Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Explained

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 83940)

Mouthpiece (auto brush) Toothbrushes Explained

At the moment our recommendation is not to buy a mouthpiece toothbrush. You should stick to a regular electric toothbrush.

We have tested, amongst others, what is arguably the best-known mouthpiece toothbrush, Amabrush, and found that it did not clean the teeth well.

The mouthpiece toothbrush has not yet been perfected and is not an alternative to the current manual or electric brushes available.

Although we have not tested every single mouthpiece toothbrush available, we anticipate them also performing poorly.  In fact, reviews for customers support our suspicions.

What is a mouthpiece toothbrush?

A  mouthguard or mouthpiece toothbrush is a new style of dental health product that cleans all the teeth at the same time.

A molded (often silicone) component is placed into the mouth and bitten into like you might a mouthguard used for sports. We’ve also seen them referred to with the following names:

  • 360° electric toothbrush
  • 360° toothbrush
  • Auto toothbrush
  • Auto brush
  • Automatic toothbrush
  • Mouthguard toothbrush
  • Full mouth toothbrush
  • U-shaped toothbrush
  • Self-brushing toothbrush
  • Hands-free toothbrush

Connecting to a control/power unit that sits outside of the mouth, when powered on, the bristles inside the U shaped mouthpiece clean the front, back and chewing surfaces of both the upper and lower teeth simultaneously.

How do they work?

Each mouthpiece toothbrush works slightly different 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.

Amabrush, one of the brands behind such a product has put together the following graphic to show how it works.

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, meaning 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.

Mouthpiece toothbrushes reduce brushing time, but clean your teeth for longer

As little as 3 seconds is all that is required to clean your teeth with a mouthpiece toothbrush, but the leading brand within this space, Amabrush, has set the brushing time to just 10 seconds.

Even at 10 seconds that is some 110 seconds less, every brushing session.

I could save myself some 48 days in my lifetime by reducing my brushing time to just 10 seconds.

Now, you are probably thinking I have always been told to brush for 2 minutes and that is right.

120 seconds or 2 minutes twice a day is pretty much a global recommendation.  It’s the best balance between time and effective tooth cleaning.

But when this time was agreed upon by dentists, products like these mouthguard toothbrushes did not exist.

Technological advances have allowed us to reach the point where just 20 seconds of brushing a day could be enough.

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.

How?! Well, allow me to explain.

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, 2 of the 3 innovators within this space are suggesting a brushing time of 10 seconds.

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 were the first, with Ufunbrush and Unico following.

Amabrush has to date achieved the greatest level of funding, developed the product furthest and in my mind, presented the best overall package.  However, as of June 2019, the company has gone into administration.

They achieved €4,300,000, just shy of 6400%, more than their desired funding goal and has as of early 2019 turned concept into a reality, with most customers (ourselves included) having received working units.

Why not take a look at each of the promotional videos they created to secure initial investment.

Original 10-Second Toothbrush | Amabrush® Explained (Top Product 2018 from Kickstarter)
uFunbrush – The Most Creative Toothbrush for Kids

In 2018, Y-Brush was announced and has also been successfully funded.

It looks to be the most serious competitor to Amabrush (now no longer trading).

There is an ever increasing number of companies who appear to be trying to cash in on this evolution in oral healthcare products.

Just some of the other brands we have come across selling mouthpiece toothbrushes include:

  • Otobrush
  • Unobrush
  • Huojo automatic electric toothbrush
  • Anabrush
  • Anself auto 360
  • Chiz toothbrush 4.0
  • V-white

The following are more brands that are selling mouthpiece/auto style toothbrushes, but from my investigation and hands-on with some, it appears despite marketing themselves as a new brand, they are just shipping the product made by V-White. You can learn more about how and why this is, by reading my Hibrush review.

  • HiBrush
  • Nuubrush
  • Dentabrush
  • Britebrush
  • WhiterUp
  • Nkdsmile
  • Yessmile
  • Brush Ease
  • Autobit
  • Cyclone Brush
  • JAPAN Kumamoto automatic toothbrush
  • Omnibrush
  • Zhonglihe 360° electric sonic teeth whitening kit
  • GideaTech automatic toothbrush 360°
  • Autobrush

Most concerning is how the majority of these are promoted and sold. Cheap copies is the best way to describe them, with most having no clinical or dental backing and little regard for the quality and performance of the product.

More traditional brands within the dental health space such as Oral-B, Sonicare and Colgate have not announced or launched such products.

I suspect they have been working on such, but until there is significant demand from the public for change, then they will not.

A large proportion of people do not seek the benefits an electric toothbrush brings.

Are they clinically tested and proven?

No.

To date, the mouthpiece style brushes have been conceptualized, pilot tested and refined ready for the general public to start using during 2018.

The brands suggest that they have worked with dental professionals to develop such products to ensure they perform effectively, but it is too early for any serious clinical trials to have been conducted and for the brushes to be compared to current electric toothbrushes.

As the 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 until 2020 and beyond.

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.

All hope is not yet lost, there are other products to test before writing such an innovative approach off.

Are they 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?

The core feature is the ability to clean the teeth quickly and effectively, whilst being compact, portable and generally convenient, but each product has its own additional features that make it unique.

Ufunbrush, for example, is aimed more at children being the primary users, with fun stickers being attached to the mouthpiece to make it more ‘fun’ and enjoyable to use.

They will be available in a range of colors and with different sized mouthpieces to fit the mouths of children from ages 3+ to adults.

It is the only one to be powered by a removable battery.

Unico will offer different sized mouthpieces as well as a modular storage system with UV sanitizer and smartphone app.  It also has a built-in toothpaste dispenser.

Amabrush radically evolved the product and range of accessories due to the high level of funding.

Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app are a reality, as is a wireless charging stand, travel case, UV sanitizer and more.

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.

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 appear 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.

A few of the examples I have come across are:

  • HiBrush
  • Nuubrush
  • Dentabrush
  • Britebrush
  • WhiterUp
  • Nkdsmile
  • Yessmile
  • Brush Ease
  • Autobit
  • Cyclone Brush
  • JAPAN Kumamoto automatic toothbrush
  • Omnibrush
  • Zhonglihe 360° electric sonic teeth whitening kit
  • GideaTech automatic toothbrush 360°
  • Autobrush

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 make 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 if 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?

Aside from these cheap copies mentioned above,  at present, the majority of these mouthpiece brushes are not for sale. When you “buy” the product you are funding the developer. You should get a product in return when it is finished.

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

In return for backing their crowdfunding campaigns, most are offering a significant discount on what will be the commercial retail price.

If you want to save some cash, now is the time to do it, but we do not advise investing in a mouthpiece toothbrush at this time.

You can see each campaign and the price using the links below:

Amabrush was www.amabrush.com (As of June 2019 Amabrush is no longer trading)

Ufunbrush

Unico

Y-Brush

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 innovation they bring.

Where can I see and try them?

At this time the only way to see and try one is to back one of the crowdfunding campaigns and wait until a finalized commercial product is available and has been shipped to you.

Until finalized production units are available there is no way or place that you can see or try them. It will likely be a couple of years before we see such products (if at all) on the store shelves.

What do the reviews say?

It is still early days in terms of review for mouthpiece toothbrushes because so few products exist.

The first we reviewed was Amabrush.

We have also tested Hibrush.

We will be testing other models when they become available.

Of course, there are those previously mentioned cheap alternatives, but we don’t feel we should give time to review these based on what we know.

If you are keen to learn more and see what others say, check out these reviews of Otobrush, you will soon see there is little positive to be said.

Where can I buy them?

At the time of writing the brushes are primarily available through crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Ufunbrush

Unico

Y-Brush

Which brush are you backing?

We have an interest in all of these different mouthpiece toothbrushes and would love for all of them to do well and make a name for themselves.

Of course, key to this is being good at what they do.

Amabrush was the first we backed and the first we have reviewed and sadly our expectations were dashed when we went hands-on.

Y-Brush appears to be the next challenger, but we need to go hands-on to discover whether it has what it takes to compete with a regular toothbrush.

Jon Love

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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27 thoughts on “Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Explained”

  1. I have wanted these brushes to be good ever since I saw the original ads but they all suffer from one clear problem… people have inconsistencies and different shapes to their bite and mouth… the only way a product like this has any chance of working is if a dentist creates a mold of an individuals mouth first.

    I would love to see someone actually partner with dental offices to do this and provide a quality “fitted” product similar to the amabrush. I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat.

    Reply
  2. You say several times in the article that your testing shows they dont measure up to manual brushing (yet), and that the standard of cleaning they provide is unsatisfactory.
    Which is more or less what my suspicions were of these devices.

    However the more times you repeated that sentiment the more I found myself asking a few unanswered questions aloud.

    What were your tests?
    How did you measure the level of cleanliness?
    What manual brushes were they tested against?
    How did you establish a baseline for cleanliness?
    Did the level of cleanliness increase the longer the device was in your mouth, or did it plateau after a certain duration?

    Your article reflected my assumptions of the product, but to inform myself further I’d really like to hear the process you used to reach your conclusions.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the questions, and I can understand why you are asking these. I am happy to provide further information.

      Just to be clear, we have not performed ‘clinical’ tests. We are not testing these products under the sort of strict guidelines that would be followed if a study or detailed/medically accurate research was being completed.

      The way we test these products is much like you might at home if you were comparing one product with another. You try each product out looking for similarities and differences. The added benefit we have is that we have tested many different electric toothbrushes, which most have not.

      So, with this in mind, please find further explanation to the questions asked.

      What were your tests?

      Our tests were regular toothbrushing on a daily basis. We compared the brushing experience and the sensation on cleanliness after use in comparison to manual and electric toothbrushes.

      We went through 24 hour periods where we would not brush our teeth, allowing for lots of plaque to build up. We would then disclose the plaque using disclosing tablets. We would then brush the teeth with the mouthpiece toothbrushes as per the directions from the manufacturer and see how much plaque was actually removed.

      In most instances very little plaque was actually removed, meaning a large amount of disclosed plaque remained. Compare this to manual brushing or using an electric toothbrushing, this would no longer exist in such volume.

      These tests were repeated several times to come to the conclusion (with photographic evidence) that they don’t clean as well as a manual or electric toothbrush.

      How did you measure the level of cleanliness?

      The plaque disclosing tablets were the main measure of how clean the teeth were. Effectively cleaned teeth would have very little or no disclosed plaque remaining after brushing. This was not the case with the mouthpiece toothbrushes.

      When plaque disclosing agents were not being used, we would just go by personal sensation and feeling post clean. We often could see or feel plaque and debris left on the teeth and gums and even foodstuffs still caught up in the teeth.

      What manual brushes were they tested against?

      Primarily the Curaprox CS5460 Ultra Soft toothbrush.

      We did also test against a large range of electric toothbrushes such as the Oral-B Genius 9000, Sonicare DiamondClean and more.

      How did you establish a baseline for cleanliness?

      Plaque removal was the baseline in our tests, as this is the reason we brush our teeth.

      Did the level of cleanliness increase the longer the device was in your mouth, or did it plateau after a certain duration?

      Because we are not using scientific methods to conduct the measurement and comparison it is hard to say for certain. Perhaps marginally the level of cleanliness increased, if in the mouth for 1 minute compared to 30 seconds lets say. However, more than this and I can’t say any noticeable improvement was seen. Most improvement was achieved by essentially wiggling the mouthpiece around the mouth and forcing the bristles to have more contact with the teeth and gums, but even then this was again a marginal improvement considering.

      We will be the first to say that our tests do not stand up the clinical trial standards etc, but we don’t think you have to be an expert to see or discover that upon using the products they don’t work as well as advertised.

      We look forward to seeing propper clinical testing being completed on these types of products.

      I hope these answers help.

      Reply
  3. Wish I’d done a bit more thourall research. I had been seeing these things pop up continuously over the past year or so and bought one that arrived a week ago. I definitely can tell it doesnt clean nearly as well as my actual electric toothbrush (one that pulses not moving parts). The only part I really like is how it “massages” my gums, over the last week incorporating its use throughout the day, my gums feel better. I do work out of town, like away from a sink for 15-16 hours a day, so going to try to use throughout the day and keep normal brush for when at the hotel and see if itll help with my gum problems at least.

    Reply
  4. I’m glad that I read your review before I made an “impulse buy” on ebay. I recently had to have a deep cleaning and scraping and have receding gums. I thought this might be a way to reduce the damage, but if these mouthpiece devices do not clean BETTER than a regular toothbrush, I won’t purchase one. I’m going with a Sonicare electric. Just have to not press as hard as in the past.

    Reply
  5. So happy I decided to research before purchasing. I almost got sucked into buying one called the SnoWhite Pro for $89.99 which was the 50% off sale price (and free shipping was offered too for today only)! Thanks so much for your teeth and wallet saving information!

    Reply
  6. I really wish really wish I’d done some research before purchasing a mouthpiece toothbrush, but I’m guilty of a late-night impulse buy. I bought it for my 24 y.o. handicap son. I suspect it will be worthless. I’m still waiting for the toothbrush to arrive, but I’ll let you know what I think once I have a chance to try it out. The brand is Sonicbrush.

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

      I hadn’t come across that brand before, but taking a look it is just the same as all the others from what I can see.

      Please do test it when it arrives and let me know what you do think, but I am not sure you will be sold on it.

      These brushes could be useful for many people, but those with disabilities can potentially be some of the biggest winners of such technology. Many have looked at these as an option for those with restricted arm movement etc.

      Reply
    • I, too, was hoping this would be the solution for independent toothbrushing for my young adult daughter with disabilities. Luckily I read this review before buying. (I have learned…the hard way…to do this with EVERY purchase, especially online.) I am hoping this technology will be perfected, so that in the future it will be a solution for people with physical disabilities. Thank you for the review.

      Reply
  7. I use my V-White at work as a means to brush on the go. This cannot replace a daily flossing and brushing routine. I think using this during the day fits my busy schedule and seems to work well.

    Reply
    • Having used a V-white product, I am surprised you are continuing to use this at all. The results from my hands on testing has shown it has no real ability to clean the teeth.

      However, if you are keeping up with a regular brushing and flossing routine than great!

      Reply
  8. I, unfortunately, didn’t see my DDS for 5 years. When I returned for a cleaning I found I had problems. My biggest worry was the # of sixes they found when measuring my gums. I bought a Sonic Care diamond and used the deep cleanse to help my gums. My dr sells them @ her price ((lower than Walmart). It saved my gums! I would never use one of these. Thanks Jon. And no, I’m not with Sonic Care.

    Reply
    • I have not purchased and/or tested the Autobrush but I am 99% sure it is a repackaged version of V-White Automatic Toothbrush.

      I have tested HiBrush, which was in fact just a website name. I got sent V-White.

      It is awful and I advise you to stay well clear.

      Click here to read my HiBrush review.

      Reply
  9. Hi Jon — I’m glad I came across your website. I am a dentist practicing in MD and was investigating these devices for my elderly patients, those with physical disabilities and those with limited manual dexterity. A lot of these patients also have periodontal disease, extruded teeth, bone loss, gum recession, etc., as a result. I was hoping that this would be a better, more viable option than a home daycare, or nursing home provider, brushing for the patient with a prescription toothpaste. I do presently also have them use an Oral B electric toothbrush on them, as for all my patients. I believe that is the best option presently. I was planning on ordering a couple of these to try out, but am glad that you have confirmed my initial suspicions. I think when the big players (Colgate, Oral B, etc) introduce their versions, if at all, they will have more sound R&D and studies, rather than anecdotal reports. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Dr Dalal,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I can completely see why you would look at these products as an option for the patients you describe. It is a shame they don’t work as intended.

      As you say when Colgate, Oral-B etc products their versions, I would agree that they will be better and have more research and development completed.

      It surprises me they have not yet come up with a solution, but I fear they may well be struggling to get a reliable, working option that is ready for the general public.

      Reply
  10. I’ve been researching these automatic toothbrushes as well, and the Amabrush does not test near as well as the Anjelah or the V-white brush. The Amabrush charging station corrodes quickly, and the vibrations are far less than the others mentioned. From what I’ve read, the V-white seems to be the clear winner in best auto brush. Search for reviews done with plaque tablets, you’ll see the V-brush far out performs the others in plaque removal as well.

    Reply
    • Hi Theresa,

      Thanks for the comment.

      What part of the Amabrush charging station corrodes? It is mainly plastic.

      I am not sure reviews of the V-White brush you have seen, but I have just completed testing this and it is worse than Amabrush.

      A full review will be online soon, but I advise people to stay well clear.

      Reply
      • I really wish I’d found this site before buying a “Nuubrush” (repackaged v-white once you get it delivered)

        It’s absolutely awful. I would get better results by putting toothpaste on a damp towel and pressing it against my teeth.

        STAY AWAY. The company refused to refund the product, but I contacted my bank’s fraud department and told them exactly what happened and they reversed the charge.

        Reply
        • Hi Nathan.

          Sorry to hear you have had to go through the pain and experience of these terrible products.

          I am trying to spread the word/message about how these products don’t work.

          Reply
        • I am having the same issue with getting a refund. I took mine out of the envelope and the plastic surrounding the box ripped and they are telling me that my refund is voided because of that. I will be trying to contact my bank as well.

          Reply
  11. Hi. I am about to have surgery on my right hand. Since I am right handed, would this be a temporary alternative for about one month or should I stick with my awkward left hand brushing? I am aware they are not good yet, but might be worth it for this instance.

    Reply
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