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Portable Electric Toothbrush

At my dentist's suggestion, I am switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric. But I need something lightweight and doesn't take up much room.

I bought a Quip and it's not bad. Battery operated.

What other electric toothbrushes are popular here?

Posted by
25528 posts

I have a medium-range (definitely not cheap) Sonicare that I think does a better job than the low-end Oral B I bought in Italy to replace an older Sonicare that chose to stop recharging at the very beginning of a trip. Both those brushes are rechargeable. The Sonicare's charges last a lot longer, but the toothbrush is noticeably heavier.

I think there are battery-powered, non-rechargeable brushes that are lighter-weight. I've always assumed they don't do as good a job as my Sonicare, but I haven't tried one. My trips are long enough that the quality of the brush does matter.

Posted by
1075 posts

Sonicare is the best. I have an older model, too, and it's fine (the one with the larger brush head). I'd sacrifice something else for the few ounces it takes up.

Posted by
8889 posts

When you say "battery operated", is that throw away batteries, or is it rechargeable?
I don't now what voltage comes out of the wall in Freedonia, nor what sort of plugs are used.
If this is rechargeable and you are planning to use this in Europa make sure the charger supports 230V 50 Hz AC. Otherwise you will need a heavy voltage converter as well as as a plug adapter.

Posted by
3961 posts

Hands down, Sonicare. I have used it for years. It is well worth the few more ounces of weight. You and your Hygienist will see a tremendous difference.

Posted by
471 posts

The pretty lightweight Oral B is pretty satisfactory. Total weight 9 oz. of t-brush plus charger unit (plug in). Our is numerous years old - there may be better/lighter out there now. Our bigger stronger heavier Sonicare stays home.

Posted by
6818 posts

I'm a sonicare fan, but you have to pick a tool that doesn't frighten you and for which the replacement brushes (expensive) are not TOO expensive. If you don't replace them, they don't clean! You might try buying the absolute cheapest Sonicare at Walgreens (my area of residence ..... ) and then if you see you want more bells and whistles (like 30-second timers, or sounds, or whatever, throw it away and buy the fancy one.

But all rechargeable batteries eventually fail. Read that sentence again.

On this newsboard, I also suggest that you get a good light and read the nameplate of the CHARGER. My cheapo Sonicare ONLY works on 120 Volts, so I have to carry a small transformer when traveling. I already own it, so there was no expense involved. This transformer is too small to run a big appliance, so it's not a big deal. But they may not be widely available. And I've already ruined one charger because I got careless in Europe. But every time your battery wears out, you have to buy a new unit, which comes with a charger.

Posted by
25528 posts

My last two Sonicares have worked on both European and US electric systems.

I went through a rough patch with my Sonicares a few years ago. Eventually one of the customer service reps told me it was better for the battery to charge it up and then let it run nearly all the way down (it beeps a warning) rather than letting it sit on a plugged-in charger all the time. Why those instructions were not in the instruction brochure, I have no clue. Perhaps the information is there now.

Posted by
6391 posts

I'm with Joe. At home, sure, Sonicare, rechargeable, easy choice. But that (along with the base/charger) is crazy heavy and inappropriate for travel. For travel, the Oral B shown in Joe's link (each with its own, internal battery) is fine. It's the size of a "standard" toothbrush, the only extra weight is the weight of the included (internal) AA battery. Yes, it's plastic and its disposable, but ultimately so is your Sonicare. Costco sells the same package (shown in Joe's link to Amazon), for about the same price. Before a trip, I grab one, pop it in a ziplock, stuff that in my little "bathroom kit" bag, and off you go.

Posted by
3499 posts

I also have a quip. It works well enough for me when traveling, definitely better than a manual brush would. The battery, for those who asked, is a AA disposable although you could use a rechargeable one if you wanted. The throw away battery lasts more than a month for me before I notice any real lessening in its brushing power.

For home, I have a Sonic Care and am very happy with that. I probably could take it with me, but it just seems way too bulky for travel.

Posted by
15101 posts

My husband takes his Sonicare without the charger. It is good for 2-3 weeks that way. I bring my own little brush that fits it. Voila!

Posted by
9078 posts

I went through a rough patch with my Sonicares a few years ago

Me too. I went through a four year period with Sonicare replacing my unit for free every three months or so under warranty due to the same issue. After years they finally mentioned that one isn't supposed to keep the base unit plugged in 24/7:)

Posted by
540 posts

The way I figure it, I can live with a manual toothbrush for a few weeks while traveling. I have looked at the Quip, but I figure it is OK to deviate from normal routine for a short period of time. Same with hair products, skincare products, etc.

Posted by
5312 posts

I bought a battery operated Oral B toothbrush at Boots on my last trip to London. It is not quite as good as the plug- in model that I use at home, but it works fine. I got it on sale (half price) for 7 GBP.

I think it might be this one:

My dental hygenist thinks the rotating bristles of oral b are superior to sonicare. I’ve heard others say the opposite. I think this is really a personal preference thing.

Posted by
1194 posts

My holy grail is a micro USB rechargeable. I noticed that some were available for a while and now they’ve disappeared. I suspect that had battery issues.

If anyone knows of one it would be great to hear of it.

Posted by
14123 posts

Thanks for the info. I used to have a Sonicare--it felt like a jackhammer in my mouth.

I asked my dentist which electric to get and he said it really didn't matter. All electrics do better than manual brushes. He just wanted me to make sure it had a soft brush head. I went with a smaller brush head on his recommendations to get into spaces most people miss with a larger brush head.

I'm also thinking of getting this one to compare:

I saw it at Boots in the UK a couple of weeks ago but didn't buy because I wasn't sure replacable heads were available in the U.S. They are.

Posted by
3860 posts

A sad tale. Our teenaged granddaughter bought her own Quip last summer for her 3 week trip to Europe with us. She used the suction cup thing to attach it to the mirror in the first hotel room bathroom at LHR where we stayed for one night. She missed seeing it the next morning and was a bit sad for the rest of the trip as she really liked the Quip. Lessons learned, if you are taking an unfamiliar new item with you be extra careful or have a routine for gathering things in. She bought herself another Quip last fall because she liked it so much.

Posted by
1317 posts

I travel with my sonicare - it lasts 3-4 weeks. My husband and I both bought smaller travel size battery operated tooth brushes - different brands - both are now in the junk drawer. Not enough "umff" to feel like they really cleaned and not ergonomically correct.

Posted by
794 posts

I like my Sonicare. That being said, how long is your trip going to be. We just take our manual toothbrushes with us for 3 weekss or son and the hygienist just keeps saying what a good job our electric toothbrushes are doing.

Posted by
14123 posts

how long is your trip going to be

I travel full time and live in hotels.

Posted by
32104 posts

Frank II,

I also use a Sonicare and have been packing it along on travels for many years. The first unit I had only provided a 115V charger, so I had to pack a small Voltage Converter along. I have a newer model now and it comes with a charger which is very small and light, and it's designed for operation from 100-240VAC. On shorter domestic trips, I've found that the Sonicare operates for five days or longer without a charge. Since you travel continuously, it would be necessary to pack the charger along.

My newest Sonicare comes with a small travel case which fits the toothbrush and has space for one or two additional brush heads.

Posted by
1631 posts

We take our Sonicares with us and they last at least 3 weeks without a charge. Ours are from Costco, a two pack, and they came with a tiny charger and a larger one, so if we would need we could take the smaller charger, but so far that hasn't been an issue for us.