How to Buy an Electric Toothbrush Recommended by Dentists

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How to Buy an Electric Toothbrush Recommended by Dentists

Brushing teeth is often near the top of a child's list of least favourite activities. While it becomes more tolerable as adulthood sets in, brushing the teeth is still not an activity that most people take great pleasure in. However, the advent of the electric toothbrush has attempted to turn this into a simpler task. By moving the brush head across teeth automatically, requiring the user to simply hold the toothbrush and move it to different areas of his or her mouth, an electric toothbrush aims to make the act of brushing teeth more effective. The primary reason that dentists recommend this product is because it reduces the amount of plaque on the gums as well as the erosion of gums.

There are many options when it comes to buying an electric toothbrush, making the process somewhat challenging. In order to successfully buy the right electric toothbrush for their needs, consumers should be aware of the general benefits of these products, dentists' recommendations for electric toothbrushes, and the features that these toothbrushes offer. The online retailer eBay makes the process of purchasing electric toothbrushes easier with its many product options.

Why Buy an Electric Toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes have a number of advantages over manual ones, and being aware of these benefits helps consumers know what to expect from electric toothbrushes. Consumers should seek electric toothbrushes that provide superior plaque reduction, preserve the gums, and are easy to use.

Plaque Reduction

The British Dental Health Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation that promotes dental health, recommends the use of electric toothbrushes because they remove plaque at least 25 percent more effectively than manual toothbrushes do. Some models of electric toothbrushes, such those from Oral-B 3D, are capable of removing 100 percent more plaque than conventional toothbrushes. This offers greater benefits for a consumer's overall oral health because plaque can decay teeth and cause gum disease.

Gum Preservation

It is possible to brush teeth too hard with a conventional toothbrush. Doing so wears away gums over time, exposing more of the teeth and resulting in what many people consider a less appealing smile. Receding gums also makes teeth more susceptible to damage. Electric toothbrushes make it easy to clean teeth without applying much pressure. This helps ensure that consumers do not over-brush. Some electric toothbrushes even have a pressure gauge that stops the brush-head motion when the user applies to much pressure.

Ease of Use

Electric toothbrushes require less physical exertion than conventional toothbrushes, making them easy to use. This can benefit consumers who experience difficulty in moving their arms. The large handles of electric toothbrushes make them appealing to consumers with arthritis, for whom using a manual toothbrush may be uncomfortable. The ease of using an electric toothbrush also makes it appealing to children, many of whom see brushing their teeth as a laborious chore.

Dentist Recommendations Regarding Electric Toothbrushes

Although British dental associations do not generally endorse specific models of electric toothbrushes, they do make recommendations regarding the head movement, pressure control, and brushing times for electric toothbrushes in general. When choosing an electric toothbrush, consumers should try to follow these general recommendations in order to achieve the benefits described above. Consumers may also find that some dentists recommend Oral-B and Philips Sonicare models.

Head Movement

Independent studies have shown that oscillating brush heads (heads that rotate in both directions) are more effective at removing plaque and preventing gingivitis. Pulsating heads are also effective at removing plaque. Typically, an electric toothbrush has one pulsating head for breaking up plaque and an oscillating plaque for sweeping it away. These are great electric toothbrushes to seek for those who want to remove as much plaque as possible. However, electric toothbrushes with more basic head movements, such as the Oral-B Vitality Series, also do a better job of removing plaque than manual toothbrushes do.


In general, dentists recommend electric toothbrushes because users tend not to apply as much pressure with them as they do with conventional toothbrushes. This prevents users from wearing away their gums. When trying to choose a specific electric toothbrush, dentists suggest buying one with a pressure gauge that stops the head movement when the user presses too hard. This can be a helpful mechanism for individuals who still apply too much pressure with their electric toothbrushes.


No matter whether one is using an electric toothbrush or a manual one, dentists recommend brushing teeth for two minutes. An electric toothbrush with a timer built into it that indicates when the user has been brushing for two minutes is a great choice. Users can continue brushing beyond two minutes, but having a built-in timer in the toothbrush enables them to achieve maximum efficiency while brushing.

Features in an Electric Toothbrush

When consumers are aware of the recommendations from dentists regarding electric toothbrushes, they are able to identify the preferred features in toothbrushes. Additionally, there are features that may not affect the way the toothbrush cleans teeth, but they do make the brush more user-friendly. Paying attention to these features helps consumers purchase the electric toothbrushes that can improve oral health while requiring minimal effort during brushing.

Brush Motion

As mentioned above, dentists recommend electric toothbrushes with oscillating and/or pulsating brush motions. Oscillating brush heads make rapid quarter-turns in one direction and then the other, creating a windshield-wiper effect. Brush heads may also be counter-oscillating, meaning that alternating rows of bristles rotate in the opposite direction from one another. Pulsating brush heads are also known as ultra-sonic brush heads and these vibrate at a high frequency in order to break up plaque. Circular brush heads rotate in a single direction, and side-to-side brush heads have rows of bristles that move to and fro. Although these are less effective than oscillating and pulsating brush heads, they still remove more plaque than brush heads on conventional toothbrushes do.


Electric toothbrush heads move at different speeds from one another, so it is important to pay attention to speed specifications for a particular model. The faster the brush head spins or rotates, and the higher the frequency it pulsates at, the more effective it is at removing plaque. Children's electric toothbrushes tend to be slower than those of adults. Some electric toothbrushes come with different speed settings. This feature is useful for consumers who have parts of their gums that are more sensitive than others.

Pressure Indicator

Some electric toothbrushes have a pressure indicator that stops the brush head when the user applies too much pressure. Other electric toothbrushes have an indicator light that tells users they are pressing too hard. These features help prevent erosion of the gums.


Most people brush their teeth for an average of 40 seconds, which is inadequate. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that automatically indicates to the user when two minutes have elapsed. This helps users ensure that they have brushed for the dentist-recommended time. One enhanced feature that consumers may encounter is a quad timer. This gives an indication every 30 seconds so that the user knows when to switch to another area of the mouth. Quad timers help ensure that users are brushing all of their teeth adequately and evenly.

Power Source

An electric toothbrush may either run on a rechargeable battery or a replaceable one. A rechargeable toothbrush can normally go a few days before the user has to plug it in for a quick charge. This is a convenient feature because users do not need to worry about constantly replacing batteries.

Cleaning Settings

Some of the more advanced electric toothbrushes feature various cleaning settings. The table below describes the settings that consumers may find on such toothbrushes.



Daily Clean

For normal brushing, to remove plaque and maintain clean teeth


Whitens teeth over time using polishing cups


Slows the motion of the brush head for sensitive spots on the gums


Massages gum line where teeth meet the gum; good for people with bleeding gums

Deep Clean

Extended timer for more thorough cleaning

One can find brands that incorporate many of these settings in an electric toothbrush. Examples of electric toothbrushes with multiple settings include Oral-B Triumph and Philips FlexCare.

Buying an Electric Toothbrush on eBay

There are numerous sources from which you can buy electric toothbrushes, such as your local chemist, oral health products shop, or dentist. You can also find a wide selection of electric toothbrushes on eBay. The site makes it easy to find the toothbrushes that dentists recommend.

To conduct a search, go to any eBay page, enter a term such as "electric toothbrush" into the search bar, and select the Dental Care category when you get the listings. You can then filter for models of electric toothbrushes that have the features you would like by selecting a brand, such as Oral-B/Braun, and a model or series, such as Triumph. From there, you can browse the listings to find the toothbrush that appeals to you. Alternatively, you can start by entering a more targeted search term, such as "Oral-B Sonic Complete". This yields more specific results. Be sure to verify the seller's background before making a purchase.


Dentists recommend electric toothbrushes over manual ones because they are more effective at removing plaque. They also help prevent users from applying too much pressure on gums when they brush their teeth. Electric toothbrushes therefore do a better job than manual toothbrushes of promoting oral health.

If a consumer is considering purchasing an electric toothbrush, dentists recommend ones with oscillating or pulsating brush heads. Ideally, the toothbrush should feature both in order to effectively remove plaque. Dentists also suggest purchasing electric toothbrushes with a gauge in place that indicates when the user is applying too much pressure. A timer that notifies the user when two minutes of brushing time has expired is another recommended feature.

eBay is a good source through which one can access electric toothbrushes with the features that dentists recommend. By being aware of dentists' recommendations and the features that electric toothbrushes offer, consumers can utilize this website to find toothbrushes that render superior oral health benefits.

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