Electric Toothbrushes

Which Electric Toothbrush Should I Use?

The following video addresses the important question of which electric toothbrush is actually best? It comes down to Oral-B Braun and Sonicare. Watch the video or read the transcript to find out.

by Dr. Burhenne

Video Transcript:

Hi, Dr. Burhenne here of AsktheDentist.com. Today, we’re going to talk about a question I get a lot, and that is electric toothbrushes: ‘Which one should I use?”

Unfortunately, even among dentists, there’s some confusion about which electric toothbrush is best. We get bombarded with clinical studies that promise and show us scientifically based on all sorts of data that this is the best toothbrush. And all the studies on the two different categories are very convincing.The two different categories I’m talking about are, essentially, Oral-B Braun and Sonicare.

The two different categories I’m talking about are, essentially, Oral-B Braun and Sonicare.

The Oral-B Braun was the first one to come to market with a good electric toothbrush. It has a rotary, very high-quality head. It oscillates at about 30° back and forth. And some of them pulsate a little bit. So it’s a great scrubber. It’s safe if used properly. And it removes the pellicle and the skin of the tooth very effectively.

Then came along the Sonicare. And this, essentially, it scrubs the teeth using soundwaves. Its big strength is getting in between the gums and removing plaque that you can’t quite reach. The theory is that the sonic waves reach out, and there’s some action and efficacy beyond the bristles.

So, which one should you use? Good question.

I use both. I’m hoping that the overlap between the two strengths of the toothbrushes will help. So, if you’re going to buy one, I recommend the Oral-B Braun to people under age 40, including children. The Sonicare, because of the way it feels initially, is a little alarming to kids, because of that sonic wave effect. And this is easier for kids. It’s also easier for adults to use this, for parents to use this on their children. So, for the under age 40 crowd, the Oral-B Braun is what I recommend since its strengths are removing the pellicle and removing stains.

The Sonicare, on the other hand, is for people that maybe don’t floss as much as they should, the over-40 crowd, or anyone with some gum recession. When food is getting caught in between the teeth and you’re not flossing, the Sonicare tends to dive in a little bit better. It’s also a little bit more maneuverable.

Ideally, you should use both, and I would recommend that. But there you have the two different categories and who should be using which toothbrush. I hope that helps. Thanks for listening.

Dr. Mark Burhenne

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Leave a Comment

  1. Dear Dr. Burhenne,

    I just learned of you via your interview with Dr. Steven Park. Thank you very much – you provided some wonderful information! Would you know of any dentists in the Dallas area that are as forward-thinking as yourself in recognizing the overlap of dental issues and sleep apnea?

    Thank you!
    Rita S.

    • Hi Rita. Thanks for reaching out and being a reader. Simmons at houstonsleep.net is really good. But that’s Houston. Try also looking for a provider by zip code on AADSM.org.

      Good luck!


      Composed on my phone. Please excuse the brevity and any typos.

      Dr. Mark Burhenne | AsktheDentist.com Read reviews for The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox Facebook | Twitter | YouTube (408) 737-2100

      Schedule a Skype or phone consultation with me

    • they are, but use gently, and hold in place, don’t use a scrubbing motion. though i prefer the oral b type of oscillatory movement for kids.

      sometimes the sound or frequency of these sonic toothbrushes are too much for kids and scare them. have them experiment with it first and see how they react


    • I love it, too. I’ve used the Oral B in the past & noticed my recession/sensitivity get worse. Not an issue with the Sonicare, although I definitely see it being harder for kids to get used to the vibrations with the Sonicare!

  2. Dear Dr. Burhenne,
    Thank you for the great review – that pretty much eliminates the confusion I had regarding the two models. I already own the Oral B/Braun and it seems like it’s time to give a Philips a try. However, one question remains: how do you use both: one in the morning, anlther before bed, or 3 days one/3 days – another? Which scheme would be the most efficient?
    Greetings from Russia! Keep up the great job you’re doing contributing to better oral health of your readers from all over the world – your blog it’s very informative.

  3. Funny, I did not know about Dr. Burhenne’s recommendation but I happened to be doing exactly that – alternating between between the Oral B and the Sonicare because I thought they could be complementary to each other. I have also introduced a third hitter into the batting order. I have a Smilex ultrasonic toothbrush. The ultrasound wave oscillates at 96 million pulses a minutes and reaches up to 5mm below the gumline to eradicate germs. It also has a sonic motion that works at the same time as the ultrasound, but it is kinda wimpy at 18,000 hertz (versus 31,000 hertz for the Sonicare). But over the last two years I have been very happy with it. It keeps my mouth very clean and it is also much quieter than the Oral B and the Sonicare. Be forewarned that you do have to pay a price. The brush is $145, and just like Sonicare, the replacement brush heads are modern day highway robbery at $20 for two.

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