quip Toothbrush Review: The Dentist Weighs In [2019 Update]

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I’ve been familiar with the quip brush for a few years, and I’ve kept one in my bathroom cabinet the entire time. This sleek toothbrush makes for a great addition to your counter, but is it worth the money you pay for it?

I’ll break down what you need to know about the quip toothbrush, what I like, what I don’t, and how to know if it’s the best electric toothbrush for you. 

[tl;dr] If you’re ready to get a quip, get it here for $10 off your first refill using code “ASKTHEDENTIST”.

Before I get to what I think of the quip toothbrush, let’s look at how I found this company.

The whole notion of a habit is intimidating. Habits are hard to form, yet hard to break. They can be good for you, yet they can be bad for you. You’ve heard the saying “your life is the sum of all of your habits.” Well, that’s just downright intimidating, especially when you consider all the implications of the mouth-body connection.

As a dentist, I deal with habits all the time. I am a “behavior-ologist” when it comes to brushing, albeit an amateur one.

This was training missing from my dental school curriculum. For me to be able to help my patients and readers achieve and maintain optimal oral health, I must motivate and reinforce their oral hygiene behavior.

That’s how a little toothbrush called quip caught my interest.

Quip makes an affordable and easy-to-use electric toothbrush, but here’s where they caught my interest: they send you a brand new, high-quality toothbrush head every three months. With it comes encouragement, reinforcement, and a fresh tube of toothpaste. Finally, I had a partner in compliance!

What is a quip?

Quip is a newer toothbrush company, launched in 2015, that seeks to make brushing stylish and simple. Their subscription service starts with an initial order of a brush (or brush with toothpaste), then a recurring order of replacement brush heads every three months.

This adult-sized brush comes in one of two materials: plastic and metal. Each type has various color options, and there are often limited edition colors offered throughout the year (I’ve seen all-black, red metal, and aqua, to name a few). Quip now carries a kids’ line, which is great for kids ages 2 and up.

Adult Plastic Standard Colors

  • Green
  • Blue

Adult Metal Standard Colors

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Slate
  • Gold

quip Kids Rubber-Grip Plastic Standard Colors

  • Purple
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Blue

The founders of quip, Simon Enever and Bill May, have told me since the start that their goal is to simplify electric toothbrushes and motivate people to improve their oral health. You don’t just get a brush—you also get a regular newsletter (similar to mine) that encourages better oral care.

Overall, Enever and May consider themselves founders of a health startup, not just a toothbrush company.

The quip electric brush is small, particularly when compared to other electric toothbrushes. It doesn’t offer the same power as many brushes, but that’s kind of the point. One ad they circulate emphasizes that it’s “less jackhammer.” 

In the Box 

When you receive a quip brush starter set, here’s what you can expect (with some variations, depending on your order):

  • 1 quip brush with attached head (battery inside)
  • A 3-month supply of quip’s whitening toothpaste (or watermelon anticavity toothpaste, in the kids’ set)
  • A base to stand the toothbrush upright 
  • A tube that sits in the base or attaches to your wall or mirror (also doubles as a travel cover)
  • A clear travel case
  • Instructions and general oral hygiene information packet

Some starter sets also include:

  • A replacement brush head 
  • A 2-week travel supply of toothpaste

What you might notice I didn’t mention is that quip doesn’t come with a charger, like most other electric toothbrushes. Instead, it utilizes a single AAA battery that lasts up to six months of twice-daily brushings.

As a minimalist who doesn’t like cord clutter, the lack of a charger is a huge plus for me.

Features of the quip Brush

Now that you know what the quip brush is, let’s talk about what it does.

Like most modern electric toothbrushes, quip uses a built-in 2-minute timer with 30-second pulses to make sure you reach every quadrant of your mouth

Similar to a manual toothbrush, it’s important to brush with quip with gentle, circular motions to reach every tooth surface. This brush vibrates, but it’s not nearly as powerful a vibration as other electric brushes that work better if you hold in one position for a moment, then move on.

The quip electric toothbrush offers gentle sonic vibrations at 15,000 strokes per minute.

That’s about one-half to one-third the strength of comparable models. Sonicare and Oral-B come in at 62,000 to 48,800 vibrations, respectively. Many other brands use around 30,000 vibrations each minute.

The quip is not rechargeable, but instead uses a AAA battery (which comes with the first brush and alongside new brush heads) for power. The battery life of a quip is supposedly about six months, although some users report being able to use it for even longer.

Quip’s brush heads are one size and one softness. They’re soft bristles with silicone in between for a deeper clean. On the back of the brush head, you’ll find a textured tongue scraper

Its minimalistic design is expressed in the simplicity of its one button—albeit, a button you can almost miss, since it’s just an embossed logo. Again, it’s just got one setting: on or off, no bells and whistles.

If you choose a refill plan, you’ll get replacement heads, a battery, and toothpaste (if you choose that plan) every three months. It’s easy to forget to change out brush heads, which can lead to problems like abrasions on the teeth, so this is one of the reasons I bought into the hype around quip in the first place.

The thoughtful design of the non-toothbrush items is also a bonus. Like to have your toothbrush standing on the counter? Limited on counter space, so you typically throw your brush in a drawer? Have you dreamed of sticking your toothbrush on a mirror? Do you basically live out of a suitcase with constant travel?

Quip’s got you covered, no matter what.

Oh, and the reusable adhesive that you can use to attach the bottom tube caddy to your mirror really works.

How much does it cost?

There are a few price variations, depending on whether or not you want toothpaste or choose to pay 12 months in advance or once every three months. 

Overall, your first quip order will fall somewhere in the $25-80 range (with metal and limited edition brushes at a more premium price). 

This is a somewhat lower price point than a regular manual brush, while falling below most electric toothbrushes, particularly those that match quip’s stylish branding.

Keep in mind that while you can order quip on Amazon, you’ll be paying more and not have the option for a refill/subscription plan.

One odd note: I’ve never discovered why the refill plan sometimes costs more upfront without toothpaste.

Here are the standard prices for the quip’s regular toothbrush line (updated August 2019):

Adult Plastic Brush Set

  • One-time: $40 (with toothpaste)
  • One-time: $35 (without toothpaste)
  • Refill plan: $25 (with toothpaste), $10 refills
  • Refill plan: $30 (without toothpaste), $5 refills

To save $5 per year on a refill plan, you can also prepay the year in advance. That would make the yearly prepaid prices for this version of the brush:

  • $50 (with toothpaste)
  • $40 (without toothpaste)

Adult Metal Brush Set

  • One-time: $55 (with toothpaste)
  • One-time: $50 (without toothpaste)
  • Refill plan: $40 (with toothpaste), $10 refills
  • Refill plan: $45 (without toothpaste), $5 refills

Over the course of a year of refills, you’ll pay:

  • $65 (with toothpaste)
  • $55 (without toothpaste)

Kids Starter Set

  • One-time: $40 (with toothpaste)
  • One-time: $35 (without toothpaste)
  • Refill plan: $25 (with toothpaste), $10 refills
  • Refill plan: $30 (without toothpaste), $5 refills

Your child’s brush yearly subscription would cost:

  • $50 (with toothpaste)
  • $40 (without toothpaste)

Group Sets and Refills

You can also order sets with more than one toothbrush and refills separately on the site.

All group (couples’) sets come with toothpaste and can be ordered as a subscription.

  • Plastic One-Time (1 green + 1 blue): $70
  • Plastic Refill Plan (1 green + 1 blue): $50 initial purchase/$20 refills
  • Metal One-Time (multiple color combos): $100
  • Metal Refill Plan (multiple color combos): $75 initial purchase/$20 refills

Refill sets will run $10 for adults and kids for toothpaste, brush head, and battery, and $5 without toothpaste.

Quip also offers additional multi-use travel covers ($5) and travel toothpaste ($2.50).

quip Toothbrush: Pros and Cons

The Good Stuff

There’s a lot of good to say about quip. Many dentists like that it’s approved by the American Dental Association (ADA), although this isn’t a big selling point for me.

My favorite things about the quip toothbrush are:

  • Minimalistic, sleek, lightweight design
  • One power setting
  • 2-minute timer with 30-second pulses
  • Battery-operated, rather than rechargeable
  • Intuitive travel-friendly design
  • Accompanying oral care email newsletter and information packet

Cons of the quip

While there are many things I like about the quip, there are also a few drawbacks. 

First, quip’s toothpaste is definitely not one I recommend. Some of the toothpaste ingredients that give me pause in quip’s pastes are:

  1. Fluoride (more on that here)
  2. Titanium dioxide (it’s unclear if this is absorbed by oral tissues, and it’s not necesary for anything but making toothpaste white)
  3. Artificial flavors
  4. Saccharin
  5. Carrageenan (probably not a concern for most people, but should be avoided if you have issues with your gut)
  6. Sorbitol

I recommend you get a quip without the toothpaste and choose a healthier brand like Boka (10% off with code ASKTHEDDS) or RiseWell instead.

Second, the head of the quip electric toothbrush is bigger than I like. It won’t work as well for smaller mouths and may be a little uncomfortable for some people.

Third, there’s no indicator light on the brush to let you know when your brush is getting low on battery. This isn’t a huge deal, since the AAA battery lasts a long time, but it’s something to consider.

Lastly, quip isn’t a great brush if you want a super strong sonic or oscillatory brush motion. If you like the intensity offered by standard electric brushes, you probably won’t love a quip. It gives the feel of a manual toothbrush with just a little extra power.

Is a quip right for you?

Quip has been one of my toothbrush recommendations since they released their first brush in 2015. While they cost more than a regular toothbrush, they’re still more budget-friendly than most electric toothbrushes and do add some features not found on a standard toothbrush.

In particular, I suggest heavy-duty travelers and those really into minimal design try a quip.

It comes down to this: The best toothbrush is one you’ll actually use.

If seeing a beautiful quip brush brings a smile to your face, there’s a good chance it’ll motivate you to pick it up two (or more) times a day. And that’s what matters most when you pick a toothbrush.

To get a quip and $10 off your first refill, use this link and enter code “ASKTHEDENTIST” (it should auto-add the code).

Read Next: 2019’s Best Electric Toothbrushes: What Actually Matters, From The Dentist

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