Although it is possible to get a very good clean with a manual brush, an electric toothbrush does the work for you and makes things so much easier. There are two main types. One is an electric toothbrush with a rotating head that mechanically takes away the plaque. The other main type are the ‘sonic’ brushes that vibrate to remove bugs rather than rotate. Both can be very effective.

Our 5 tips

1.  Buy one in the middle of the range. Middle of the range will usually be better than bottom of the range but probably no worse than top of the range. Top of the range tends to mean that you are buying a load of useless gadgets. I do not believe you need to buy a toothbrush that connects to your mobile via bluetooth or a toothbrush with a built in selfie stick.

2.  Buy around the holidays. At Christmas or Easter, most of the big supermarkets or chemists put their electric toothbrushes on half price. They seem to do this fairly regularly so you should be able to avoid paying full price.

3. Buy a brush where you can swap the heads. Not everyone in the family needs their own electric brush as long as they each have their own head. This will be much more cost effective than buying 15 electric brushes. However, if this leads to a 30 minute queue for the toothbrush before the school run then forget what I said.

4. Buy a toothbrush that tells you when you’re pushing too hard. Most electric brushes will tell you when you are pushing too hard so you don’t damage your gums. This may be in the form of the head bending back or the tone of the brush changing or a little red light flashing. This is really handy for avoiding undue pressure. Remember, the toothbrush is supposed to be doing the work, not you.

5. Buy a brush that tells you how long you have been brushing for. This may be in the form of beeps or little pauses every thirty seconds. A word to the wise on this; some toothbrushes turn off after a couple of minutes to indicate that you are done. Who’s in charge here? You or the toothbrush? If your brush does this, it doesn’t mean you can’t start it again. YOU need to decide when you are finished, not the brush

With whatever type of brush you use, remember to replace the head regularly. Splayed bristles will not work and hanging on to a brush beyond when it is being effective is not doing you any favours. Some brushes have coloured bristles to tell you when to change it. When all of the colour has gone from the bristles, it’s time to get a new toothbrush head.

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