Electric toothbrushes come in two varieties – one that rotates and vibrates, or pulsating-oscillating brushes, and the other is sonic, which jitter at a high frequency. Both types give you a good clean, but personally, I prefer the rotating ones.
Choosing one is a peculiar process: with a vast variety of models, you don’t really have much choice. Let’s start with the brand. In my place, the market is split between four major names: Braun Oral-B, Philips, Panasonic and another brand from Japan – Omron. I don’t like Philips, Panasonic are the most expensive with worse performance, and Omron are hard to get parts for. So my only option was Braun Oral-B. They seem to provide best performance in many tests and surveys. The most notable models are Professional Care 500 and Triumph 5000, and they keep the leading positions for a couple years. Both provide superb cleaning, but Triumph has more gimmicks and costs 2-3 times more. At first, at was about to purchase the cheaper 500 model, but then suddenly noticed the discrepancies in the model description. While the huge poster boasted 40000 pulsations, the technical details specified only 20000. I’m sorry, but this is not only twice less, this is completely different technology, since 20 kHz is in the sonic range, while 40 kHz is ultrasound. So the only choice left is Triumph 5000. It is the most powerful of all, and even though you can use any Oral-B brushes with any Braun device, Triumph tips work best with the Triumph brushes. Another thing worth mentioning is the LCD screen. Other brushes have it on the device itself, while 5000 has a standalone remote display. I like the latter better, since whatever waterproof it is, there is always a chance of water damaging the screen. Talking waterproof. I’ve seen some negative reviews that even the remote display starts to loose segments because of humidity in the bathroom. But those were about d32 revision of the toothbrush, so I decided to buy the latest one, which is d34 at the moment. By the way, make sure you know what you’re buying – there’s a significant price gap between d32 and d34, however the sellers often fail to mention the exact model number.
So, the decision is made and the toothbrush is purchased. The package is incredible. First, it comes bundled with 7 different tips. This is good for two reasons: first, you’ll have an opportunity to try all of them before you decide which replacements you will buy in the future, and second, those tips cost a total of about 60 bucks! So minus that from the price of the bundle, and the device may not seem so overpriced after all. Another thing worth mentioning is the remote display, Smartguide as they call it. It sells in a display case, and it is turned on into demo mode. This of course drains the battery. And that’s why, the manufacturer supplies a pair of fresh batteries! That’s what I call German quality. Yes, the device is made in Germany. By hands of blue-eyes white Aryans? Highly unlikely, rather by hands of imported Turkish workers. But nevertheless, Made in Germany is normally a good sign. The display can be mounted to a wall with a special plate, which you mount by bundled two-sided sticky stripe. The display body could be easily removed to install fresh batteries or adjust the clock. The Smartguide receives data from the brush wirelessly, and beside time, it also display current mode and warns when you press on the teeth too hard. Another vital parameter here is the circle, divided into 4 parts. Use your imagination to divide your teeth into 4 zones – upper left, lower left, upper right and lower right. Each circle part represents time you need to spend brushing each of these zones. Standart mode gives you 30 seconds for each zone, totalling two minutes, which is dentist recommended time for each teeth brushing. Believe me, two minutes is so long. I bet you don’t clean teeth for that much time with your normal brush. Next time you’re in the bathroom, take a stopwatch to measure your actual brushing time. You don’t have to stare into the display the whole time – each 30 seconds the brush stops for a split second, indicating you it’s time to proceed to another zone. This is a really simple and fun way to learn to brush correctly for both kids and grown-ups. Also included is printed manual and a DVD disc, travel case, and a tip storage, where you can insert the charging dock. The dock is also worth a couple of words. First, it doesn’t have an AC adapter – just a very slim plug. All electronics is inside this tiny stand. It also doesn’t have any open contacts, charging is done wirelessly, so you may wash the brush after use and use damp cloth to clean the stand. Wireless charging is by no means rocket science: induction coils properties are know for over a hundred years. But they won’t really used to charge household appliances until recently, mainly because of poor performance. In this case, it will take almost a day to completely charge this toothbrush. On the other hand, this model has set a record for charge last, so you don’t necessarily have to place the charger in you bathroom, especially if you lack space or don’t have an appropriate socket. Charge it once a week and place the charger where it suits you most. Now the main question – how good does it brush? It is superb. I mean, you just cant reach this level of cleanness with a manual brush. And the main point is: you don’t really have to put in any effort. You just trail the tip over your teeth, the rest is done by the device. You don’t really need much toothpaste, only a drop, which may lead a substantial economy if you use expensive brands. The main thing to remember here is turn the brush on after you put into your mouth, or you’ll splatter all the precious paste around your bathroom. From this point of view, the mode selector is nor very thought off. The brush always starts in the first mode, and you can’t change modes until it’s on, so to avoid paste splatter, you have to do it with the brush already in your mouth. And the last thing I would like to mention is gums. The problem is I have very sensitive gums, and since childhood I’ve been suffering from bleeding after brushing – it’s when you spit toothpaste with blood in it. This happens because you can’t really brush you teeth without touching the gums. It turns out, you can, if the toothbrush is electrical. It is very easy to avoid the bristles reaching the gums, and the result – no more bleeding! The grateful gums started to turn bright pink instead of bloody red. I never thought I could have gums that pale. So, this purchase brought more comfort and joy into my life, effectively making it better. So, think about investing into a decent electrical toothbrush, if you don’t have one already.