I don’t know about you but I found it so perplexing having to sort through all the different electric toothbrushes that are available, even from just one single brand! I opted for the Oral B brand who’s parent company is Proctor & Gamble. They are supposedly the “dentist most recommended brand.” Anyways, please keep in mind that I am not a dentist or expert in the matter of oral hygiene. I’m just recounting my experience and offering my thoughts in hopes to help anyone in a similar “dilemma.”
First off, if you want to know why I decided to get an electric toothbrush in the first place, it’s because of my recent dental issues as recounted in my post entitled Dental Holiday in Chiang Mai. Wait what? Seriously?!?! Have a look if you like, there’s before and after shots, lol. So after my dental treatments, my dentists (I had 4 different ones doing different things) recommended that I don’t brush so hard, that I use gauze to clean the teeth that don’t have adjacent teeth, that I floss regularly, I use non alcoholic mouthwash and that I massage my gums. Hmmm let me think about this…
Apparently brushing too hard wears out the enamel quicker and can push your gums up. Like how am I supposed to know how hard to brush? Using gauze to clean the sides of my exposed molars because the molar next to it is gone. Imagine shining your shoes…that’s how I’m supposed to clean those molars but using gauze instead of a cloth. Ya, I don’t see myself doing this, it’s so…tedious. I’m not even sure I spend the recommended two minutes it should take to brush my teeth and I don’t floss. Now I have to do all these extra things including massaging my gums by “pinching” the areas above the teeth that had gum surgery using my thumb and index finger. This is supposed to increase circulation and therefore help heal faster and promote gum growth. Yeah, I tried doing that, not a fan. I really do want to take better care of my teeth as I don’t want to go through what I just did and I’m not even done yet. Anyways, I did some thinking and research and came up with the electric toothbrush as the solution. An electric toothbrush would solve so many of my issues, I think, provided I get an appropriate one. So I need one that has a built in timer, a pressure gauge and a brush head small enough to get at my exposed molars so I don’t have to gauze buff them. I’m thinking also that the smaller brush head will make me go over each tooth and being able to oscillate/pulse much faster than I can manually brush should fix my “not brushing properly” issue too.
So after much research, I chose the Oral B Pro 2 2000. Why? Mainly because it’s the model that offers a lithium Ion (Li-ON) rechargeable battery as opposed to the older less reliable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery and doesn’t offer the smart phone app connectivity. I know I would not take my phone with me to brush my teeth, nor would I make the effort to review my brushing on an app plus those “smart” toothbrushes are significantly higher in price and probably drains the battery faster. As far as I’m concerned as long as I get at each tooth with this electric toothbrush and floss I should be good. I hope that’s how it works, lol. The Oral B Pro 2 2000 also only has 2 modes, regular and sensitive. Since switching modes is all done via the power button, less is more in my opinion. One press of the power button turns on the brush in regular mode and a second press for sensitive gums mode. After watching Youtube videos and reading some reviews, I was so leery about how loud the brush would be and would it irritate me so much I’d stop using it. I decided that my oral health would/should outweigh any volume irritation. The first time I turned on the brush, my immediate thought was “HA! not so loud!” I don’t find it loud at all. The manual says it takes 15 hours to fully charge but mine fully charged in about 5 hours. After a week of using the the brush, the need to charge indicator still hasn’t come on (the manual says 2 weeks before needing to recharge) so I’m still on track but there’s no way to tell exactly since the battery led only indicates battery status when its charging, bummer. Grip wise the handle isn’t too small nor too large, ridged hard plastic on the back and softish, ridged rubber on the front. No feelings of it slipping out of your hands while brushing. It’s water resistant and supposedly you can brush your teeth in the shower but I haven’t tried. I do put it under the facet to rinse it off after every use and no issues thus far. If you’re like me and worried that you may be brushing too hard, there is a red light around the top of the handle that will light up when it senses too much pressure is being applied. The light is bright enough for you to see if you’re not looking in the mirror but not too bright to hurt your eyes. The built in timer starts as soon as you press the on button and will give you an alert via pulsed vibrations every 30 seconds and a longer pulsed vibration when the 2 minutes are up nothing too fancy but really cool feature, I think.
The coolest thing about these Oral B electric toothbrushes is that you can get different brush heads for different “needs” and each brush head has this collared color you can put on the base of the head to differentiate your brush head from someone else’s, in case you want to share the handle (cost effective). I’ve only seen 2 colors though, a light teal one and a pink one. The not so cool part is that these brush heads are pricey and that it’s recommended you change them every 3 months or sooner if anything is physically wrong with them. When I bought the Pro 2 2000, I also bought some “floss action” brush heads thinking I could skip the manual flossing with this brush head. NOPE! Still need to manual floss and even in sensitive gum mode, I found this brush head uncomfortable on my gums but feels like it gives my teeth a stronger scrubbing. Maybe it’s because my gums are still sensitive and recovering but maybe not. So I bought some “sensitive gums” brush heads and boy oh boy do they feel better on the gums. So instead of using my fingers, I just use this brush head to massage my gums. Below is a pic with the different colore collars as well as the sensitive brush head and ultra thin brush head. I can’t tell the difference.
So, at the moment I’m always using sensitive mode and the sensitive gum brush head. I may switch to the “floss action” brush head after a couple months just to use up the brush heads I bought but maybe not, I’m quite happy with the current set up. I haven’t used any of the other brush heads yet and not sure if I will since I’m thinking that even though I don’t brush as hard, these electric toothbrushes brush way more than I can manually which may affect the rate of enamel loss? Before you go out and get an electric toothbrush, you may want to consult your dentist. There’s still a nagging question in the back of my mind as to why my dentists (including my bro) weren’t that supportive of the idea of me using any electric toothbrush but had no negative things to say about electric toothbrush use. As i rarely do what I’m told anyways, I just went and got mine and so far don’t regret it.
Overall I feel that I’ve made a good decision with switching to an electric toothbrush and that the initial costs are justified. I picked the cheapest Pro 2 2000 I could find. They come in different arrangements depending on the included brush head and if it comes with a travel case or not. A travel case would be important as it’s a hard plastic case that would prevent accidental powering on of your electric toothbrush, if you don’t plan on bringing your charger on trips. I just went and bought a $2 plastic pencil case from the dollar store for those trips that are longer than 10days for which I won’t bring the charger. So which one you pick will depend on your preferences. The only thing I would highly recommend to get is the one with a lithium ion battery because they get about twice the battery life as the NiMH batteries. The best way to make sure you get one with a lithium ion battery is check the box details as opposed to relying on the model name. Oral B has many similarly named models and I almost made bought the wrong one, lol.
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