This is a type of electric toothbrush that is designed for use at home for daily brushing need. It functions by generating ultrasound that removes plaque from the tooth and renders plaque-causing bacteria powerless. A typical ultrasonic toothbrush is functional up to a frequency of 1.6 MHz or between 96,000,000 and 192,000,000 movements let minute. It is a different kind of toothbrush than a Sonic toothbrush.
What is a Sonic toothbrush?
A sonic toothbrush is a type of electric toothbrush that produces motion or vibrations that are quick enough to produce a ‘humming’ sound of between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz that can be heard by the human ear. Typical sonic brushes offer between 12,000 to 24,000 oscillations or between 24,000 to48,000 movements per minutes.
Sonic brushed operate through sweeping motions to clean the teeth. They usually provide high amplitude movements which translate into larger sweep and stroke motions that ensure a cleaner and more effective brushing than a regular toothbrush. The bristles on the head of the brush ae what moves at this high speed to brush off food particles and bacteria from the teeth and the gum line.
These Sonic toothbrushes are different than Ultrasonic toothbrushes, because ultrasonic toothbrushes function at a higher frequency than the sonic toothbrush, and they use ultrasound to remove specks of dirt and bacteria in place of the brush head and bristles motion.
Examples of sonic brushes are the range of electric brushes by Oral-B and the Sonicare range of toothbrush from Philips.
What’s an Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush?
If sonic toothbrushes are different than Ultrasonic toothbrushes, then what is an ultrasonic toothbrush? And how does it work?
Ultrasonic toothbrushes do not need a physical motion to clean the teeth, unlike sonic toothbrushes. Rather, an ultrasonic toothbrush makes use of very high vibration frequency that is called ultrasound to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
Before an electric toothbrush can be classified as ultrasonic, it has to emit a wavelength of about 20,000Hz or 2.4 million movements per minutes at least. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) of the United States of America (USA), however, specified that for an electric toothbrush to be classified as ultrasonic, it must operate at a minimum of 1.6 MHz waves or 192 million movements per minute.
These high-frequency waves and low amplitude of an ultrasonic toothbrush means that that bacterial chains that makeup plaque gets broken easily by the vibrations, and the impact of the brush can go as low as 5mm below the gumline. i.e. These brushes can clean the teeth just by resting the brush on the teeth.
These toothbrushes do not need a physical motion to clean the teeth and gums, but some have additional sonic vibration that ranges from 9,000 to 40,000 movements every minute. This helps to provide additional sweeping motion for removing food particles and remnants of the bacterial chain.
Benefits of Ultrasonic Toothbrush
Keeps your teeth, tongue and gums healthier and cleaner than a regular toothbrush. It has bristles that can reach further down than a regular or even sonic models.
It ensures longer and more thorough teeth brushing that give a greater and cleaner feeling.
Unlike regular manual toothbrushes that can be too hard on the gums, the ultrasonic type does all the work for you and takes all the guesswork away from your teeth brushing.
They help to fight gingivitis and other gum diseases because it can reach all the places that are hard to reach with the regular manual types.
Itis also more effective for battling bad breath because it can easily detect and remove food particles and other debris from between your teeth. Coupled with regular flossing, it keeps your breath fresh always.
Where to buy?
Theycan be purchased from most pharmacies around you, just like you purchase your regular manual brush. You can also get ultrasonic toothbrushes from online malls and stores like Walmart, Target, Amazon and others.
What to look out for when buying
If you are looking to get an ultrasonic type of electric brush, the recommended things to look out for to get the best experience is:
Charging and Base
They usually come with long-lasting batteries. For weeks, you will not need to charge your brush. But in situations where more than one person in your family is using the brush, there might be a need to charge more often. So, make sure you get the one that has a basic and small charging stand or base so that you can use as little space as possible in your bathroom. If you, however, have no problem with space, you can get the type with a base that has storage spaces for brush heads and UV sanitizer unit to keep your brush heads clean.
Replacement Brush Heads
There will be a need for you to change the heads from time to time as the bristles do wear down. Brush heads are however a bit expensive to purchase. It is then a good idea to purchase more brush heads at a time as this will be cheaper than buying one at a time, and also readily available for instant change.
Features to look out for
There are types with just some basic features, and there are those that are more expensive with added functionalities. Your budget will mostly decide your choice, but some features that you might want to look out for are below:
Brushing Timer: While cleaning your teeth, you might easily underestimate the time that you have spent on a particular section of your mouth. To ensure that you clean your teeth for the recommended time, you can get one that has a timer function. Some of them usually pause after the recommended time and then continue brushing, and some others actually go off completely once the timer is up.
Ergonomic Grip: Some toothbrushes come fitted with rubber handles or grip. This type of toothbrush grip is called Ergonomic grip and is useful for helping you maintain a good grip of the toothbrush with added comfort.
Intensity Settings: Some relatively cheap electronic toothbrushes come with just one or two customizable settings, but some allow users to choose either a gentler or a more intense vibration level. The brush with this intensity settings is recommended most especially for first-time users to move from a low-intensity level to more intense levels over time.
Sensors: Hard brushing can do damage to the teeth and gums. To prevent this situation, some come with a sensor that prevents you from applying too much pressure with the use of a light or beeping sound for notification.
An ultrasonic electronic brush is an excellent choice to keep your teeth clean always with added functionality, and to keep your breath fresh always. They are definitely must-have for the household.