DentalCare Logo

Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes

Course Number: 648

Power Source

Power toothbrushes are marketed today in one of two ways: 1) disposable and battery-operated; or 2) rechargeable electric source.

  1. Disposable and Battery-powered Toothbrushes

    Lower cost, replaceable (disposable), battery-operated toothbrushes utilize built-in AA batteries so that the batteries can be replaced when worn down (on some models) or the entire toothbrush discarded. On other models, the brush head can be replaced. As the battery life is reduced, the toothbrush speed also reduces. These brushes may be valued by those seeking a budget-friendly power brush option, or by those who want to test the waters with power toothbrushes with a minimal cost investment. Typically, they do not have innovative features such as speed, pressure control, or Bluetooth connectivity, however, depending on the type of technology, still may be more effective than a manual toothbrush in reducing plaque and gingivitis.

  2. Rechargeable Electric Toothbrushes

    Powered toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries are charged by sitting on a stand that is connected to an electrical outlet or USB port. Advances in technology have also introduced travel cases with the ability to charge the electric toothbrush. Users keep the handle and replace the brush head optimally every three months or sooner if they see the bristles have been splayed (spread out/bent/distorted). The speed of these brushes varies from low to high, with the variance dependent on the manufacturer and type of brush. Rechargeable brushes typically are equipped with the most features, varying in cost based on the extent of high-tech options to monitor safety, brushing time, and ensure the best brushing experience.