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Buying direct online is one of the most popular ways to shop—and your next toothbrush is no exception. By providing direct-to-consumer model that eliminates the costly markups from retailers, Goby, Boka, and Quip are changing the electric toothbrush game for good.
The only question is, which one should you buy?
I have personally used all three of these toothbrush brands, and while they each offer a variety of benefits, I do have my favorite.
Goby uses an oscillatory motion (similar to Oral-B’s electric model) and is my pick for the best overall value. Meanwhile, I recommend Boka if you are over the age of 40 and/or are concerned about excess plaque buildup.
I’ll share how I arrived at these conclusions below, but let’s first look at why establishing a good dental hygiene routine—and choosing the proper toothbrush—is so important.
The Importance of Good Dental Hygiene
Don’t be fooled by toothpaste and toothbrush manufacturers that want you to believe that their product is the secret to clean teeth and a healthy mouth.
If you want to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, and a host of other issues, the only thing you really need is proper brushing technique. In fact, you really don’t need toothpaste at all.
It’s the brushing motion in itself that disorganizes the biofilm on your teeth and keeps bacteria from building up. Brushing—even with a dry toothbrush—also keeps the oral microbiome balanced. And ensuring that there is a proper ratio of good-to-bad bacteria is important for keeping the mouth, as well as the whole body, healthy.
The three components of proper brushing technique include:
- Time: Every time you brush, you should be moving those bristles for at least two minutes, and you should be brushing your teeth every morning and night, right before bed. If you eat sugary, acidic, or processed food, wait 30-45 minutes and brush then, too.
- Pressure: There’s a belief that brushing hard is more effective at removing food and bacteria, but that’s not true at all. Brushing too hard can dig tiny divots into your teeth. These divots then hang on to leftover food particles that encourage tooth decay. A gentle sweep is all you need to do what brushing should do—move around all the bacteria and clear plaque from teeth.
- Motion: Sawing back and forth in straight lines is the worst way to brush your teeth. Instead, you should be making small, circular motions on your teeth. Making the wrong movements can scrape your teeth and, like brushing too hard, create abrasions on the teeth that can lead to cavities.
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Should I Use an Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
The number-one reason I recommend an electric toothbrush is the fact that most people have bad brushing habits. You’re likely brushing too hard, brushing with the wrong motion, not brushing for long enough—or exhibiting some combination of the three.
Electric toothbrushes can make it easier to practice proper brushing technique by doing most of the work for you. Whether you choose a brush with an oscillatory motion or one that uses sonic technology, the movement of the bristles prevents you from both making the wrong movement and apply too much pressure to the teeth. And because most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer, you can be sure to brush for a full two minutes.
Aside from poor brushing habits, there are two other circumstances that necessitate the use of an electric toothbrush:
1. Excess Plaque
Buildup of plaque and calculus (the stuff your hygienist removes during cleanings) becomes worse as you age or as the quality of your diet decreases. As a result, an electric toothbrush is a good idea for anyone who is over age 40 or has poor eating habits (lots of sugars, carbs, and acidic foods).
2. Staining Concerns
Want brighter whites? A toothbrush (or a whitening toothpaste, for that matter) doesn’t actually whiten teeth from the inside. But a good electric toothbrush can remove stains caused from a frequent cup of coffee or glass of wine.
I recommend a brush that’s excellent for stain removal for people under the age of 40. If you’re younger, stains are typically more of an issue than excess plaque.
Now that you know why you should use an electric toothbrush, let’s take a look at three of the newest brands on the market.
quip toothbrush Review
I’ve been quip’s chief dental advisor for some time. Even with that in mind, this sleek toothbrush has some great benefits as well as potential cons.
Quip Toothbrush Pros:
Sleek Design: The quip toothbrush is what I like to call “the millennial toothbrush,” as it’s designed for and by young people, or those who prefer a minimalistic design. For convenience, quip is the only option that comes standard with a suction cup to attach it to a bathroom mirror. quip also features a timer to keep your brushing time on track.
Low Cost: Compared to the two other brands reviewed in this article, quip comes in at a much lower price point. And at just $25 to start and refills for $5-$10 (the latter including a toothpaste), quip costs only marginally more than a manual toothbrush.
Travel-Friendly: With a smaller size and no need for a charger, quip is the easiest electric toothbrush to take on a trip.
Quip Toothbrush Cons:
Low Power: Because it’s a cross between a manual and electric toothbrush, quip doesn’t vibrate at the same speed as alternatives. If you’re brushing properly, that’s okay—but if you’re looking for an electric toothbrush to improve your brushing habits and effectiveness, opt for something stronger.
Not Rechargeable: To minimize space, quip is powered by replaceable batteries. This model is less sustainable than chargeable models. Plus, if you forget to buy batteries, you may end up with an overpriced manual brush on occasion.
Cheaper Quality: It’s clear when you open a quip brush that it’s made in China, as the quality leaves much to be desired. I’m also concerned with the safety of the source materials because it’s not manufactured in the US.
Taste: I’ve received several replacement brush heads that came out of the box with a strange, chemical taste. To get rid of it, I soaked the head in baking soda before using it. Easy fix, but not one that I should have to make.
Overall, I like the subscription model and price of the quip toothbrush. It’s a cool brush and a great solution for younger people who practice good habits.
There are more cons of the auip toothbrush than with other brands, however, so you may want to choose another option.
Boka Toothbrush Review
Boka has been around for a few years, and, like Quip, operates on a subscription model. I became initially acquainted with Boka because of its revolutionary nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste that uses particles similar to those naturally found in teeth and bones to assist in the remineralization process.
I’ve never been a fan of ingesting fluoride, and only hesitantly recommended topical fluoride for cavity prevention and reversal. Now, thanks to Boka’s Ela Mint Toothpaste, I don’t have to recommend fluoride at all, even for people who are prone to cavities.
The Boka toothpaste is, by far, my top recommendation for remineralizing cavities. So when I discovered that the company had also developed a high-quality electric toothbrush, I had to try it. And I was thrilled with the performance.
Boka toothbrush Pros:
Plaque-busting: Because it uses the same sonic vibration technology as SoniCare, Boka is a go-to for plaque removal. If you’re over 40, the Boka is a great option for avoiding extra plaque or calculus buildup.
Charcoal bristles: Boka uses activated charcoal in its bristles to prevent bacteria from reproducing on the brush. This protects you from disrupting your oral microbiome, and it keeps the brush smelling great.
Multiple speeds: A “low” speed is all you need for disorganizing biofilm, but some people may need a medium or high setting if they are particularly prone to plaque buildup (say, from mouth breathing) or are remineralizing cavities. The Boka toothbrush offers low, medium, and high settings, as well as a timer.
Full oral care plan: As I mentioned, Boka makes one of the best toothpastes on the market. And when you subscribe to Boka’s oral care plan, you receive toothpaste and all-natural floss (coated with beeswax) in addition to replacement brush heads.
Boka Toothbrush Cons
Not the best stain remover: If you’re under 40, removing surface stains is probably a higher priority than excess plaque removal. In that case, consider the Goby or another brush that uses oscillatory motion.
I’m impressed with the brush Boka has created, and for people over age 40 or those working to reverse cavities, I recommend the full Boka oral care plan.
Goby Toothbrush Review
As a great alternative to the more expensive Oral-B models, the Goby toothbrush is my number one recommended electric toothbrush for most people, especially those under age 40.
goby toothbrush Pros:
Stain removal: Goby’s brush mirrors Oral-B’s oscillatory motions, which are ideal for removing surface stains. You should be working to avoid stains if you drink a lot of coffee or wine, so a brush like this may be ideal.
Simple: I don’t enjoy many complex features on an electric toothbrush. Goby’s brush has one mode, which is perfect for the majority of people. There are no unnecessary speeds, timers, or features that distract from the functionality of the brush.
Low cost: While Goby costs more than Quip, it offers more power. The replacement brush heads are only $6, making it a third the price of Boka’s recurring charge.
Customer-centric business: The format of Goby’s customer communications make it clear that they care about their buyers. Regular content that educates you on keeping your mouth and brush clean, along with thoughtful follow-up emails, put the customer at the forefront.
goby toothbrush Cons:
I don’t believe there are any true cons of owning a Goby toothbrush. It is true that a brush with sonic vibration technology (like the Boka) is better for plaque removal, but if that’s not your concern, Goby offers a tremendous value.
What’s the Best Electric Toothbrush?
Overall, the Boka toothbrush is my top choice, but depending on your age and personal needs, either Goby or Boka may be ideal.
The Boka Toothbrush is the best for people over 40, as it’s excellent for getting rid of plaque and offers higher speeds for the occasional deep clean. Their oral care plan also provides a full spread of all-natural, cavity-reversing products.
If you’re under 40, the Goby is the best electric toothbrush for you. Goby removes surface stains, and their business is truly customer-driven. It’s an added benefit that all companies should leverage.
Additionally, both Boka and Goby donate a portion of profits to organizations that provide support and dental hygiene products to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access.
Not sure you’re ready to make the investment? The Oral-B Vitality is only $37 on Amazon and replacement heads are around $6.50 each. If you’re on a budget, this is a great option.
Brushing your teeth is important for a healthy oral microbiome and preventing cavities. Your brush disorganizes the biofilm on your teeth if you use proper technique. You should be brushing for two minutes, using a gentle touch, and swirling the brush in a circular motion.
An electric toothbrush can take the guesswork out of proper brushing technique, but whether you choose the Boka, Goby, or another brand, the best toothbrush will always be the one you use properly and consistently.