- Use a sound-dampening cloth while using your toothbrush
- Buy an ultraquiet Oral B or Sonicare electric toothbrush. Most quiet at 55-58 decibels.
- Learn how to troubleshoot, maintain, and use your current model
An electric toothbrush is much more effective than a regular toothbrush. However, unless you intend to use the toothbrush manually without switching on the power, electronic toothbrushes produce some level of noise depending on the brand, price, and age of your toothbrush.
So, is there an electric toothbrush that doesn’t make noise? No, sorry. Not yet anyway.
So, let’s explore the ways to effectively silence an electric toothbrush?.
There have been many breakthroughs in the development of electric toothbrushes. However, a silent electric toothbrush has not been invented yet. A cheaper and more commonly used electric toothbrush will make more noise than a higher grade model.
Some are so loud, they can wake the entire household if you had to wash up and go somewhere early in the morning.
So, no permanent relief for now but there are ways to reduce their sound. The most effective way is to upgrade to a sonic toothbrush.
Choose the Best and Most Quiet Sonic Toothbrush
You can review the sound comparison of a couple of their product in the video below, or approach a dentist for a professional recommendation.
Sonic Electric Toothbrush Costs
There are newer sonic electric toothbrushes on the market which are relatively more silent but cost more money. The most recent models brag of efficiency of over a staggering 31,000 strokes per minute.
But more motion usually means more noise so technology has to step in.
Their price varies from $50 to $60, which seems like a lot of money to spend on a toothbrush.
But that is only because we are used to spending a few bucks on a cheap stick with bristles on the end. But we all know that you get what you pay for, right?
Sonic electronic toothbrushes are a technological breakthrough in oral hygiene.
They have brushes that work ten times more effectively than a regular electric toothbrush, the defining factor being the speed at which it rotates or oscillates.
The Sonicare Model
Sonicare electric models are the quietest you can find on the market. It produces low sound levels ranging from only 55 to 58 decibels which are barely audible buzzing sound.
It will cost you between $50 – $250 dollars, depending on the model.
The top of the line, sonicare flexcare platinum (click to see it on Amazon) is the best you can get if you can afford it.
Troubleshooting Your Electric Toothbrush
First, it helps to know the mechanics of an electric toothbrush . There are only a few parts that make up the entire tool.
An electric toothbrush has a small, low-quality motor that thrusts and rotates the brush. It has a battery for power that helps move the cam gears in multiple directions.
There is also a small electronic board to conduct the current and soldered wire that connects everything.
The primary source of the sound is the head and the bristles which vibrate, rotate and oscillate to clean the teeth.
In due time, all of these components can become worn out and develop problems.
The lifetime use of these electronics is usually three to four years but it can last up to eight years, if well maintained.
Most of these toothbrushes come with a 12-month brand warranty but if your toothbrush outlasts the warranty, you are on your own for repairs.
Hold your toothbrush with a piece of cloth
If your toothbrush doesn’t have any problems and you still want to reduce the noise, grab your toothbrush with a small cloth or hand towel.
Most of the sound produced by your toothbrush is rattling, spinning and vibration. Handling it with a piece of cloth will help in muffling or silencing the noise. This is the quickest and least expensive way to fix the noise problem.
Pay attention to the removable parts
Electric toothbrushes are made up of two easily detachable components: the brush and the electronic body.
Whenever you detach and re-attach the parts, always follow the correct instructions given in the owner’s manual. It will prevent the parts and their attachment points from loosening.
Steer clear of attaching counterfeit heads. They may be cheaper in cost but may not line up properly on the base and wear out quickly leading to more unwanted noise.
Maintenance of the electric toothbrush
Change the brush head every two to three months . It is a general dental recommendation that we should change our toothbrush after every two or three months.
For the most part, this is to keep a proper level of oral hygiene. It applies to an electric toothbrush too, except instead of chucking the whole toothbrush in the trash and buying a new one, you only need to replace the head of the electric toothbrush.
You can find the parts from brick and mortar stores or online like Amazon.
Aside from hygiene, the recommendation to change the head is also due to vigorous vibration.
The cam gears of the brush that move and rotate will loosen over time and produce more vibration, which leads to more sound. Fitting a new head in place of the worn-out head will significantly reduce the noise of your toothbrush for some time.
Attaching the correct brush heads
Always attach the head into the body correctly, any slight misadjustments can cause more noise.
While buying a new head, make sure you choose the right one. Do not buy counterfeit heads to fit in your toothbrush. There will be many other similar toothbrushes with slightly different sizes, parts of which may fit into your toothbrush, but this will definitely enhance the noise.
Take the body to the store when shopping for a new head. This will ensure you remember the name brand and model of your toothbrush and buy the correct part.
There’s nothing worse than buying the wrong model and having to drive back to the store for a return. Or worse, having to ship the wrong product back to a supplier in the mail.
Toothbrush Battery Life
If you install a new head and everything is attached properly but you still have noise problems, it could be the battery.
The battery needs to put out the right amount of power to function as designed and older batteries lose power over time.
Overcharging or under-charging can ruin the life expectancy of a battery.
A weak battery will lead to underperformance, such as low thrust to turn the cam gears which spin the brush head. This will cause the internal parts to rattle against the frame, which will cause significant noise.
Some of these toothbrushes come with removable batteries so you can simply replace it. If you do not have the skill required to make such repairs, you can consider using the factory warranty. Using the warranty usually means taking the toothbrush back to the store where it was purchased. They, in turn, will either ship the electric toothbrush back to the manufacturer for repair or give you a new one.
If you have been using the same toothbrush for a while, chances are there could be a problem with the connections.
Overtime, vibrating and moving parts will become weaker and not move together as smoothly. Also, there are a ton of small soldered connections from the battery to the circuit board and then to the motor. Soldered wires can start to lose their joint connection on the circuit board.
With a soldering gun and a little skill, you can easily fix the problem. It requires only basic input and output knowledge of power. I was able to replace the battery as well as adjust the connection by myself. Check YouTube for a good how-to video on soldering.
As for the quiet electric toothbrush, it ‘doesn’t exist just yet. The lowest decibel is the brand name Sonicare toothbrushes, abundantly available for purchase.
They are the latest developments in the field of electric toothbrushes and very little sound. Once you commit to buying a proper electric toothbrush, it serves you to take good care of it.
Follow basic maintenance and care of the electric toothbrush and it should last several years.
It won’t be maintenance free but buying an occasional toothbrush head is cheaper than buying a new electric toothbrush. Whether you decide to purchase a quieter sonic toothbrush or not, using the tip of a holding cloth will dampen a good deal of sound either way. If you are an early riser, your spouse will thank you.
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Ho, H. P., & Niederman, R. (1997). Effectiveness of the Sonicare sonic toothbrush on reduction of plaque, gingivitis, probing pocket depth and subgingival bacteria in adolescent orthodontic patients. The Journal of clinical dentistry, 8(1 Spec No), 15-19.
Johnson, B. D., & McLnnes, C. (1994). Clinical evaluation of the efficacy and safety of a new sonic toothbrush. Journal of periodontology, 65(7), 692-697