The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Khan on September 14, 2013, 07:13:26 PM

Title: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Khan on September 14, 2013, 07:13:26 PM
So what's the forum's thoughts on electric toothbrushes? Better then regular toothbrushes, or another-monetary-pit?
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: fidgiegirl on September 14, 2013, 07:26:25 PM
I really liked mine, and felt like my mouth was cleaner when I was using it.  The brush itself was cheap ($10 in 2003) but the heads were expensive (best prices were at Costco) and then as newer models came out, they got harder to find.  I should really hunt online again though as I miss the electric brush a lot and am worried I am going to start getting cavities - I know I don't brush as well with a regular brush.  To me, saved teeth and dental work is definitely frugal.

I should note that my brush just took AAs, I would use my rechargeables.  I think a person could spend a ton on a brush with built in chargeable batteries but haven't really priced them . . .
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Frankies Girl on September 14, 2013, 07:44:04 PM
I got one from my dentist's office (think it was $50, but had a $10 rebate) Sonicare rechargeable.

Definitely make my teeth feel cleaner, and I have no plaque buildup at all, so cleanings are a breeze. Great gum health and checkups overall.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Will on September 14, 2013, 09:03:29 PM
Ever since I got my Braun/Oral-B oh so many years ago, my dental hygienists have been very happy with me.  A very good investment.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: imustachemystash on September 14, 2013, 09:56:02 PM
That's a good question and I have often pondered it myself.  I got the Sonicare during a sale around Christmas.  I always had a ton of plaque and my dentist kept telling me I should get the Sonicare.  It makes a huge difference!  I get the replacement heads at Costco.  Of course it is not as cheap as a plain old toothbrush and I cringe when I have to buy the replacement heads. However, I have to weigh in the long term effects of having better oral hygiene.  I hate dental work and hopefully this antimustachian device will prevent me from needing as much as I would using a regular toothbrush. I think if you are not in a debt emergency then it's okay to get one.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: bogart on September 14, 2013, 10:26:34 PM
My dentist recommended one for both me and my DH but has subsequently said that he seems to do just as well with a manual as an electric, whereas she notices a big difference for me with the electric.  I have pretty dreadful teeth (they are apparently "rough" rather than "smooth," making them harder to get really clean) and a very wet mouth, both of which, it seems, promote germs/decay, so I'm a "tough case."  I got a noticeably expensive electric brush on the dentist's recommendation; she tells me that the inexpensive battery-powered ones often don't really keep spinning (though they sound like they do, i.e., the motors keep running) if you are using enough pressure to brush your teeth.  My recollection is that I tested my cheap battery powered toothbrush against my finger and observed she was right, but how generalizeable that is I don't know.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Dicey on September 15, 2013, 07:25:38 PM
Great question Khanjar! My husband and I both use them and I hate the high cost of replacement brushes. However, we are both now in our fifties and we would spend any amount of money to keep our dental health (8k for his braces last year-Ack!), so I just grit my teeth (gently) and pay for them, usually at Costco. I still cringe every time I install a new brush and wonder how mustachian I really am. Nice to know I have company out there in mustache-growing land.

Serpentstooth, thanks! I never thought to look online for knockoffs. I did buy the Target brand once and hated them. They made the toothbrush really noisy. Of course I bought them well in advance of need, so the 30-day return period had elapsed and I was stuck with them. Simply despise Target's return policy. Has your DH had better luck as far as noise is concerned?
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: OOBER on September 15, 2013, 10:28:53 PM
That's a good question and I have often pondered it myself.  I got the Sonicare during a sale around Christmas.  I always had a ton of plaque and my dentist kept telling me I should get the Sonicare.  It makes a huge difference!  I get the replacement heads at Costco.  Of course it is not as cheap as a plain old toothbrush and I cringe when I have to buy the replacement heads. However, I have to weigh in the long term effects of having better oral hygiene.  I hate dental work and hopefully this antimustachian device will prevent me from needing as much as I would using a regular toothbrush. I think if you are not in a debt emergency then it's okay to get one.

Agreed.

I got a Sonicare ~6 years ago for Christmas and absolutely refuse to go back to manual brushing. My dental checkups are much more pleasant now as the hygienist usually comments on how little there is for her to clean.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: aj_yooper on September 16, 2013, 02:25:35 PM
We use the Braun Oral B.  Our dental hygienists have noticed the difference in plaque.  My dentist also recommends gargling with Listerine.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Simple Abundant Living on September 16, 2013, 02:38:03 PM
We have Sonicare and I have one with a UV sterilizing contraption for the brush heads.  My sister got it for me at the dental office she works, so I'm not sure what it costs retail.  It cuts down on buying new heads simply because of germs.  (We replace a lot of toothbrushes for this reason).  I do think my teeth are cleaner and gums are healthier.  You only get one set of adult teeth.  Treat them well.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Mr.Macinstache on September 16, 2013, 02:47:23 PM
I'm going to say consumerist. I skipped the dentists for many years, more than I'd like to admit, and when I finally went she said I've been brushing very well. No gum issues either.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: StarryC on September 16, 2013, 02:49:53 PM
Another vote in favor.  I have terrible teeth and had a ton of fillings as a young adult and child.  I got the toothbrush on sale at some point between dental visits and my hygienist commented on the improvement without knowing I'd changed.  They also feel cleaner, but that could be psychosomatic. 

I think the real benefit is to gum health and plaque- I'm not sure they do much to prevent cavities, and you should still floss. 

Mine is a plug in rechargeable.  I don't have an outlet in the bathroom, so I charge it once a week or so.  It definitely works better right after a charge.  You only have to replace the brush head 3 times a year, so one 3 pack at $30 is a year's supply for me, and there are cheap knock offs if you feel that $30 a year is too much. 

Mr. Macinstache may have genetically great teeth or a great healthy diet. 
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Will on September 16, 2013, 03:15:20 PM
It cracks me up that I got a "power toothbrush" ad at the bottom of this thread!  LOL!
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: rubybeth on September 16, 2013, 04:41:01 PM
I just asked my mom, a CDA (certified dental assistant) for 40+ years, about this, and she answered, "For a person who has dexterity issues or a child who has trouble brushing thoroughly enough, it can be a good idea, for the average person, it isn't necessary." However, she also agreed that anything that gets you to brush more thoroughly or consistently take care of your teeth is a good thing (I love those flosser pick things which cost more than regular floss, but I definitely floss every day with them and my mouth feels cleaner, so to me, it's worth it).

Early retirement = good
Early denture-wearer = bad
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: minnie1928 on September 16, 2013, 05:08:19 PM
I'm going to say consumerist. I skipped the dentists for many years, more than I'd like to admit, and when I finally went she said I've been brushing very well. No gum issues either.

That could be related to your personal body as much as how you brush.  My husband didn't go to the dentist for over 10 years and when he finally went they said the same thing...no issues.  Our best friends are dentists and they told me that much of a person's dental history depends on the type of teeth they have.  Apparently, my husband has perfectly hard teeth that are easy to clean.  Where I have soft teeth that require me to have checkups 3x/year.  Either way, I'll never give up my skincare!  It does an amazing job on my teeth!

And, they don't have to be expensive.  I bought a few at target for less than $10 a few years ago and kept them until the current ones died.  I buy the replacement heads at costco when they go on sale
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: MrsPete on September 16, 2013, 05:42:36 PM
One thing about me is perfect, and it's my teeth.  Yeah, I couldn't be naturally thin and athletic or have great skin.  Nope, my one big perk had to be something that is expensive but fixable and moderately invisible to other people.  I'd definitely trade my excellent teeth for perfect eyesight.  Regardless, it's genetics.  I was fortunate enough to be born with strong teeth and can't claim that my perfect teeth are a result of any action beyond simple brushing. 

In contrast, my 19 year old takes excellent care of her teeth, but she rarely experiences a cavity-free check up.  She inherited a mouth full of Swiss cheese teeth from her Daddy.  Her needs are greater than mine, and I should investigate buying her one of these Sonic Care tooth brushes.  Since I am still paying her health care costs while she's in college, it might be a money saver for me . . . But better health for her would be the real benefit. 
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: destron on September 16, 2013, 07:06:52 PM
My dentist says they do a better job at cleaning (Specifically, he recommended me the SonicCare. No, he does not sell them at his office.) and I tend to agree. While I spent a good chunk on that electric toothbrush, the technician has been very happy at my cleanings and my gums have been happier. I have never had a cavity or dental problem (yet) and I don't ascribe my success to the electric toothbrush, but I can feel a difference. IMO, it is cheaper to keep your teeth in good condition than to save money now and pay more on dental care later. Just one cavity will wipe out any savings you get from not buying an electric toothbrush and more.

I look at it along the same lines as buying healthy food. It might be cheaper to eat ramen every day, but it will be more expensive in the long run.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Monkey stache on September 16, 2013, 07:39:26 PM
I use an Oral B one and Walgreens has off brand replacement heads for ~$8-9 for a pack of 3. I definitely think it's worth the cost because of my bad teeth. I still have most of my baby teeth (genetics) and I think a better brush more than pays for itself in the long run.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: chasesfish on September 17, 2013, 04:26:04 AM
+1 to the Sonicare.  Its not cheap, but I can buy 18 heads (a 4.5 year supply) for the cost of one cavity filling at my Dentist
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Rickk on September 17, 2013, 06:11:26 AM
I like my oral-B and would not go without it.  That said - this thread made me wonder if the Sonicare is better and I found this on a quick google search:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838)

I guess if my current one ever breaks I will switch to Sonicare!
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: clutchy on September 17, 2013, 10:52:44 AM
Generally I have teeth prone to cavities.  Having an electric toothbrush has now put me in the no cavities for 6 years.  That's unheard of for me.  The cost savings and oral health are far far in excess of the cost. 

Consider the cost of a single cavity.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Spork on September 17, 2013, 11:03:09 AM
+1 to the Sonicare.  Its not cheap, but I can buy 18 heads (a 4.5 year supply) for the cost of one cavity filling at my Dentist

+1 for me, too.

I've tried one off-brand of replacements and they were really not good.  They rattled and made a crapton of noise (and in turn, did not provide nearly the sensation of cleaning as the real ones.)  The little rubber gaskets were not very good and they would mildew inside and smell awful in a month or so -- even with lots of cleaning and soaking.  I went back to the name brand (4-packs at Sams for about the price of a normal 2-pack).
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: impaire on September 17, 2013, 12:08:54 PM
I'm with all the bad-teeth people who switched to Sonicare--I've had one new cavity in the past 8 years, since switching. That's versus 1-1.5 a year before that. So definitely worth it to me.

My current brush, which I got for free six years ago (by filling surveys), is still hardy despite twice-daily usage by two people (using different brush heads of course). The one before didn't break either (I just moved to a different continent with different electric standards and so left the brush behind). This summer, my husband unthinkingly plugged our American brush into a French socket, thus frying the charger; I found a new one on amazon for $21.

I also buy the replacement brushes from amazon--I put them on a save and subscribe program, not only are they cheaper than in my local store, they also help me get to the 5-item threshold on certain months (i.e. increase my rebate).
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: James on September 17, 2013, 12:26:57 PM
I used spin brushes for years because I was too cheap to get a sonicare. But I finally broke down, and I can say there is a big difference for me using the sonicare. My kids also have much cleaner teeth with the sonicare, though we haven't seen the dentist yet, so we will know even more then.


I don't think it's something you purchase while in a debt emergency, but I don't think it is consumerist as long as you can budget for it and get the heads as cheaply as possible. I waited until I saw them at the local walgreens for 15% less than the lowest price online, and picked up 5 for my whole family. I will do the same sort of thing for the heads, finding them as cheaply as possible.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: theSchmett on September 17, 2013, 05:37:46 PM
FWIW I am pretty shocked by the strong trend towards this seemingly very consumerist item.

My personal feeling is if you get some kind of functional gain, its not a luxury or consumerist any more than a good pair of boots that will last for year and years or an efficient but expensive furnace.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: aj_yooper on September 17, 2013, 06:45:19 PM
FWIW I am pretty shocked by the strong trend towards this seemingly very consumerist item.

My personal feeling is if you get some kind of functional gain, its not a luxury or consumerist any more than a good pair of boots that will last for year and years or an efficient but expensive furnace.

My OralB was strongly recommended by both dentists I see.  I might have thought your thought until I used it and saw the results in my next dental visit.  YMMV
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Psychstache on September 18, 2013, 09:16:21 AM
Another +1 for the Sonicare. I did not get lucky in the tooth gene department, and it has made a pretty significant difference. Also, I like how mine has the built in timer to more or less force you to brush your teeth for an appropriate amount of time (as opposed to the 10 sec I might do with a manual brush when I'm tired.)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: pdxcyn on September 18, 2013, 06:31:05 PM
I'm surprised by so many electric toothbrush users here. I have used one in the past but didn't care for it. For some reason I drool all over when I use electric, plus I didn't care for the refill brush costs. I just use the free manual toothbrushes I get from the dentist every time.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: cavalofun on September 18, 2013, 08:09:51 PM
I'm a Registered Dental Hygienist in NJ.  I can honestly tell you the cost of simply brushing your teeth and well is an astronomical savings moneywise and painwise.  Electric tb's might seem like an expense at first but they do a phenomenally better job or let us say they do a lot better than we are usually WILLING to take the effort and time to do while brushing our teeth (myself included).  On that note yeah they are pricey at first and if you wanna get one at least get one that plugs into the wall not one with remote controller batteries (those really only work marginally better than a manual tb).  That said if your willing to do the actual 2 minute good brushing with a soft manual tb your usually fine.  But as much as I the honest hygienist admits i hate doing as well, want the greatest tip for the best teeth ever saving tons of money in the long run on cavity and periodontal bills?  Just floss once a day.  You and your dentist will be amazed at the difference.  And if your hygienist is saying about flossing and you already do ask her to teach you how cause I see tons of people doing the work but not using the proper technique and losing the benefits. ;)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Dicey on September 18, 2013, 11:36:46 PM

+1 for me, too.

I've tried one off-brand of replacements and they were really not good.  They rattled and made a crapton of noise (and in turn, did not provide nearly the sensation of cleaning as the real ones.)  The little rubber gaskets were not very good and they would mildew inside and smell awful in a month or so -- even with lots of cleaning and soaking.  I went back to the name brand (4-packs at Sams for about the price of a normal 2-pack).

I agree with you completely. Off topic alert: My mom is an avid Scrabble player and I only play when I visit her. I'm a crossworder, so I occasionally play words she doesn't know but are perfectly "legal" (etui, anybody?). Last visit, I played "spork". She didn't challenge it, but looked it up in her Scrabble Dictionary, that holy of holies. Turns out it's NOT there, lol! I told her it is an eating utensil, available free at Taco Bell and therefore should be in the Scrabble Dictionary, but she won't let me hear the end of it. So, I am carrying a lovely plastic-wrapped spork around in my purse, which I will present to her on my next visit.
P.S. I won the game.
P.P.S. Love "crapton". Wonder if it might make the Scrabble Dictionary someday?
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: ZiziPB on September 19, 2013, 07:43:34 AM
Another vote for an electric toothbrush.  I've had a Braun Oral B for years and love it.  My semi-annual cleanings at the dentist are a breeze.  Replacement heads are expensive but I get mine at Costco.   Will consider Sonicare when time comes to replace my current brush (the battery is still going strong but there is some wear and tear on the soft plastic grips after about 10 years...)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: simonsez on September 19, 2013, 08:22:23 AM
Consumerist.  As with everything, some may value that arena a little differently so to each their own.  i.e. no face-punch required even though I have a different opinion.  :)

Semi-side note: I've heard good things about the Paleo diet (and other similar ones) and ease of self dental care (tooth sensitivity, gums, plaque levels, etc.) for people who previously had issues before while on the standard American diet.  This tidbit could be somewhat anecdotal with severe selection bias. Also, I'm sure some may have great natural teeth regardless of diet (to a point assuming no major vitamin/mineral deficiencies) of course.  It makes sense to me that a negative correlation would exist between dental health and consumption of sugars and starches and therefore the base requirements of personal dental cleaning gear may vary dramatically (and thus alter the values of toothbrush types).
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: CommonCents on September 19, 2013, 09:24:56 AM
I'd call it YMMV.

I've spent a lot on dental bills over the years.  A LOT.  I also get to spend more now, because apparently a prior dentist did bad work on my mouth that needs to be redone.  (There is a persistent red infection under a crown put in 3 years ago for example, which I'm told shouldn't happen.)  This year it's $1300 (pre-tax) and next year I've got another $1300 in work planned.

So, for me, an electric toothbrush saves me money.  Could I brush and set a timer to brush for two minutes?  Yes, absolutely, so this can be seen as unneccessary.  Did I, in 32 years?  No.  Only 2 years ago when I got the electric and got tired of high dental bills and got a dentist that scared me into flossing every day, brushing two minutes, etc, did anything change.  So for me, I save money overall this way and get better cleaning for really bad teeth than I would if I used a manual and set an alarm.

But I do hate the high replacement head price, so I use them much longer than I should and I try to coupon to better prices.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: mm31 on September 19, 2013, 10:27:39 AM
Electric toothbrushes just cream laziness to me. Your mouth isn't that large a space, the motions aren't that hard, and you only have to do them for 2-3 minutes. It's really not that hard.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Paul der Krake on September 19, 2013, 10:41:58 AM
Muscle over motor for me too. Never realized how mainstream they were until I went to college.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: TedDut on December 05, 2015, 12:08:31 PM
Electrical toothbrush is definitely a good investment. I have it for 4 years and since then I have really no problems with teeth.
Good electrical toothbrush you can get for 30$, but if you search for best then you might look at this link:
http://www.everydayquality.com/4/which-electric-toothbrush-is-best
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Lookilu on December 05, 2015, 03:05:31 PM
I'm lucky enough to have very good teeth. DH, alas, is not. But then one day my dentist suddenly started talking about my gum pockets. I had never even thought about having gum pockets.
I went to Costco and bought us matching Sonicare toothbrushes the same day.
My teeth are still good and now so are my gums. As someone else posted, you only get one set of adult teeth. And gums. Take care of them.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: aj_yooper on December 05, 2015, 05:36:46 PM
Love the electric brush, then flossing, and gargle.  Keeping the gums healthy is the real deal.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Telecaster on December 05, 2015, 05:46:29 PM
Love my Sonicare.  Definitely does a better job cleaning my teeth than a regular toothbrush.   
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: act0fgod on December 05, 2015, 08:27:53 PM
I like my oral-B and would not go without it.  That said - this thread made me wonder if the Sonicare is better and I found this on a quick google search:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838)

I guess if my current one ever breaks I will switch to Sonicare!

I'd say the paper was put on by a group backed by sonicare.

This one was likely funded by oral-b.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25122979

You can find multiple articles that say one is better than the other.  What you can't find is an article that says a manual brush is better than an electric toothbrush.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Telecaster on December 05, 2015, 10:41:31 PM

I'd say the paper was put on by a group backed by sonicare.

This one was likely funded by oral-b.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25122979

You can find multiple articles that say one is better than the other.  What you can't find is an article that says a manual brush is better than an electric toothbrush.

I dunno, when I was reading your link off the margin I saw a link to this article that says the electric beats the manual:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8841896

and this one:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487840

and this one:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

And that's when I stopped looking at the articles in the margin. 

I don't have a dog in this fight, I really, really don't care what kind of toothbrush people use.  But there is some evidence electric toothbrushes work better, and for me personally there is no question the Sonicare gets my teeth cleaner.  Maybe I'm just lazy or don't know how to brush my teeth, but I'm willing to pay for results. 



Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Sailor Sam on December 05, 2015, 10:51:35 PM
Electric. I have an OralB, but I travel frequently and hate to lug the charger around, so I sometimes revert to manual backup. My teeth are perceptibly cleaner when using the spinning head. It's also reduced my yearly cavity to no cavities. I'm sold.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: horsepoor on December 05, 2015, 10:57:00 PM
I like my oral-B and would not go without it.  That said - this thread made me wonder if the Sonicare is better and I found this on a quick google search:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838)

I guess if my current one ever breaks I will switch to Sonicare!

I've been using the same Oral-B for about 12+ years and it is going strong.  I really notice the difference in how clean my teeth feel if I'm traveling and using a regular toothbrush.  So much better after I get home and use the Oral-B.  DH has a long-abandoned Sonicare, so I'll co-opt it should my Oral-B die, or if the current CostCo pack of brush heads runs out.  FWIW, I'm 38, have been using an Oral-B since about age 22, and have never needed a real filling (just some enamel once over a soft spot).
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Kouhri on December 06, 2015, 03:57:54 AM

I'd say the paper was put on by a group backed by sonicare.

This one was likely funded by oral-b.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25122979

You can find multiple articles that say one is better than the other.  What you can't find is an article that says a manual brush is better than an electric toothbrush.

I dunno, when I was reading your link off the margin I saw a link to this article that says the electric beats the manual:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8841896

and this one:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487840

and this one:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

And that's when I stopped looking at the articles in the margin. 

I don't have a dog in this fight, I really, really don't care what kind of toothbrush people use.  But there is some evidence electric toothbrushes work better, and for me personally there is no question the Sonicare gets my teeth cleaner.  Maybe I'm just lazy or don't know how to brush my teeth, but I'm willing to pay for results.

Eh... so you agree?  Electric wins (Bolded stuff mine)

Personally I use a manual about 50% of the time and electric the other 50%. I definitely notice the difference between a manual and electric clean. My teeth feel clean after a manual brush. My teeth feel new after an electric brush. Plus the published evidence supports it so hey.

I don't really get the comments saying that it's consumerist or antimustashian, isn't mustachianism about working out how to spend only on what adds value to your life and also looking after "future me"? I think having my chompers remain intact for as long as humanly possible is pretty darn valuable.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Emilyngh on December 06, 2015, 06:29:05 AM
Another vote for the wonders of a Sonicare.

I have been using one for maybe 10 years and can totally feel the difference whenever I happen to use a manual toothbrush.   I have had one cavity in my adult life, and it was in a crack in a molar.   I got my husband to use one a few years ago, and am the most enthusiastic about them for younger children (who just aren't going to do a wonderful job brushing) so I just got one for my 4 year old daughter for this christmas.

I am not a big fan of the dentist and while my daughter will probably go once a year for a checkup until she's into her teens and doesn't seem to have problem teeth, DH and I only go every 2-5 years or if we notice a problem.   I believe that brushing and flossing well are what are really key to good preventative dental care (so Sonicare is big part of that) and the dentist really is not preventative as much as there to fix a problem if it arises. 

Buying a sonicare once every 10 years or so, and then replacement heads (which many stores now sell their own off-brand heads that work with it for much less) are much less expensive than getting a dentist to do a "cleaning" for you every 6 months.   So, I see the sonicare as having the potential to be a big money saver.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Telecaster on December 06, 2015, 10:20:52 AM
[
Eh... so you agree?  Electric wins (Bolded stuff mine)


Doh!  <smacks forehead>  Sorry about that, I read it exactly backwards. 
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: moustacheverte on December 06, 2015, 11:21:41 AM
Where I live, the worst price for 3x Oral-B brushes is 25$.

That's 8.33$ per. A regular toothbrush costs around 3$. That's a 5$ difference every month. Dentists and hygienists seem to agree that electric is much better for most people and a visit there costs around 150$ (50$ after insurance).

I figure the extra 5$ per month is worth it because it saves us tons on dentist fees in the long run.

I tried the cheapo knockoffs and they were nowhere near as good, the plastic pieces weren't well adjusted together and they were always pinching my cheeks while brushing. I threw them all away and fork for genuine Oral-B brushes now. They are cheaper online and we stocked up when SIG electronics was still in business, selling 3 packs for 9.99.

If anybody knows a reliable source for genuine brushes at a price similar to SIG electronics in Canada, I'd love to restock.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: yuka on December 06, 2015, 12:03:44 PM
As someone with swiss-cheese teeth and a (poor) diet that encourages problems, electric toothbrushes are a godsend. It's easy to get everywhere because you only need placement, rather than range of motion; that means the corners of the mouth are as easily brush-able as the front. Also, it's getting far more passes across the teeth because of the high-frequency motion. I thought that Oral-B and Sonicare were comparable in effectiveness, although the Sonicare definitely moves more quickly.

The cost half of the equation may also be different for me, as I tend to stretch the lifetimes of my hygiene consumables. Razor blades last me several months, and I've been using the same sonicare head for at least 8 months.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: reader2580 on December 06, 2015, 01:36:45 PM
Electric toothbrushes are going to cost a fair bit more than a manual toothbrush.  If you go for bi-annual cleanings you should usually get a free toothbrush at each cleaning.

My dentist highly recommended that I get an electric toothbrush.  I figure if an electric toothbrush avoids one dental procedure I probably paid for the electric toothbrush for a number of years.  I have dental insurance, but there is a co-pay for fillings and other procedures that adds up quick. 
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: yyc-phil on December 06, 2015, 02:10:08 PM
I have excellent teeth but terrible gums, and switching to Sonicare two years ago has made a visible difference in my dental health to the point where my dental hygienist visits are now a piece of cake. I have been buying generic replacement heads from China from an eBay seller for about three dollar or so a piece, shipping included, and I honestly have no noticeable issue whatsoever with quality. At that price, I can afford to replace the head every few months. The only thing I don't like about the Sonicare brush is that the battery cannot be replaced easily, unless you go for a DIY solution.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: BlueMR2 on December 06, 2015, 03:14:55 PM
My dentist recommends it, but I haven't bought one yet.  It's kind of hard to clear that price hurdle for me.  Plus, not a fan of things that require recharging.  I get clean checkups now *except* for there's evidence that I'm actually brushing some of the enamel off of my teeth.  She told me to brush *less* (shorter length of time) and softer.  I'm afraid with an electric I'd burn that enamel right off of my teeth...
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Carolina on My Mind on December 06, 2015, 03:48:27 PM
My dentist and dental hygienist have been recommending that I get an electric toothbrush for years, so this year I finally broke down and bought an Oral-B.  No question that my teeth feel cleaner when I use the electric brush.  I don't think they're essential -- I lived without one for 45 years -- but I also don't think they're a frivolous purchase, especially for those of us who don't have the world's greatest teeth.

I practice good dental hygiene and faithfully get my teeth cleaned every six months.  To offset the cost of the electric toothbrush (as well as the recurring cost of replacement heads for a good long while), I simply skipped a cleaning.  I figured missing one won't kill me.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: MMMaybe on December 06, 2015, 06:59:14 PM
Totally worth it. Aside from replacement of old fillings,  I have not had dental work done in years, besides my twice yearly cleans and check ups. My gums don't bleed either.

My Sonicare died so I replaced it with an Oral B a while back but I plan to go back to Sonicare. Its really the best.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: lbmustache on December 08, 2015, 05:29:53 PM
Bumping this to say I picked one up today. I have been concerned about my teeth and flossing and brushing still leave me with mild periodontitis. Which means I have to use the stupid mouthwash that turns your teeth yellow, ugh. I also got my wisdom teeth removed which left a hard to reach area behind my remaining wisdom teeth.

Both ORAL-B and Sonicare are on sale at Costco, including the brush heads. It is a set of 2 for $75 ($25 off their usual price). I think the sets go for around $110 at Amazon and one style even goes for about $90 individually!

I picked up the Oral-B only because I think I like the circular head better than the traditionally-shaped head. I split the cost with my brother (he got one, I got one).

Hoping this solves my dental issues, if not, I guess that's what Costco's return policy is for, ha.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: spokey doke on December 09, 2015, 06:16:47 PM
So this thread had me searching reviews of electric toothbrushes, and from what I can see, Oral-B regularly beats out
Sonicare (particularly when price is factored in).  But there is a lot of love for Sonicare here...insights and explanations (before I order my Oral-B from Amazon)?
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Spork on December 09, 2015, 06:26:28 PM
So this thread had me searching reviews of electric toothbrushes, and from what I can see, Oral-B regularly beats out
Sonicare (particularly when price is factored in).  But there is a lot of love for Sonicare here...insights and explanations (before I order my Oral-B from Amazon)?

I've had 2 Sonicares over 15-20 years.  There is nothing wrong with them.  My 2nd one is wearing out (i.e, the NiCads are dying).  I've replaced the NiCads before... but it's a bit of a pain.   I just ordered an Oral B last week because the price difference was pretty substantial.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Rural on December 09, 2015, 07:27:32 PM
 I have a small mouth and usually need soft brushes anyway, so I use the little "disposable" children's electric toothbrushes. One lasts me the better part of year, costs under five dollars, gets my teeth much much cleaner than a manual toothbrush,  doesn't require new batteries or recharging, and generally has amusing properties. For example , the current is a Hello Kitty toothbrush.  I think I may do Ninja Turtles next. 
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: MMMaybe on December 09, 2015, 08:49:55 PM
So this thread had me searching reviews of electric toothbrushes, and from what I can see, Oral-B regularly beats out
Sonicare (particularly when price is factored in).  But there is a lot of love for Sonicare here...insights and explanations (before I order my Oral-B from Amazon)?

Having just gone back to a Sonicare from an Oral B...

My teeth feel cleaner generally when using the Sonicare. The dentist will be happy to know that I have just bought a new Sonicare as my dental report card slipped from an excellent to a good while using (the admittedly lower grade) Oral B. There did seem to be more plaque.

However, I would say that flossing is still a major component of good dental health and a fancy toothbrush can't make up for that. So that may also be a major factor in my good dental health :)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Cpa Cat on December 09, 2015, 09:09:01 PM
I used to think I had awful teeth and bad genes because I had multiple cavities every time I went to the dentist.

Then I started using a Sonicare - and since then, have rarely gotten a cavity.

It turns out that it wasn't my teeth that were bad - it was my method of brushing. In particular, the Sonicare had a 2 minute timer on it where it stopped automatically after 2 mins. I don't think I ever brushed my teeth long enough or thoroughly enough prior to getting the electric brush with a timer.

I do use off-brand replacement heads for my Sonicare. I've never owned any other brand, so I don't have an opinion. Personally, I think the automatic stop timer is the most important feature, and I would not purchase an electric toothbrush that did not have that.

In terms of Mustachianism - the Sonicares (I'm on my second brush), have recouped their cost many times over in dental care savings.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: SirOcelot on December 10, 2015, 09:55:37 AM
I've used a Sonicare for years.  It cleans my teeth much more efficiently than I can manage with a manual brush, so I feel I've had a good return on the investment.  I can't compare it with any other brands, though.

Tip for extending head life (and reducing TCO):  the Sonicare is also very efficient at cleaning its own bristles.  If you make a habit of turning it on while rinsing it under the faucet, it'll accumulate gunk much more slowly.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: crazyworld on December 10, 2015, 10:19:02 AM
Depends on the person.  Everyone's mouth ecology is different (per the dentist). I used to need 4 cleanings a year.  I started sonicare several years ago and was down to 2 cleanings within a few months.  It is the cheapest sonicare and the heads are not super expensive.  DH uses a regular brush and his teeth are fine with it.  Just depends.  The ones calling it consumerist are just the ones not in need of getting one, which is quite all right.  This is a question for your dentist.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: MandalayVA on December 10, 2015, 10:38:58 AM
Another Sonicare fan here.  I used to have to go for quarterly cleanings and almost always had a cavity to boot.  Within six months of using the Sonicare I was able to drop down the cleanings to twice a year and haven't had a cavity in years.  Well worth what I paid for it!
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Dee18 on December 10, 2015, 10:49:51 AM
I prefer OralB electric toothbrushes.  I just bought one online at Walmart (professional 1000 model) for $30 and they have a $15 rebate so my cost will be $15.  The rebate offer is good the rest of this year, and to avoid the shipping charge you can have it delivered to your nearest Walmart.  My dentist really urges the use of an electric toothbrush.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Tetsuya Hondo on December 10, 2015, 10:55:20 AM
Yet another Sonicare convert here.

Since I've been using them, I have no more cavities and very little of that awful scraping from the hygienist. While they gouge you on the heads, I think I've saved money overall compared to my pre-Sonicare days in fillings, etc.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: CheapskateWife on December 10, 2015, 11:38:51 AM
Its not cheap, but I can buy 18 heads (a 4.5 year supply) for the cost of one cavity filling at my Dentist

I think this is exactly the right way of looking at this.  Oh, and fillings fail eventually.  Best to invest in prevention, so whatever works best for you (no judgment for the dinosaur shaped flossing devices if it saves your teeth)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Kaspian on December 10, 2015, 02:06:26 PM
Its not cheap, but I can buy 18 heads (a 4.5 year supply) for the cost of one cavity filling at my Dentist

I think this is exactly the right way of looking at this.  Oh, and fillings fail eventually.  Best to invest in prevention, so whatever works best for you (no judgment for the dinosaur shaped flossing devices if it saves your teeth)

I buy my electric toothbrush replacement heads off eBay from China.  Looking at them, I'm convinced they come out of the same damn factory as the name brand ones.  They certainly work just as well.  4 cleaning heads for about $2, as opposed to $25 or something crazy.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: MMMaybe on December 11, 2015, 06:05:28 PM
I have excellent teeth but terrible gums, and switching to Sonicare two years ago has made a visible difference in my dental health to the point where my dental hygienist visits are now a piece of cake. I have been buying generic replacement heads from China from an eBay seller for about three dollar or so a piece, shipping included, and I honestly have no noticeable issue whatsoever with quality. At that price, I can afford to replace the head every few months. The only thing I don't like about the Sonicare brush is that the battery cannot be replaced easily, unless you go for a DIY solution.

Would you mind sharing the name of your ebay seller? I've had some less than good ones so it would be good to try a recommended one!
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: fitfrugalfab on December 11, 2015, 06:56:32 PM
I used a regular toothbrush plus flossing and mouthwash for 20 years. My gums started receding and I would get the occasional cavities. I switched to an electronic toothbrush and my dentist was so amazed at the condition of my teeth. My teeth were whiter and gums were healthier and have stopped receding. She asked me what my secret was and  I told her it was a simple toothbrush switch. I don't even floss everyday anymore (although I really need to start up again)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: reader2580 on December 11, 2015, 08:48:44 PM
I think I only paid about $35 for my current Oral B toothbrush.  My first Oral B that cost a fair bit more smoked the motor after about 7 or 8 years.

You can get electric toothbrushes that take AA batteries if you don't like rechargables.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: csprof on December 11, 2015, 11:25:14 PM
One thing about me is perfect, and it's my teeth.  Yeah, I couldn't be naturally thin and athletic or have great skin.  Nope, my one big perk had to be something that is expensive but fixable and moderately invisible to other people.  I'd definitely trade my excellent teeth for perfect eyesight.  Regardless, it's genetics.  I was fortunate enough to be born with strong teeth and can't claim that my perfect teeth are a result of any action beyond simple brushing. 

In contrast, my 19 year old takes excellent care of her teeth, but she rarely experiences a cavity-free check up.  She inherited a mouth full of Swiss cheese teeth from her Daddy.  Her needs are greater than mine, and I should investigate buying her one of these Sonic Care tooth brushes.  Since I am still paying her health care costs while she's in college, it might be a money saver for me . . . But better health for her would be the real benefit.

You might suggest that your daughter look into xylitol gum or mints (or swishing a bit of xylitol dissolved in water around a few times a day if you want the budget approach, but I'm lazy, so I just suck on a few mints per day).  The tl;dr is across innumerable, careful studies, regular exposure of your teeth to xylitol (3-6x per day) reduces dental caries by about 30%, or more.  The modern view of cavities is closer to infection management, and xylitol helps reduce the ability of the bacteria that causes the cavities to breed and/or stick to your teeth.

On the OP topic:  My dentist force-converted me to an electric toothbrush.  Not because of plaque - I was doing fine - but because of some gum recession.  AFAICT, it's been effective -- she's stopped making as many worried sounds.  When I researched it, the most typical view from the studies was that an electric is no more effective than a well-trained human doing a proper job of brushing with a manual toothrbush, but the (good) electric toothbrushes are a bit more foolproof to technique errors.

Costco sells the replacement heads, or you can amazon subscribe & save them, to save a bit of the cost.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: JJNL on December 12, 2015, 05:22:06 AM
I'm also an electrical convert. I bought mine just after getting an implant - it was my front right tooth, so very much in view, and horribly expensive (the whole procedure cost me a couple of 1000s of euros easily, it is THE most expensive and finicky place to get an implant). Implants only work well if you take care of your gums, and I was having some gum problems before. I really didn't want to need a new implant / work on the implant any sooner than absolutely necessary, so I chose to invest in prevention. Including a toothbrush upgrade and more expensive toothpaste (the kind that is better for your gums). I haven't looked back since: my gum problems have decreased markedly and my teeth feel a lot cleaner. I do tend to use the brush heads for a lot longer than 1 month - that saves a bit of money.
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: warmastoast on December 12, 2015, 06:28:27 PM
+1 for xylitol.  Works very well at reducing caries/cavities provided you take about 6g a day spread throughout the day and don't eat/drink sugary drinks/foods at the same time. Xlear make some good xylitol-only candies and gums but personally, I'd buy a large bag of xylitol sugar and use that instead of sugar in normal cooking.  A teaspoon or two of xylitol dissolved in a bottle of water or glass of water is a very cheap way of getting towards the dosage required.
Xylitol will also help with any gum inflammation.
Don't let the dog get near it as it's really bad for them.

Electric toothbrushes,  I'm with the other dental posters on this one- not necessary at all. Use disclosing tablets and you'll soon get your toothbrushing technique sorted out.   FLOSS!!  FLOSS!!  Did I say FLOSS???  You'll thank us when you're older.....

Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: Kaspian on December 14, 2015, 11:55:38 AM
Would you mind sharing the name of your ebay seller? I've had some less than good ones so it would be good to try a recommended one!

This vendor has proved reliable for me:  http://stores.ebay.com/The-Alice-fairy-tooth (http://stores.ebay.com/The-Alice-fairy-tooth)
Title: Re: Electric toothbrushes, consumerist or a good thing?
Post by: yyc-phil on December 14, 2015, 01:07:01 PM
I have excellent teeth but terrible gums, and switching to Sonicare two years ago has made a visible difference in my dental health to the point where my dental hygienist visits are now a piece of cake. I have been buying generic replacement heads from China from an eBay seller for about three dollar or so a piece, shipping included, and I honestly have no noticeable issue whatsoever with quality. At that price, I can afford to replace the head every few months. The only thing I don't like about the Sonicare brush is that the battery cannot be replaced easily, unless you go for a DIY solution.

Would you mind sharing the name of your ebay seller? I've had some less than good ones so it would be good to try a recommended one!

I ordered 2 last January from this seller to try, and they ended up being very good, and I meant to reorder from that seller but forgot. Even after 6 months of use, the head I replaced in July is still good. I re-ordered a month ago and just received the package at home (I work away from home for extended periods) and will replace the head when I get back home at the end of the week. Hopefully the quality hasn't changed.

http://feedback.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=eawakening&ftab=AllFeedback