Using An Electric Toothbrush Overseas

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

Using An Electric Toothbrush Abroad/Internationally

If you are about to go away on vacation, for work or any other reason and you want to know whether your electric toothbrush can work in a foreign country, then we have the answer for you right here.

The reality is that most electric toothbrushes can be used overseas without issue.

Quick Reference/Check

  • Printed on the base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 100-240V
    • Where can it be used? Globally
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? No
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
  • Printed on the base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 220-240V
    • Where can it be used? In countries with 200-240V (e.g. most European countries, NOT US/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is less than 220V
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country
  • Printed on the base of the toothbrush or charging stand – 110 Volts 60 Cycles
    • Where can it be used? In countries with 110 volts (e.g. US/Canada)
    • Do I need a voltage convertor? Yes if the voltage of the country you are travelling to is higher than 110V
    • Do I need a plug adapter? Subject to country

Detailed explanation

The whole differing power, voltage and adapters can all get a bit confusing.  

Subject to your brush and where you are using it will affect what you need to make it charge abroad.

This can be a little confusing, so we hope to make this as clear as possible.  If you are confused or still have a question come the end of the article, leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer it.

There are 5 key things to consider.

  1. Do you need to take your charger with you?
  2. What voltage is the electrical supply in the country you are travelling to?
  3. What voltage does your electric toothbrush charger support?
  4. Do you need a voltage converter?
  5. Do you need a plug adapter?

Do you need to take your charger with you?

The first thing to consider is how long are you going to be away/travelling for.  

Aside from an electric toothbrush powered by removable batteries, most brushes last no longer than 3 weeks based on one user cleaning their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.  

Every brush model potentially has a different battery life to the next model, so consult your manual or the manufacturer to find out how long your battery will last.

Battery for an electric toothbrush

If you are going on a 2 week vacation and have an electric toothbrush with a 3 week battery life, do you need to take the charger? Probably not, especially if you charge it before you leave.

If you are going away for 2 weeks and have only a 2 week battery life you could risk running out of power. You might want to take the charger.

What voltage is the electrical supply in the country you are travelling to?

Different countries around the world potentially have different electrical systems to the one you are used to at home.  This includes the current/voltage that is delivered to the sockets and the plugs/connectors on appliances.

The USA and Canda have a voltage of 110V whilst European countries have a high voltage of 220-240V.

This website offers up a really useful guide to the voltages used by different countries around the world. 

Once you have figured out the voltage you now need to check your electric toothbrush to ensure you can be prepared for charging your brush in that country.

What voltage does your electric toothbrush charger support?

To check what voltages your electric toothbrush charger supports it is best to get hold of the charging stand and take a look at the labeling, usually found on the underside.

Charging stand for an electric toothbrush showing voltages

Whether or not you can use your charger in a particular country depends on what your brush states is the required voltage.  You need the charger to include the voltage of the country you are travelling to.

So if the country’s voltage is 220v and on your brushes charging stand it states 100-240 or 220-240v everything is good.  You can use that charging stand.

If the country’s voltage is 110v and your charger states only 220-240V then this will not work, you will require a voltage adapter/converter.

Some electric toothbrushes come with premium travel cases that allow the brush to be charged in the case, rather than on a charging stand.  The Oral-B Genius 8000, 9600 and Genius X, as well as the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean are such examples.  Their chargers normally support 100-240v.  Worth considering if you have such a model and the normal charging stand does not have a such a wide voltage support.

Do you need a voltage converter?

If your charger had support for the country’s voltage then you will not need a voltage converter.

If you have a charger that for example supported 110v and you are travelling to a country with 220-240V power, you will need a voltage converter.

This special piece of technology will allow your brush to be charged on the different electrical current, by either stepping up or stepping down the power, subject to your charging stand and where you are travelling to.

Voltage converter

You can buy these from various retailers online or from large hardware or electronics stores.

Do your research on the voltage in a particular country to ensure you are getting the right converter.

As a Canadian citizen, if travelling overseas, you are most likely going to be going to need a ‘step down’ converter.

A European citizen travelling to Canada would need a ‘step up’ converter because the voltage in the US is lower than their home country in Europe.

Once you have a voltage converter you might need to consider whether you need a plug adapter.

Do you need a plug adapter?

A plug adapter is an item that allows an appliance from one country to be plugged into the wall outlet of another country.  It converts, for example, a 2 pin USA wall plug to allow it to connect to a 2 pin European mains socket.

Close up shot of Sonicare charging stand for electric toothbrush

It is subject to your home and destination country but it is quite likely you will need a plug adapter.  You need to consider what plug you have on your charging stand.

These plug adapters do not change or convert the voltage.

Therefore you may need to plug voltage converter and a plug adapter.

I need a voltage converter and plug adapter

It is quite possible you will need a voltage and plug adapter.  This is particularly common for US residents travelling to France for example.

In the USA, our electric toothbrush chargers normally come with a 2 pin connector that is different to the 2 pin French (European) mains power adapter.

If as a US resident you are travelling to France, you will need a voltage adapter.  It is likely that this voltage adapter will connect to the French mains, but offer up a 2 pin EU plug socket.  You will then need a 2 pin EU to 2 pin US adapter into which you can connect your toothbrushes charging cable.

However, there are products such as the Foval International Travel Adapter Power Step Down 220v to 110v Voltage Converter (view on Amazon), that are an all in one solution.

Preview Product Rating Price
Foval International Travel Adapter Foval International Travel Adapter 1,691 Reviews CDN$ 69.99

Travelling examples

UK residents travelling to France or Spain will need only a 2 pin plug adapter as the voltage is the same as the UK but the plug connection is different.

A Spanish resident travelling to France would not need a voltage or plug adapter as the voltage and plugs are the same.

UK residents travelling to the USA or Canada will require a voltage adapter/converter as well as a plug adapter.

USA/Canadian residents travelling to Europe will require a voltage adapter which will work is most in most European countries that have the two round plug ends. If travelling to the UK you will require another plug adapter due to the different style power outlets.

Using An Electric Toothbrush Overseas 1

Buy a new charging stand – Extended stays

If you are staying in a country with a different voltage or plug system for an extended period of time, it might be worth purchasing a brand new charging stand for your brush that is designed and configured to work with the mains supply in the country in which you are within.

Speak to your brush manufacturer to find out if this is possible and how to buy one.

Please note.  This is a guide only and intended to help you ensure you are making the right decision and are prepared for travel.  You should do your own research and speak to the brush manufacturer or consult the manual for further information.  Electric Teeth endeavor to provide relevant and accurate information, but cannot be held responsible for any incorrect information.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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