Ditch your single-sided toothbrush. Get a Triple Bristle. 😁

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Toothbrushes

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Toothbrushes

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Toothbrushes

Flossing every day. Rinsing with mouthwash. Not smoking. All easy steps to good oral hygiene.

But don’t forget to brush your teeth. When you brush your teeth, you need a high quality toothbrush.

How do you navigate the sales tactics? What is the best toothbrush? You’ve come to the right place. We talk about what the best toothbrush is for plaque removal, travel, and kids and more!

Why are there different types of toothbrushes?

Toothbrushes fall into several categories:

  • Manual
  • Sonic (electric)
  • Oscillating (electric)
  • Travel-ready
  • For kids
  • “Smart” brushes

The first three (manual, sonic, oscillating) are easily distinguishable.

Manual brushes are not powered and do not move; they are inferior to electric toothbrushes. 

Sonic brushes vibrate at tens of thousands of pulses per second for a proven better clean.

Oscillating brushes spin to break up the biofilm on your teeth and break up that fuzzy “pellicle”.

Travel-ready brushes are simply easy to take with you on a trip. For instance, a travel brush will not have cumbersome individual pieces and will come with a simple travel case.

Brushes for kids are exactly what they sound like: smaller size for smaller mouths, and fun designs to excite a younger customer.

Smart brushes offer Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone for interactivity. However, these added benefits usually come with a steep price.

Smart brushes with Bluetooth connection to custom apps can show you real-time feedback when your toothbrush communicates with your phone and offers multiple cleaning modes. It is supposed to “take the guesswork out of brushing.”

Features of a good electric toothbrush, no matter the style, include:

  • A 2-minute timer (preferably with 30-second pulses so you can brush each of the 4 quadrants of your teeth evenly)
  • Soft or extra soft bristles
  • Easy-to-find replaceable brush heads
  • Long charge capacity (at least 14 days on one charge)

Upgraded models may include additional features like a travel case, “special” toothbrush heads, and several cleaning modes that cause the brush to oscillate or vibrate at different speeds.

But proper brushing isn’t really that complicated: brush gently at a 45 degree angle to the gum line for two minutes.

Here is what you absolutely need from any toothbrush:

  • Soft bristles
  • Indicator so you know when it’s time to replace your brush head
  • To replace the head (or the entire brush) every three months

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the only necessary component of a toothbrush is bristles. Properly used toothpaste rounds out this important habit.

However, researchers have found that different toothbrushes are more effective than others at removing plaque, preventing cavities, and staving off gingivitis.

How often should I change toothbrush heads?

Toothbrushes or toothbrush heads are supposed to be switched out every three months. Based on ADA recommendations, getting new brush heads prevents bacteria growth on the bristles.

Several companies offer subscription services so you don’t forget to get replacement heads.

Oscillating Toothbrushes 101

Oscillating toothbrushes can be one of the less expensive options (especially next to the largely novel “smart” brushes). The technology is intricate, and these brushes use more battery power than other electric brushes.

However, oscillating toothbrushes give you much whiter teeth than a manual toothbrush — since they remove surface stains at a higher rate. They do this by breaking up the pellicle (that fuzzy feeling on your teeth) and disorganizing bacteria within the mouth.

Oscillating toothbrushes are a big step up from a manual toothbrush. They remove “significantly more plaque” and will usually result in a cleaner feel. Some brands estimate that you can remove up to 3 times more plaque with an oscillating brush than a manual one.

Who should use an oscillating toothbrush?

Oscillating brushes are better for whitening teeth. For this reason, some dentists recommend oscillating toothbrushes for younger adults. Proper brushing and twice yearly dental visits can prevent gingivitis for a long while. Whitening is typically a higher priority at younger ages.

What are the cons of an oscillating toothbrush?

While these brushes can be great for many people, they don’t do a lot to address plaque beneath the gum line, which is of particular concern for people with (or at risk for) gum disease.

Oscillating brushes are also pretty loud in comparison to other options.

Like other powered toothbrushes, oscillating brushes put off EMFs during use. This shouldn’t be a concern to a majority of people, but may be a consideration for those who actively avoid EMFs or struggle with thyroid issues.

How do I pick a good oscillating toothbrush?

In addition to the items listed in the above section (such as long charge capacity and soft brush heads), a good oscillating toothbrush should have easy-to-replace brush heads.

If you tend to forget to replace your brush heads, consider a subscription model brush rather than a one-time purchase.

Sonic Toothbrushes 101

Sonic toothbrushes pulsate and vibrate. These work well to break up food particles and bacteria on and in between teeth.

Also an electric powered toothbrush, sonic toothbrushes are the best electric toothbrush for fighting gum disease because they fight plaque better than other brushes.

Sonic toothbrushes are far superior to manual toothbrushes and tout better plaque removal than the cheaper oscillating brushes. They’re generally considered the more “luxurious” of the two major types of electric toothbrushes.

Who should use a sonic toothbrush?

Everyone! Because they do a better job breaking up plaque under the gum line and between the tiny spaces left between teeth during gum recession, sonic brushes are preferred for people who take their dental health seriously. If you want to prevent or have been diagnosed with periodontitis, a sonic toothbrush is seriously recommended.

What are the cons of a sonic toothbrush?

The number one issue people may have with a sonic toothbrush is that it’s uncomfortable at first. The vibrations feel strange if you’ve never used a sonic toothbrush before (although some brands offer “low-powered” sonic brushes to help with this discomfort).

Interestingly, normal sonic brushes have performed equally as well or even a little worse than oscillating toothbrushes for plaque removal.

Another potential con of the sonic toothbrush is that it puts off more EMFs than other electric brushes. Again, this isn’t a concern for many people but may be a factor in your purchase.

How do I pick a good sonic toothbrush?

Maximizing the ability to clean, the best sonic toothbrush utilizes a 3-sided brush head.

While oscillating and sonic brushes seem similar on the surface, that reality disappears when you introduce a tripled-sided sonic toothbrush into the mix.

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have shown triple-headed toothbrushes show promise for removing plaque as well if not better than other brushes..

A 2011 study suggests a mother had more success removing her child’s plaque using a triple-headed toothbrush.

A recent systematic review concluded three-headed toothbrushes worked marginally better than single-headed toothbrushes when a person brushed their own teeth. But triple-headed brushes were significantly more effective at plaque removal when a caregiver brushed a person’s teeth.

For the Best Results: The Triple Bristle Sonic Toothbrush

For the best teeth and gum care, use a triple-head toothbrush. Research has shown three-headed brushes can fight plaque better than other brushes.

Triple Bristle could top any of these categories. The gentle sonic brushing technique gives you a whiter smile in half the time.

Other features of Triple Bristle:

  • Rechargeable
  • Three speed
  • 31,000 pulses per minute
  • Two-minute timer, 30-second quadrant prompt
  • Soft bristles
  • Brush head cover included
  • Tongue cleaner included

And Triple Bristle works well with braces, veneers, and crowns.

This unique brush was designed by a dentist and offers the everyday person a simpler but more effective clean.

Best Special Needs Toothbrush Kit

Many caregivers feel like they have to fight for every victory, and that’s why we recommend this manual toothbrush kit over an electric brush. It’s designed to help those with dental anxiety and sensory issues.

Because there are few toothbrush kits ideal for special needs, we designed one with these unique requirements in mind.

In the Triple Bristle’s Brush and Bite Starter Kit:

  • Triple-sided toothbrush with dual purpose handle is ergonomically designed as a bite block/toothbrush handle. This can be used by the individual or caregiver.
  • Mask, gloves, and dental mirror are included, just like a dentist would use. This can help prepare special needs individuals for upcoming dental appointments. It also includes a patient bib. 
  • Prophy angle and prophy paste can be used alone, together, or with toothpaste.They help with sensory and texture issues.
  • Suction tip helps the individual get accustomed to opening and closing their mouth.
  • Flosser with refills and a long handle that makes flossing much easier.

Click here to watch an unboxing of the Brush and Bite Starter Kit.

Triple Bristle gently but effectively cleans around braces, implants, veneers, and crowns. Not every toothbrush can boast about how useful it is in any situation.

Kids Electric Toothbrushes 101

For kids, a good toothbrush can make all the difference. Preventing cavities and gingivitis at a young age teaches youngsters brushing habits they can take with them for the rest of their life.

Children’s mouths are typically smaller than adults’. So it stands to reason children need a smaller brush. This allows the brush to reach the inner corners of the kid’s mouth and clean everywhere it is supposed to clean.

Ultimately, the most important thing about a kid’s toothbrush is that he/she is excited to use it. Some kids get excited over cartoon characters, some over cool technology, and some over a fun toothpaste.

Certain kids’ electric toothbrushes even include Bluetooth connectivity for companion games.

How do I pick a good electric toothbrush for my kids?

To pick your child’s electric toothbrush, make sure the toothbrush head is significantly smaller than an adult’s. Look for only soft or extra soft bristles.

The biggest key to the best kids electric toothbrush is that your child likes it. Depending on the age(s) of your kiddos, this might mean picking based on looks or feel.

For instance, many very young children don’t like the feel of sonic motion from a toothbrush. Older kids are often more concerned about a “cool” look.

For the Best Results: Triple Bristle Kids

Rechargeable? Check. Two-minute timer? Check. Great for easy travel? Check.

Triple Bristle Kids is an effective toothbrush meant for children. Its brush heads are an appropriate size for children. And it comes with fun themed stickers to customize the toothbrush with each child’s unique style.

Although the three brush heads may be slightly strange to some children, Triple Bristle Kids comes with a single head training brush for easy transition.

The soft bristles are gentle on young teeth and gums. And Triple Bristle Kids features blue “indicator bristles” that fade when it is time to swap for a new brush head.

And Triple Bristle technology makes it easier to clean your teeth more thoroughly — in half the time!


  1. Borojevic, T. (2012). Smoking and periodontal disease. Materia socio-medica, 24(4), 274. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633395/
  2. Kulkarni, P., Singh, D. K., & Jalaluddin, M. (2017). Comparison of efficacy of manual and powered toothbrushes in plaque control and gingival inflammation: A clinical study among the population of East Indian Region. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 7(4), 168. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5558249/
  3. Van der Weijden, G. A., Danser, M. M., Nijboer, A., Timmerman, M. F., & Van der Velden, U. (1993). The plaque?removing efficacy of an oscillating/rotating toothbrush: A short?term study. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 20(4), 273-278. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8473538
  4. Grossman, E., Dembling, W., & Proskin, H. M. (1995). A comparative clinical investigation of the safety and efficacy of an oscillating/rotating electric toothbrush and a sonic toothbrush. The Journal of clinical dentistry, 6(1), 108-112. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8694983
  5. Biesbrock, A. R., Walters, P. A., Bartizek, R. D., Goyal, C. R., & Qaqish, J. G. (2008). Plaque removal efficacy of an advanced rotation-oscillation power toothbrush versus a new sonic toothbrush. American journal of dentistry, 21(3), 185. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18686772
  6. Azrak, B., Barfaraz, B., Krieter, G., & Willershausen, B. (2004). Effectiveness of a three-headed toothbrush in pre-school children. Oral health & preventive dentistry, 2(2). Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15646943
  7. Ashkenazi, M., Salem, N. F., Garon, S., & Levin, L. (2015). Evaluation of Orthodontic and Triple-headed Toothbrushes When Used Alone or in Conjunction with Single-tufted Toothbrush in Patients with Fixed Lingual Orthodontic Appliances. A Randomized Clinical Trial. The New York state dental journal, 81(3), 31-37. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26094361
  8. Oliveira, L. B., Zardetto, C. G. D. C., de Oliveira Rocha, R., Rodrigues, C. R. M. D., & Wanderley, M. T. (2011). Effectiveness of triple-headed toothbrushes and the influence of the person who performs the toothbrushing on biofilm removal. Oral health & preventive dentistry, 9(2). Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21842016
  9. Kalf?Scholte, S. M., Van der Weijden, G. A., Bakker, E. W. P., & Slot, D. E. (2018). Plaque removal with triple?headed vs single?headed manual toothbrushes—a systematic review—. International journal of dental hygiene, 16(1), 13-23. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28544459

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