You’ve heard that electric toothbrushes can be better than traditional, manual toothbrushes, but don't quite know how to choose the right toothbrush for you!
If you are finding yourself in this position and want to make sure you’re choosing the best option for your teeth that will last for years, this article is for you.
In this article, we will be discussing what you can expect from the lifespan of an electric toothbrush!
We will also cover what factors affect a toothbrush’s lifespan and how you can get the most out of your electric toothbrush. Read on to find out more about:
- The average lifespan of electric toothbrushes
- The benefits of electric toothbrushes
- What factors can impact your toothbrush’s lifespan
- How to extend the longevity of your electric toothbrush
- Signs that your toothbrush needs replacing
- How to choose the perfect electric toothbrush and factors to consider.
Let's get into it!
Average Lifespan of Electric Toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes are a great investment in your oral health.
Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes can better remove plaque compared to manual toothbrushes.
Moreover, there is now a greater selection of electric toothbrushes, such as charcoal-containing electric toothbrushes.
One of the most common questions people have when investing in an electric toothbrush is how long it will last until it needs to be replaced.
The lifespan of an electric toothbrush head can vary based on several factors, including the type of bristles, the frequency of use, and how well the brush head is maintained.
In general, the heads of electric toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months (or more frequently if you are feeling unwell).
Meanwhile, toothbrushes themselves should last around 3 to 5 years, making them a great investment!
Factors Affecting Electric Toothbrush Lifespan
The lifespan of an electric toothbrush is influenced by numerous key factors such as how often they’re used, how well they’re maintained, and the quality of the toothbrush.
Understanding these factors allows you to maximize the longevity of your toothbrushes!
Here are some of the main players determining the lifespan of your toothbrush:
Quality of construction
One of the most obvious determinants of your electric toothbrush’s lifespan is how well it is constructed, and the quality of its components. Higher-quality materials and construction may result in a longer lifespan.
Consider investing in a good quality toothbrush, this will save you money down the line as a good quality toothbrush will need to be replaced less frequently than a cheaper model.
Frequency and intensity of use
The frequency of use has a significant impact on the lifespan of an electric toothbrush, along with brushing habits. The more frequently you use the electric toothbrush, the faster it may wear out.
If you brush your teeth with a great deal of force, this will lead to premature fraying of the toothbrush’s bristles, for instance.
Battery health and charging habits
Battery health and charging habits significantly contribute to the lifespan of your electric toothbrush. The rechargeable batteries in electric toothbrushes have a limited number of charge cycles. Over time, the battery's capacity may degrade, leading to a shorter overall lifespan.
Overcharging or consistently depleting the battery to extremely low levels can negatively impact your battery’s lifespan over time!
Replacement of brush heads
Regularly replacing brush heads increases your electric toothbrush’s lifespan.
Not only will it help make sure the bristles are in the best condition to clean your teeth, but it will also make sure damaging bacteria do not build up on the toothbrush!
On average, dentists and manufacturers typically recommend replacing electric toothbrush heads every three to four months.
Cleaning and maintenance
Like most things, correct cleaning and maintenance will have a direct impact on the longevity of your toothbrush.
Regularly cleaning, drying off, and checking your toothbrush for damage will positively impact your toothbrush’s lifespan. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning and replacing brush heads.
Environmental conditions (humidity, temperature)
Harsh environmental conditions will affect the longevity of your electric toothbrush.
For example, high humidity levels can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew – especially in areas where moisture is trapped such as around the charging base. This can decrease the overall lifespan of the toothbrush!
Meanwhile, extreme temperatures can affect the performance of the rechargeable battery in the electric toothbrush, shortening its lifespan.
Electric toothbrushes are often used in a wet environment, so good waterproofing is essential. If water gets into the internal components, it can damage the toothbrush and shorten its lifespan.
Manufacturer's warranty and support
A good thing to ensure is that the manufacturer of your toothbrush offers an extended warranty for at least one year.
This will ensure that if something does go wrong with your toothbrush, you are entitled to a replacement.
Occurrence of technical issues
If your toothbrush is prone to technical issues, such as problems charging, it will decrease the overall lifespan of the toothbrush.
These problems can cause flow-on effects and damage the components of your brush – especially if the components are made of cheap materials.
Compatibility with replacement parts
Most electric toothbrushes will be compatible with various other replacement parts.
If your electric toothbrush is able to be easily fixed with replacement parts, it will increase its longevity and save you from prematurely replacing the whole toothbrush!
Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Electric Toothbrush
Buying an electric toothbrush is an investment. To get the most out of your toothbrush, it is important to follow some simple rules!
This will help you not only look after your teeth better but will save you precious money down the line.
Rinse the brush head thoroughly after each use
Rinsing the brush head after using it washes out any food particles and bacteria which can result in build-up and residue. This will ensure that you do not need to replace the head of your toothbrush too frequently.
Allow the brush head to air dry before attaching the cover
The best way to avoid any mold or harmful bacteria from building up, which can lead to you needing to replace your toothbrush earlier than you intended.
This is as simple as allowing the brush head to quickly air dry before popping the cover back on.
Replace brush heads as recommended by the manufacturer
Most brush heads need to be replaced every 3-4 months. These can be ordered from toothbrush companies and can come in multiple packs, which is often more cost-effective.
Replacing the head regularly is important to ensure that debris, mold, and bacteria are not harbored underneath the brush head.
Avoid excessive pressure while brushing
Using too much pressure when brushing your teeth is the leading cause of bristle fraying and will require you to replace the brush head more frequently than is necessary!
It is important not to use too much force when brushing your teeth to avoid this.
Some toothbrushes can be connected to apps that detect brushing pressure and can tell you if you brush with too much force.
Charge the toothbrush according to the manufacturer's instructions
One of the main culprits to worn electric toothbrushes is the battery.
Most electric toothbrushes have indicators that show when the battery is fully charged. Once the battery is fully charged, it is important to take the toothbrush off charge as not doing so can result in overcharging (which is harmful to the battery).
Store the toothbrush in a dry, clean area
Keeping your toothbrush in a clean, dry area helps to limit the growth of bacteria and mold., keeping it clean and lasting a long time.
Keep the toothbrush away from water sources when not in use
Ironically, moisture is the biggest contributor to electrical dysfunction in electric toothbrushes.
Water exposure can potentially lead to electrical issues in the internal components of the electric toothbrush. To avoid this, it is important to store your toothbrush in a clean, dry area well away from water!
Clean the handle and charger connections regularly
In order to help increase the lifespan of your electric toothbrush, it is important to keep it nice and clean. Ideally, this will be done daily!
Carefully clean the charging connections on both the toothbrush handle and the charging base with a damp cloth. These connections are often metal contacts or induction pads.
Then, use a soft, dry cloth or a cotton swab to fully dry off the toothbrush. Before putting the toothbrush away, make sure all components are left to air dry completely.
Avoid dropping or mishandling the toothbrush
Regularly dropping your toothbrush on hard surfaces can result in damage to the toothbrush’s internal components.
There are some practical steps you can take to help avoid this from happening.
Firstly, make sure your hands are dry when you brush your teeth. Wet hands can be slippery and increase the risk of accidental slips!
Additionally, investing in an electric toothbrush with a grip-friendly handle with ergonomic designs helps to increase stability during use and makes dropping the brush less likely.
Use the Right Toothpaste
Some highly abrasive toothpaste can contribute to faster wear on bristles. Use a toothpaste recommended by the toothbrush manufacturer to ensure compatibility. Try Boka n-Ha toothpastes, as they are toothbrush friendly and less abrasive.
Signs that Your Electric Toothbrush Needs to be Replaced
Replacing your toothbrush is not something that is on our minds all the time.
However, regularly replacing your electric toothbrush is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene.
Knowing when to replace your electric toothbrush is a simple yet effective way to promote overall dental health! Here are the signs you may need to say goodbye to your current toothbrush:
Reduced cleaning effectiveness
If you notice a decline in the cleaning performance of your electric toothbrush.
For example, plaque that is no longer being removed by your toothbrush may be an indication that the motor or other internal components are wearing out.
This can compromise your oral hygiene and is a clear sign it is time for a new brush!
Worn or frayed bristles on the brush head
One of the most obvious signs that it is time to replace your electric toothbrush is if the bristles have become visibly worn!
Worn bristles appear both sprayed and splayed out. This is a problem as splayed bristles lose their effectiveness in cleaning and can even cause gum irritation.
It is important to regularly swap out the brush head (especially if you brush your teeth vigorously) as this can accelerate the fraying process.
Decreased battery life and frequent recharging
Electric toothbrushes are made with rechargeable batteries. Over time, these batteries become harder to charge – resulting in a decreased battery life that requires frequent recharging!
If your toothbrush can no longer hold its charger properly, it may be time to replace it.
Unusual noises or vibrations during operation
If you notice unusual sounds or vibrations while using your electric toothbrush, it could indicate that there are some issues with the toothbrush’s motor.
These abnormal noises may indicate that some of your toothbrush’s components are damaged. This often causes a reduction in the overall performance of your toothbrush!
Brush head attachment issues
If you find it increasingly difficult to attach the brush head to the body of the toothbrush, it could be because the attachment mechanism is worn out (or worse yet, broken).
An unstable brush attachment can mean that the toothbrush's cleaning ability is reduced and is a clear sign that it is time to replace the toothbrush.
Visible damage or cracks on the handle or charger
One of the most obvious signs that your electric toothbrush needs replacing is visible damage such as cracks and general signs of wear.
Physical damage can compromise the structural integrity of the toothbrush and may also expose the internal components to moisture creating a potential hazard once electrical components are exposed!
Malfunctions in timer or brushing modes
Many electric toothbrushes come equipped with timers.
If you experience malfunctions in the timer or other components (such as the timer not working correctly) it can not only be frustrating but can impact the toothbrush's ability to clean your teeth properly.
Increased sensitivity or discomfort during use
If you notice increased sensitivity or discomfort while using your electric toothbrush, it could be a sign of internal issues that are changing to the vibrating action of the brush!
It’s also a good sign that it's time for a new toothbrush.
Persistent or recurring technical problems
Multiple technical problems such as frequent malfunctions, power interruptions, or inconsistent performance can be frustrating. These can be clear signs that your electric toothbrush may be reaching the end of its lifespan.
If your electric toothbrush is experiencing frequent malfunctions or breakdowns, even after attempted troubleshooting, it may be a sign that the device is reaching the end of its lifespan.
Tips on Choosing A Perfect Electric Toothbrush
Buying an electric toothbrush is a great investment to make in your teeth’s health.
Choosing the right electric toothbrush is important to ensure that your teeth are getting the right treatment and that your toothbrush lasts for years to come!
Here are some of our expert tips to ensure you choose the perfect electric toothbrush:
Consider your specific dental needs (e.g., gum health, sensitivity)
Not all electric toothbrushes are made the same. Different brush heads are designed for specific purposes, for example.
Some brush heads are more suited to sensitive teeth, sore gums, or plaque removal.
Knowing what your teeth need and buying an electric toothbrush that is catered for these needs is a great way to ensure your teeth are being well looked after.
Choose a reputable brand known for quality
To ensure that the toothbrush you are investing in is made with the dentist's recommendation and will last for many years to come, it is important to buy from a reputable brand!
Reputable brands like Boka offer electric toothbrushes with 2-year warranties so you can ensure your toothbrush will pay itself off.
Assess the available brushing modes and features
Electric toothbrushes will often offer different brushing modes and features, which can enhance their cleaning abilities.
For example, it is best to look for sonic toothbrushes! Sonic toothbrushes operate at a high frequency, with vibrations in the range of 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute that help to dislodge plaque and debris from both teeth and gums.
Look for a pressure sensor to prevent over-brushing
Some electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors that are designed to prevent over-brushing when too much force is applied to the teeth. This helps protect the teeth from erosion, which can contribute to tooth sensitivity.
Check the battery life and charging options
One of the most common reasons for needing to replace electric toothbrushes is a decline in battery health.
Making sure that the company you are buying from prioritizes battery health and reading reviews on the batteries' performance is a great thing to do before purchasing a toothbrush.
Ensure compatibility with replacement brush heads
Your electric toothbrush will likely last you 3 years, if not longer. However, the head of the brush needs to be replaced every 3 months or so.
It is therefore important to make sure there are available replacement brush heads for your toothbrush!
Some toothbrush brands, such as Boka, offer complementary replacement heads when you buy a brush.
Evaluate the size and grip comfort for ease of use
Each electric toothbrush is built with a slightly different body. Finding the right size and fit of toothbrush can help make gripping the handle more comfortable.
Consider buying a smaller brush if you’re someone with small hands, for example. As a general rule, buying smaller handled brushes is a safe bet.
Seek a toothbrush with a timer and quadrant alerts
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day.
Some electric toothbrushes, including Boka’s electric toothbrush, have an inbuilt 2-minute timer to help you know how long you should brush your teeth for!
They also have 30-second alerts to help you break up your bushing evenly across all your teeth and ensure no spots are missed.
Consider additional features like app connectivity for tracking your brushing habits
Some modern-day toothbrushes can be connected to your phone via certain apps.
These apps help give you feedback on your brushing technique by making suggestions on how you can improve your brushing technique to better look after your teeth!