damage to your teeth and gums.

  • Multiple brushing modes
  • While you can take your creativity to the next level by attempting various techniques for getting your teeth clean using a manual toothbrush, the reality is that most of us brush the same way every time. Electric toothbrushes keep things interesting and adapt to your particular requirements by featuring a number of modes (including whitening, sensitivity, gum care and more). 

    Types of electric toothbrushes

    The number of toothbrush options on the market can feel overwhelming. Here’s where we at Smile Shop step in to help, unpacking the basic categories you will find on the shelves at local shops or at the touch of a button online: 

  • Rotating
  • These electric toothbrushes have a group of bristles that turn and rotate in different directions, mimicking the motions of a professional dental cleaning. They can either be organised in a circle that rotates or bristles that spin. They are excellent at removing stubborn stains and plaque and are often the cheapest type of electric toothbrush available on the market.

  • Oscillating
  • Particularly suitable for those with braces, oscillating toothbrushes feature small, round brush heads that swing back and forth in a regular rhythm, providing a deep and comprehensive clean. 

  • Sonic
  • These toothbrushes use high-frequency vibrations to create dynamic cleaning action, dislodging plaque and debris from teeth and gums. They deliver up to 50 000 strokes per minute in contrast to their manual competitors (that produce an average of 300). Known to do a gentle, yet thorough clean, these are ideal for those with sensitive teeth and gums. (Check out our game-changing Ordo or usmile products online). 

  • Hydrosonic
  • Ideal for those with braces, dentures and implants, hydrosonic toothbrushes combine the features of the sonic range with hydrodynamic technology. Their high-frequency vibrations and water-jet or water-flossing provide further assistance in removing plaque and debris from between teeth and along the gumline. (Check out the features of the Ultrasonic toothbrush from Curaprox).

    Considerations for selecting your next electric toothbrush

    Make sure your next electric toothbrush ticks the following boxes before making it into your shopping cart:

    1. Simple operation - Is it comfortable to hold and use? Does it have simple controls that you understand how to use and that are easy to manoeuvre? 
    2. Solid performance - Read reviews and make sure the toothbrush has run smoothly without hitches or surges and gives a warning when it’s necessary to charge. Does it have a travel case or charging stand, which may be necessary based on your unique requirements? 
    3. Dentist recommended - Does it come with a nod of approval from a dental professional? (The full range of toothbrushes available at Smile Shop have a dentist’s stamp of approval and have been tested by pros, giving you peace of mind)
    4. Long-term durability - Does the toothbrush come with a guarantee or warranty to make it a safe purchase? While brush heads may need replacement every 3 months, your electric toothbrush should not. 
    5. Price - We all have a budget to stick to. Does the toothbrush you need fit a realistic budget? Smile Shop endeavours to provide premium products at affordable prices. 

    Where can I buy a quality electric toothbrush?

    Smile Shop is your easy, trusted and simple solution. Stocking the world’s leading electric toothbrush brands alongside the finest kinds of toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwashes, there’s no need to shop around. 

    Shop online today and receive nationwide free delivery on orders over R750!
    Dental hygieneDental products onlineElectric toothbrushesOral hygiene products