Oral-B electric toothbrush purchasing advice: how to choose the right product
- What You Need to Know
- The Oral-B range includes a large number of rotary toothbrushes and some sonic toothbrushes.
- Depending on the model, Oral-B toothbrushes come with three to six different cleaning programmes.
- Oral-B offers a wide range of attachment brushes for different needs that fit every Oral-B model.
- In addition to affordable entry-level models with the most important basic functions, there are smart luxury toothbrushes with position detection technology and gum protection assistant.
Thorough and comfortable brushing
Well-kept, healthy teeth are not only important for your appearance, but also for the health of your entire body. Among other things, several studies show that inflammation of the oral cavity, such as the gums (periodontitis), can increase the risk of general diseases such as a heart attack or stroke. Brushing your teeth is a fundamental part of oral and dental hygiene. This can be made easier with an electric toothbrush. Unlike a manual toothbrush, you don’t have to brush your teeth; the toothbrush does it for you. In addition, electric toothbrushes provide a more thorough clean thanks to the faster rotations. They remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush and reduce gingivitis more effectively.
Oral-B: The inventor of the electric toothbrush
One of the best-known and most popular brands of electric toothbrushes is Oral-B. The American company, which has belonged to P&G since 2006, focuses on oral hygiene articles and, in addition to electric toothbrushes, also has manual toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, oral irrigators and mouthwashes in its range.
In the early 1960s, Oral-B launched the first automatic toothbrush, the Mayadent model. Since 1991, Oral-B models have been available with the characteristic round brush head and oscillating-rotating brushing technology. In cooperation with dentists, Oral-B is constantly developing its models. In the meantime, an Oral-B toothbrush with artificial intelligence is even available. The goal of Oral-B’s further developments is the best possible oral and dental hygiene.
Different cleaning mechanisms of electric toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes can be divided into three types according to their cleaning technology: oscillating-rotating toothbrushes, sonic toothbrushes and ultrasonic toothbrushes.
Rotating toothbrushes: Removing plaque with a round brush head
The classics among electric toothbrushes are the oscillating-rotating models, also called rotary toothbrushes. They have a round brush head that pulsates, moving alternately clockwise and counterclockwise. Depending on the model, the brush head achieves 4,000 to 9,000 rotational movements in one minute. When brushing, place it on a tooth and let it rotate there with light pressure for a few seconds before moving it to the next tooth. There is no need for a brushing motion like with a manual toothbrush.
With their fast, circular movements, oscillating-rotating toothbrushes remove plaque much more thoroughly and efficiently than manual toothbrushes. Compared to sonic and ultrasonic toothbrushes, rotary models are the most affordable options. They are available for as little as ten euros.
Sonic toothbrushes: Thorough and gentle cleaning
Like normal manual toothbrushes, sonic toothbrushes have an elongated brush head. In contrast to a rotary toothbrush, the brush head of a sonic toothbrush does not rotate but vibrates very quickly. Depending on the model, it reaches 20,000 to 60,000 vibrations per minute. To clean the teeth, let the sonic toothbrush glide over the tooth surfaces with little pressure. Since less pressure is needed than with rotary models, sonic toothbrushes are gentler on the gums and teeth. However, with prices starting at 40 euros, they are also somewhat more expensive than rotary toothbrushes.
Ultrasonic toothbrushes: cleaning teeth with real ultrasound
Like sonic toothbrushes, ultrasonic toothbrushes have an elongated brush head. Unlike the latter, however, they clean the teeth with real ultrasound and up to 96 million vibrations per minute. This means that they clean the teeth even more thoroughly and gently than sonic toothbrushes. To brush with an ultrasonic toothbrush, you need a special toothpaste without abrasive cleaning particles. The ultrasound, in combination with the toothpaste, creates numerous foam bubbles that burst on and between the teeth. In this way, impurities are removed particularly thoroughly both on the tooth surfaces and in the spaces between the teeth. For first-time users, brushing with an ultrasonic toothbrush is very unfamiliar at first.
However, ultrasonic toothbrushes are considerably more expensive than rotary and sonic toothbrushes, with prices starting at 100 euros. In addition, there are the costs for the special toothpaste, which, with prices starting at five euros per tube, are significantly higher than for “normal” toothpaste. In addition, the choice of models is still very small.
What cleaning technologies does Oral-B use?
Oral-B’s electric toothbrushes are mainly rotating-oscillating toothbrushes. However, Oral-B also has sonic toothbrushes in its range with the Pulsonic Slim models. There are no ultrasonic models from Oral-B so far. In our comparison, we focus on Oral-B rotary toothbrushes because of the large model selection.
The special features of Oral-B toothbrushes
Oral-B’s electric toothbrushes were developed together with dentists. With their round brush heads that rotate up to 8,800 times per minute, they remove almost twice as much plaque as conventional manual toothbrushes. Thanks to specially shaped brush heads, they also clean the interdental spaces very thoroughly. All Oral-B handpieces are waterproof sealed. We highlight other features of the Oral-B models below.
Integrated cleaning modes
In order to be able to adapt the brushing behaviour to personal preferences and needs, the Oral-B electric toothbrushes come with different cleaning modes. Depending on the model, there are three to six cleaning programmes:
- Daily cleaning as the standard mode for regular dental hygiene.
- Whitening for the targeted removal of superficial discolouration
- Gum Protection for the care of sensitive gums
- Pro-Clean with faster rotation for a particularly smooth cleaning result
- Sensitive as a gentle programme for sensitive teeth
- Tongue cleaning for slow, gentle and thorough cleaning of the tongue surface
Battery and charging stations
The Oral-B electric toothbrushes are rechargeable battery models that you place on a charging station provided. They have a powerful lithium-ion battery that can last up to two weeks or more on a single charge. All current Oral-B models have a charging indicator light that flashes green while charging.
Oral-B models from the lower and mid-price segments come with a small, round charging station and sometimes a travel case with charging function. The higher-priced toothbrushes of the GENIUS series come with a somewhat larger charging station including a storage compartment for the attachment brushes. In addition, the models come with a premium travel case with dual-charging function. In it, you can charge your toothbrush and your smartphone at the same time with one plug.
Standard features of Oral-B electric toothbrushes include a timer and pressure control, as well as several cleaning modes. The timer ensures that you keep to the recommended brushing time of two minutes. It also reminds you to move to the next quadrant of the jaw with a flashing light and an audible signal every 30 seconds. The pressure control helps you protect your gums. Sensors detect when you are applying too much pressure and reduce the brushing speed. Mid-range and high-end models also have a visual pressure control that lights up red when you brush too hard.
Higher-end models connect to the Oral-B app (available for iOS and Android) via Bluetooth. With the app connection, you get some additional features that increase the brushing comfort and support you in your oral hygiene. Among other things, you can use the app to track your toothbrushing routine in the form of a weekly or monthly overview. In addition, the app serves as a toothbrushing coach and gives you recommendations specifically tailored to your brushing behaviour. During brushing, it provides visual assistance and reminds you of basic oral care steps, such as flossing.
Some Oral-B models include a gum protection assistant. Additional sensors detect how much pressure and how evenly you brush. Through the app, you can see exactly where you are applying too much pressure. Models with position detection technology use the smartphone camera to determine which areas you have forgotten to brush and show you these in the app. This way you can make sure that you also clean the back molars thoroughly all around.
Challenge accepted: Master challenges in the app
The toothbrushing challenge included in the app makes brushing your teeth fun. With this function, you brush your teeth without assistance from the app, which only tells you afterwards how thoroughly you have brushed and whether you have been able to improve your cleaning routine.
The current high-end models of the GENIUS X series are equipped with artificial intelligence. For this, the Oral-B experts have analysed the toothbrushing behaviour of thousands of people and fed the AI with the data. From this data, the toothbrushes learn to recognise and evaluate different brushing styles. In this way, it is possible to determine which areas have already been brushed thoroughly and which still need attention, even without a smartphone camera.
More of a chic gimmick than a toothbrushing aid is the personalisable SmartRing. This is a ring on the top of the handpiece equipped with LED lights. You use the Oral-B app to choose the colour you want the ring to glow while brushing.
Oral-B models for different needs
The various Oral-B electric toothbrushes differ mainly in their features and price. For example, the inexpensive models of the PRO 1 series are limited to the basic functions, while the smart luxury toothbrushes of the GENIUS X series offer various practical additional features. In the following, we present some of the most popular current Oral B series in more detail.
PRO 1: The entry-level models
Electric toothbrushes in the Oral-B PRO 1 series are available for under 40 euros. They are equipped with a timer that reminds you to change the half of the jaw every 30 seconds. You also choose between three brushing programmes: one for daily cleaning, one for whitening and one for gum protection. Models in this range are ideal for beginners who want to switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush.
PRO 4 and SMART Expert: The mid-range models
Oral-B toothbrushes in the PRO 4 and SMART Expert series are priced between 70 and 150 euros, which puts them in the middle to upper price range, but this is also reflected in their features. In addition to a timer, they come with the five cleaning modes “Daily Cleaning”, “Sensitive”, “Gum Protection”, “Whitening” and “Pro-Clean”. In addition, models in these series are equipped with a visual pressure control and are compatible with the Oral-B app. SMART Expert models are also equipped with the SmartRing, which can be personalised in twelve colours, and come with a practical travel case.
GENIUS 10000 and GENIUS X: The luxury toothbrushes
Luxury-class electric toothbrushes include models from the GENIUS 10000 and GENIUS X series, with prices ranging from 200 to 320 euros. They come with six cleaning modes, a timer and a visual pressure control and can be connected to the Oral-B app via Bluetooth. They also feature a SmartRing, position detection technology and a gum protection assistant. Models in both series include a travel case with dual-charging technology. Oral-B GENIUS-X toothbrushes are also equipped with artificial intelligence that recognises your brushing behaviour.
Kids, Junior and Teen: For all ages
In addition to the models for adults, Oral-B also has electric toothbrushes for children and teenagers in the range at different ages. For children from the age of three, there are Oral-B Kids models with compact handpieces for delicate children’s hands and Sensitive Mode, which protects sensitive gums and gently cleans teeth. Colourful stickers with Disney motifs are available to spice things up and personalise them.
The junior toothbrushes for children aged six and over also include a visual pressure control, an integrated timer and a connection to the free Disney Magic Timer app, with which children can earn virtual stickers of their favourite Disney characters for every brushing time they keep.
For teenagers aged twelve and over, there is the Oral-B Teen model. It is equipped with a timer and visual pressure control and is compatible with the Oral-B app. It comes with a SENSI-UltraThin attachment brush for gentle cleaning and an Ortho-Care brush especially for fixed braces.
Different Oral-B brush heads
Oral-B offers a wide range of electric toothbrushes as well as a variety of brush heads for different needs. It is practical that all brush heads fit every Oral-B model. So when you go shopping for brush heads, you don’t have to worry that the replacement brushes won’t fit your Oral-B model.
Thorough cleaning and whiter teeth
Most Oral-B models come with the CrossAction brush head as standard. It features specially angled bristles that reach well into the spaces between teeth. The bristles are rounded to protect the gums. The CrossAction attachment brushes are also available in a version with bacteria protection: silver-zinc zeolite in the bristles inhibits bacterial growth.
Practical: fading indicator bristles
Almost all Oral B brush heads have so-called indicator bristles. These are initially dark blue bristles that become lighter with continued use, indicating to you when it is time to change the brush head.
Similar alternatives to the CrossAction brush head are the Precision Clean and Deep Clean models. The Precision Clean brush heads have an extra high bristle density that effectively removes plaque while massaging the gum line. Like the CrossAction brushes, they are also available with bacteria protection. The Deep Cleaning brush heads feature special MicroPulse bristles that reach the interdental spaces very well. The Oral-B 3DWhite brushes provide whiter teeth. They have a rubberised polishing cup in the centre that removes surface discolouration.
Soft bristles for sensitive gums
For people with sensitive gums, Oral-B has the Sensitive and Sensi UltraThin brushes in its range. The Sensitiv brush heads clean the teeth gently and effectively at the same time with dense, soft bristles. The Sensi UltraThin brushes have a round flower shape and soft, very thin brushes. They clean the teeth particularly gently and reduce gingivitis.
For fixed braces, crowns, bridges and implants
For wearers of fixed braces, Oral-B has Ortho Care brushes in its range. They have a special bristle rim for thorough and gentle plaque removal around the braces. The Interspace attachment brush is suitable for thorough cleaning of the interdental spaces and for brushing under bridges, crowns and implants.
Brushing like a manual toothbrush
For those who want to brush their teeth like a manual toothbrush, but more thoroughly, the TRIZONE model is a suitable brush head. Unlike the typical Oral B brushes, this one is elongated like that of a manual toothbrush. The bristles, which swing back and forth sideways while brushing, are divided into three zones:
- PowerTip bristles for the molars.
- Shorter bristles for the tooth surfaces
- Longer bristles for the interdental spaces
Brush heads for children
Oral-B Stages Power brushes are designed to gently clean children’s teeth. They are extra small, have soft bristles and a raised row of bristles for thorough cleaning of the chewing surfaces that are prone to decay. Oral-B recommends the Stages Power brushes for children aged three years and older. The child-friendly design with Disney motifs, for example “Mickey Mouse”, “Cars” or “The Ice Queen”, makes brushing teeth more fun.