The toothbrush – a staple of everyone’s home, the thing a lot of us (including me) never really think about, replace every 4-6 months, and use at least twice a day. Oral hygiene is something that impacts us more than just looks or having to deal with cavities later on – bad oral hygiene leads to inflammation and bacteria leeching into our blood. I don’t think I really grasped how serious it was until a couple of years ago. There are two main categories of toothbrush: manual and electric. Within those, there’s the customization of bristle type and softness – these I won’t review since it’s a very personal choice and dependent on your mouth, teeth and personal tastes. I will however tell you about how my discovery of a particular electric toothbrush changed my oral hygiene for the better.
…but first, let’s start at the beginning with:
The Manual Toothbrush
This is the thing we’re all used to and that I used basically for my entire life. Dentists always gave me one after my cleaning with extra soft bristles and usually with a smaller head telling me to reach farther and do a better job. So I tried, and I’d hear it again…and again. I never felt like it wasn’t doing a good job, I’d be brushing for a long time and everywhere I thought I should but my teeth never looked squeaky clean – they looked fine. Manual toothbrushes though can only brush at the speed you are brushing at and are restricted by their shape.
Fast-forward to last Christmas, I was intrigued by the concept of an electric toothbrush, especially as I’d moved across the country and my regular dentist was far away. It helped that it was sale season and I found an Oral-B electric toothbrush at a pretty good price.
The Game Changer: Oral-B Pro 1000 Toothbrush
My toothbrush arrived and looks exactly like the one above. It had a small base that was easy to plug in, a battery indicator on the brush and came with a small brush head. I immediately plugged it in, excited to try it that evening. My first experience with it was not something I’d rave about. It was a little noisy, felt a little weird and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep using it. I wasn’t used to the sensation of an electric toothbrush on my teeth, it feels a little ‘buzzy’ but doesn’t hurt or annoy my teeth or gums at all. This particular toothbrush rotates quickly which I liked – some other types of electric toothbrushes vibrate and I’ve heard that the sensation is weird. The grip part of the toothbrush vibrates (every 30 seconds) to let you know that it’s time to switch quadrants in your mouth so it helps you time how long you should be brushing each section – that’s great for keeping me accountable on brushing time (because really – what feels like 2 minutes is usually 1 minute or less). The real magic was seeing how shiny and clean my teeth were after. My mouth felt really fresh and clean and my teeth looked polished.
I spent a couple of weeks alternating between my manual toothbrush and this one because it did take me some time to get used to. My teeth always felt amazing after, which is why I kept going back to it. I now exclusively use it. I’ve also had no bleeding gums since switching over – partly because it’s gentler on my gums and partly because it’s helping me get a better clean consistently.
I’ve seen other electric toothbrushes that come with UV chambers to sanitize your brush – they’re usually 2-3x the cost of this one and I can’t really see myself paying that much for a brush and UV cleaning chamber especially since regardless of whether or not you have one you still need to replace the brush heads. At the end of the day, brushing my teeth should be an experience I enjoy and that gives me good oral hygiene. If I feel good doing it and my mouth feels great after then it’s a win.
For anyone who hasn’t tried an electric toothbrush and is interested in one, I’d highly recommend the Oral B Pro 1000 – it was really inexpensive, works really well, has a spinning motion which is more comfortable than the vibrating motion, has a small head which is great for any sized mouth and has a small base that you can plug in. The battery life on this brush is also really great – I don’t always have it plugged in and it will usually last a week on a full charge. It’s also super portable (in that it’s small) and it looks pretty sleek. The only con is the sound – more expensive electric toothbrushes still sound pretty loud but slightly less loud – the buzzing comes with the territory of an electric brush.
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