We strongly advise that you DO NOT buy a mouthpiece/automatic toothbrush.*
Our testing shows they DO NOT clean the teeth very well.
The health of your teeth and gums is AT RISK if you use these products in place of a regular toothbrush.
Our findings are supported by the results of the first clinical study into the efficacy of U-Shaped Automatic Electric Toothbrush (UAET). The University of Florence, concludes:
The UAET that was tested in this study proved to be not effective in removing dental plaque.
In particular, the UAET was not significantly different from no brushing, while plaque removal with the UAET was significantly lower than with a powered toothbrush and a habitual toothbrushing procedure.
Therefore, its use cannot be recommended for regular oral hygiene at home.**
An evolving marketplace
This style of toothbrush is still relatively new, and as the months go by new products are being created.
As a consequence, the marketplace is forever changing as is the quality, price, and efficacy of these devices.
Small improvements in quality and cleaning results have been seen since the very first items of this type were launched.
Y-Brush is the best performing product to date. Whilst it shows promise, it still falls short of the standard required.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers and sellers are focused on how well the product works.
We have seen an alarming increase in the number capitalising on the unique design and lack of testing, to sell poor quality products to unsuspecting members of the public.
Many lack the evidence to support the pre-sale claims they make.
Poor cleaning results – the evidence
To demonstrate the poor cleaning results that these products currently offer, take a look at the photos below.
In the first image you will see a photo of my teeth taken before and after using a mouthpiece toothbrush.
The purple stuff on the teeth is plaque. Normally it is colorless, but we used a plaque disclosing solution to show where it exists on the teeth.
Plaque is the very substance that should be removed from the teeth when you brush them.
If it is not removed, in time, you can end up with unhealthy teeth and gums.
This image is from a real-life test of a mouthpiece toothbrush. You can see how even after use there is a lot of plaque left on the teeth.
Y-Brush is one particular automatic toothbrush that has delivered the best results, as shown in the image below.
But, whilst better, it is still not good enough.
We have yet to test a mouthpiece toothbrush that works as well as it should.
All of our tests have resulted in before and after images similar to those shown.
Used correctly, a manual or electric toothbrush removes all this plaque.
The recommendation is, and continues to be, brush for 2 minutes twice a day and floss at least once. Although statistics show that the average American brushes for just 45 to 70 seconds per day.
The following images show before and after images of plaque removal based on different toothbrushes and cleaning times.
The ultimate test for any product is how it fares under clinical testing and trials.
In these circumstances dental professionals take a detailed look at such products and test them using standardised procedures to be able to come to informed conclusions on the product and cleaning results.
Despite being on the market for a few years, it was not until June 2020 that the results of the first clinical trial were revealed.
It was a relatively small study, with just 22 participants. It was conducted by a team at the University of Florence and the results were first published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
It looked at the efficacy (how well it cleans) of U shaped automatic electric toothbrush (UAET), in comparison to a manual and electric toothbrush and to not brushing at all.
Whilst they only tested one U shaped toothbrush as part of the study, it was the most popular and best selling product to date, V-White.
The results were pretty damning. The key findings and conclusions were:
- The UAET that was tested in this study proved to be not effective in removing dental plaque.
- The UAET was not significantly different from no brushing.
- Plaque removal with the UAET was significantly lower than with a powered toothbrush and a habitual toothbrushing.
- The use of this U shaped toothbrush cannot be recommended for regular oral hygiene at home.
To add additional context, the V-White brush was actually used for a full 2 minutes during this study, by each participant, rather than the 45 seconds of its longest cleaning mode.
The results of this study reconfirm our own findings.
This remains the only clinical testing we know of to date.
Using a mouthpiece may seem like a good idea as it covers all of the teeth at the same time. However, the quality of the brush it gives is much worse than your every day electric toothbrush. This is because it doesn’t reach all the surfaces of the tooth especially in areas like the gum margins where you can get gum disease
Dr Chhaya Chauhan – In-house dentist – GDC Number: 83940
Social media adverts – be aware
We have seen a large number of adverts on social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that heavily promote this type of toothbrush.
The images and promotional videos suggest that they work. THEY DON’T.
There will often be lots of 4 and 5* reviews, praising the product. Don’t believe what you read.
It is very concerning what lengths some manufacturers/suppliers will go to, to try to convince us that these are effective, must have products.
If they were that good, why is it leading dental brands like Oral-B, Sonicare, Colgate, Waterpik and more are not selling these products?
Here are some of the following claims we believe to be false:
- German dentist Dr Max Spicer helped design this type of product – We cannot trace this dentist.
- Voted product of the year – No indication of who voted it the product of the year.
- You’ll have perfectly clean teeth – Our tests suggest otherwise.
We have also noticed the following:
- Many promotional videos never or rarely show the product in use.
- There is a heavy use of ‘stock’ images.
- You never see a real endorsement from a dental professional.
- The specifications and features listed can differ from what you actually receive.
- Many of the sites selling the product, you will never have heard of before.
- Introductory offers being offered, with countdown timers.
Do not let yourself be misled by these adverts.
They are trying to trick you out of your money.
THINK TWICE before making any purchase. Better still, DON’T BUY.
If you do, you will likely be very disappointed and the product will likely end up in the bin.
If you are unsure, ask us or your dentist for their opinion.
Dr Max Spicer
Dr Max Spicer, is a name that frequently appears with these types of products.
This so called German dentist is very illusive.
I have been unable to find any real dentist who goes by this name or who has created such a product.
In fact, Dr Spicer only appeared on the scene some years after the first mouthpiece toothbrushes were launched.
Dr Spicer is often associated with websites/brands and products that I have never heard of. Those same websites are often very thin on content, product details and information about the company.
Many promotional videos state how Dr Spicer innovated such a product. So proud of the wonderful new product he created, he never actually appears in any of the videos.
A reverse image search on Google turns up multiple results of what appears to be a stock image of the so-called Dr Max Spicer.
Somehow Dr Max Spicer is also Dr. Marcus Prodi, dermatologist, Dr. Steve Kimber Jr., amongst others.
Of course, if you haven’t figured by now, Dr Max Spicer does not exist and the image used is a stock photo.
The same product – different brands
Mouthpiece toothbrushes are made by a number of different companies/brands.
However, in the vast majority of instances, the product you receive is actually designed and manufactured by one company, V-White.
This is the same V-White that was tested as part of a clinical trial, where the results showed that the cleaning performance was not clinically more significant than no brushing at all!
Often, the website you buy from has a name, but the actual product you receive will make no reference to this. We know because we have experienced this ourselves.
Here are a list of websites/band names that sell mouthpiece toothbrushes, but we believe what you will receive is a V-White toothbrush.
- Sonic Brush / Sonicbrush
- Bright Smile – The Ultra Brush
- Supemurk – Hands-free ultrasonic automatic toothbrush
- Decoheal Hands-free ultrasonic automatic toothbrush
- Brush Ease
- Cyclone Brush
- JAPAN Kumamoto automatic toothbrush
- Zhonglihe 360° electric sonic teeth whitening kit
- GideaTech automatic toothbrush 360°
Many of these brands will have customer reviews to help sell the product. You will see how in many images, it is the V-White toothbrush that is shown.
The following video is my review of V-White (Hibrush).
We will tell you when to buy
We do believe that this type of toothbrush could well be the future, but now and for the foreseeable future, they are no good enough.
Y-Brush is without doubt the best example we have tested to date and shows the most promise.
We are continually looking for and testing new products. We read the clinical studies and analyze the data.
We do this with the assistance of highly qualified dental professionals.
Only when it passes our tests and gets the approval of our dental advisers, will we be able to recommend one of these products.
We will update this page when we believe there is a product good and safe enough for you to use. Until then, avoid them.
If you want to be notified when we find such a product, enter your email address in the box below.
We have made it quite clear about the current situation with this type of toothbrush.
However, in the coming years they will likely become commonplace as technology and design improves to allow such products to work effectively.
We’ve tried to provide the information we think you’ll find most useful, without getting too bogged down in detail.
What is a mouthpiece toothbrush?
A mouthpiece toothbrush is a new style of dental health product that cleans all the teeth at the same time.
A molded component, often made from silicone, is placed into the mouth and bitten into like you might a mouthguard used for sports.
This is attached to a handle or handpiece, that sits outside the mouth. The handpiece includes the motor that moves the bristles in the mouthpiece to clean the teeth.
Whilst ‘mouthpiece toothbrush’ is one name for this type of electric toothbrush, they are also referred to under many other names, including:
- Mouthguard toothbrush
- Auto brush
- Automatic toothbrush
- 360° electric toothbrush
- 360° toothbrush
- Auto toothbrush
- Full mouth toothbrush
- U shaped toothbrush
- U-shaped automatic electric toothbrush
- Self-brushing toothbrush
- Hands-free toothbrush
- Gum shield toothbrush
How do they work?
Each mouthpiece toothbrush works slightly differently depending on how the creator has developed and manufactured the product.
The underlying principle and theory is very similar to a regular electric toothbrush.
A built-in power source (the battery) will power a motor when the brush is switched on. The motor drives a series of brush heads/bristles inside the mouthpiece.
The bristles sweep along the tooth and gum surfaces and clean the teeth in a similar fashion to a regular toothbrush.
However, unlike a regular toothbrush, the design means that all 3 surfaces of your teeth are cleaned at the same time, reducing the amount of time you need to brush for.
Fewer brushing errors – the human element removed
You can have the most feature-rich and capable electric toothbrush available, but if you don’t correctly position and move it around the mouth, you are not helping yourself.
Brushing for 2 minutes is one thing, but having the right technique is another.
There are recommended ways in which to brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush, but this relies on you, the human controlling the brush, to move and position it correctly to allow the bristles to sweep away the plaque and bacteria.
Despite your best efforts, there will be times where your approach is inconsistent, small areas of the mouth may be missed. It’s normal, it’s human nature.
A mouthpiece toothbrush, in theory, reduces the chance of error.
The mouthpiece is a fixed shape and size and the bristles located to reach and clean the teeth and gums.
In principle, the mouthguard style brush head reduces the variation in the cleaning technique and positioning during each clean. This means that in time you can have healthier teeth and gums because you receive a better clean.
The reality of the situation, however, is that currently, no mouthpiece toothbrush achieves a standard of clean that we can even consider satisfactory. The cleaning performance is well below the standards expected.
Reduce brushing time
Believe it or not, using a mouthpiece toothbrush reduces the total brushing time but actually results in each tooth being cleaned for longer.
As little as 3 seconds is all that is required to clean your teeth with a mouthpiece toothbrush, but the default cleaning time is actually set to 10 seconds in most instances.
Even at 10 seconds that is some 110 seconds less than a regular manual or electric toothbrush, every time you brush your teeth.
I could save myself some 48 days in my lifetime by reducing my brushing time to just 10 seconds.
You only need look at the 30 Second Smile electric toothbrush to see how significant time reduction is possible.
The mouthpiece toothbrush does — believe it or not — actually brush each tooth surface for longer, despite cleaning your teeth for less time.
If you think about how you brush your teeth now. Although you may brush for 2 minutes at a time, you are not spending 2 minutes on each tooth, in fact just a few seconds.
The average adult has 32 teeth. Each tooth has 3 surfaces that need brushing.
With 96 tooth surfaces to be brushed (32×3) and a normal brushing time of 120 seconds, that is just 1.25 seconds per tooth surface (120/96).
The BIG difference with mouthpiece toothbrushes is that they brush all 3 surfaces at the same time.
Therefore even placing the new mouthpiece brush into your mouth for just 1.25 seconds would, in theory, be equivalent to what you do now.
However, 10 seconds has essentially become the benchmark.
Are they clinically tested and proven?
To date, only 1 product has undergone clinical testing and that is V-White. The results were far from positive.
We have yet to see any other mouthpiece style brush go through rigorous clinical testing.
Some brands suggest that they have worked with dental professionals to develop such products to ensure they perform effectively. They may well have, but to date, no brush has been given the seal of approval by our in-house dentists.
We have definitely not seen any leading dental bodies approve such products either.
As more brushes come to market, there will likely be some testing and trials that take place.
However, such trials are expensive to conduct and take time, so we do not expect to see reliable results for the foreseeable future, until a larger, better financed brand or company begins to make such a product.
Having myself spoken to many of the product creators, they would not continue with manufacturing and producing a product they do not believe could succeed and deliver beneficial results to the public.
That said, having gone hands-on in our review of Amabrush, we are a little concerned at what we discovered. A clinical trial is simply not necessary. We can tell you first hand that the cleaning experience is below the standard you would expect.
The following images show the plaque that exists on the teeth before using each toothbrush and after.
All this said, Y-Brush which uses nylon bristles does show considerable potential and managed to deliver the best cleaning results we have experienced to date.
Better than a regular electric toothbrush?
No, not if you are judging them on their cleaning performance alone. They are much worse.
However, whether something is better or not is of course personal opinion. It depends on your point of view and how exactly we judge these new types of electric toothbrushes.
Of utmost importance is the clean that they deliver.
To date, none have suggested they would offer a better clean than conventional tooth brushing methods.
Amabrush, for example, had specifically cited that their brush will conform to the BASS method which is a widely recognized approach in tooth cleaning, which shows there is a significant level of importance placed on how well the brush actually cleans.
Sadly, in reality, the molded mouthpiece does not offer a consistent and high standard of cleaning we expected. It is not yet time to ditch the manual or regular electric toothbrush.
Only time and testing will really show how good or bad all of these different brands of mouthpiece brushes are.
To be worth investing in, the cleaning experience needs to be equivalent to a manual or electric brush.
Of course, a big factor here is convenience. The reported time saving could be a big appeal for those that are time-poor.
The brushes are unlikely to offer up the same battery life as a regular toothbrush due to the size constraints, so this could be a downside.
Claims are between 2 and 4 weeks. Of course, this is just a few minutes of running time compared to 1 hour or more available on most regular brushes.
Amabrush did, however, last much longer in our testing.
Features may be limited — the larger handle of a regular brush allows for more technology to be built-in, but that hasn’t stopped the introduction of Bluetooth into some.
What features do they have?
At this time it is not a complete like-for-like with regular electric toothbrushes but there is an increasing similarity with features like Bluetooth and wireless charging being offered.
The core feature is the ability to clean the teeth quickly and effectively, compared to a regular manual or electric toothbrush, or at least that is what is claimed.
Most then benefit from being compact, portable and generally convenient to use.
Each brand/product has its own additional features that make it unique.
Ufunbrush, for example, is designed with the idea that children will be the primary users. Different sized mouthpieces are available and stickers can be attached to the mouthpiece to make it more ‘fun’ and enjoyable to use.
It is the only one to be powered by a removable battery.
Unico (a failed kickstarter product) was supposed to offer different sized mouthpieces as well as a modular storage system with UV sanitizer along with a smartphone app. It was also supposed to have a built-in toothpaste dispenser.
Amabrush radically evolved their product and range of accessories due to the high level of funding they received.
Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app did become a reality. A wireless charging stand, travel case, UV sanitizer and more accessories were supposed to come. The company went into liquidation in 2019 however.
Who is making them?
In 2017 there were 3 main brands/manufacturers that announced a mouthpiece electric toothbrush.
All 3 introduced and have funded their products via crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Amabrush has to date achieved the greatest level of funding, developed the product furthest and in my mind, presented the best overall package. However, in June 2019, the company went into administration.
They achieved €4,300,000, just shy of 6400%, more than their desired funding goal.
By early 2019 they have turned the concept into a reality, with many customers (ourselves included) having received working units.
Why not take a look at each of the promotional videos they created to secure initial investment.
In 2018, Y-Brush was announced and has been successfully funded.
It is a more serious competitor to Amabrush (now no longer trading).
By mid 2020, it was made available and we have reviewed Y-Brush.
2020 has seen a number of other companies and brands announce products, with the genuine intention to innovate within this market and create effective products. Some examples are CleanFreak, Talo Brush, Willo and Encompass.
Sadly, there is an ever increasing number of companies who appear to be trying to cash in on this evolution in oral healthcare products.
At the start of this article in the section ‘The same product – different brands’ we listed companies selling these types of products.
Unlike the brands listed earlier, the following do appear to be making their own products:
- Huojo automatic electric toothbrush
- Anself auto 360
- Chiz toothbrush 4.0
Cheap alternatives and replicas
Hopefully, it is clear already, that currently, it is not worth buying a mouthpiece toothbrush.
We say this having tested what is arguably the best example or attempt at a mouthpiece brush to date, Amabrush.
However, there are many companies trying to tempt you to buy one.
It is quite likely that you will see an advert on Facebook, Instagram or across the internet for what appears to be very cheap alternatives to the Amabursh and Y-Brush products mentioned here.
Quite honestly, from what we can tell these are just companies trying to make a quick bit of cash at your expense.
Whilst we have not tested them all, detailed research shows many are copies or re-badged versions of the same product, made by V-White.
The websites selling these are very poor with little information about the brush, how it works and what it offers. The sites have little or no information about the company who makes them, how to contact them or where they are based. Many of the reviews appear fake and overly positive.
When you actually find a review from a real customer, they generally have nothing other than bad things to say.
Some products also advertise ‘whitening’ features, which in itself is a warning sign because even if this were to be effective (which it won’t be), it’s a dangerous over-simplification.
The reality is these products are nothing more than cheap, low quality, inferior replicas/copies sold at a fraction of the price. They do not work and should not be bought.
We are more than happy to praise those that offer something generally good, but unfortunately, we have no evidence to date of any offering something that even comes close.
How much do they cost?
The cost depends on the brand you go for and the package you select from what is on offer.
Prices start from as little as $60/£45/€50 with the average starter kit being $120/£90/€100
If you are thinking that this is expensive compared to a regular electric toothbrush, then yes there is a bit of a premium to be paid, but that is necessary for the advantage and claimed innovation they bring.
From 2017-19, when you purchased one, you were usually backing the brands crowdfunding campaign.
In some instances, this is still the case, but many are now taking orders via their own websites and shipping the product relatively quickly.
There are those cheap copies mentioned above that ship instantly and can cost as little as $25/£20/€20 but can be sold at more than $130/£100/€115.
Where can I see and buy them?
You won’t see these products in your local dentists’ office, pharmacy or supermarket.
Even if you did, avoid them at this time.
Because these products are being sold by relatively unknown brands, the majority are sold via direct to consumer methods, bypassing traditional outlets.
You normally have to go direct to the companies website to order it and have it sent to your home. Only then do you get to see it.
Some brands do sell via larger marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, but again you have to order and pay for it to be delivered before you get to handle it.
What do the reviews say?
Any reputable review will ultimately tell you to stay clear of these products for the time being.
The first we reviewed was Amabrush.
None of these have scored highly.
This is backed up by comments from others online who have bought, tried and tested such products.
Y-Brush has been the most surprising, surpassing expectations and delivering the best results. But, the cleaning is still not good enough to replace the regular toothbrush.
Ultimately it is still relatively early days in terms of reviews for mouthpiece toothbrushes because so few products exist. If you do see any positive reviews, really question why this is.
If you think you have stumbled on a product that is generally getting good praise, check with us or your dental professional before committing.
Do you own or have you used any of these automatic/mouthpiece style toothbrushes?
Do you agree with what we say?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Your opinion is really valuable to us and other potential mouthpiece toothbrush owners.
Or, if you have a question, please do ask in the comments below.
*This recommendation is given based on our own hands-on testing of multiple mouthpiece toothbrushes and the experiences of others we have learned of. We are not able to test every product. There may well be a product that does perform better and could be worth buying. But, given the lack of clinical data to support their effectiveness, we still urge caution.
**This study only tested 1 U shaped toothbrush, but arguably the most popular and widely sold product of its type today. The product was the V-White 360° Intelligent Electric Toothbrush with Cold Light; Voltage 3.2-3.7 V; Power: <5 W; Frequency 48,000 rpm/min max (Shenzhen Sure-Power Electrical Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, Guangdong, China)