SymplBrush is the best mouthpiece style toothbrush available today.
It is the best implementation of this product type that I have tested.
I could feel the bristles making contact with my gums, something few brushes of this type have achieved.
As automated toothbrushes go, it surpassed my expectations.
People who struggle to use a regular toothbrush, particularly those with disabilities, could benefit from this product right now.
But, for the average person, it is not quite time to ditch your regular toothbrush.
The cleaning results are not good enough. Too much plaque was left on my teeth, particularly at the gumline.
It shows promise. It has me excited for what the future holds. But at this stage, it won’t improve your oral health compared to using a normal electric toothbrush with the correct technique.
- Surprisingly good cleaning results
- Flexible mouthpiece
- Built-in timer and pacer
- 2 cleaning modes
- Long battery life
- Magnetic stand
- Cleaning results not quite good enough
- The fit of the mouthpiece
- Expensive – better value options exist
Where to buy SymplBrush
SymplBrush is stocked and sold only via www.symplbrush.com
Until 31st October, save $20 when purchasing SymplBrush. Enter the discount code ET20 at the checkout.
Consider these other brushes
SymplBrush is the best mouthpiece toothbrush available today.
It is the first automatic toothbrush that feels like it really could be a viable alternative to a regular toothbrush. Although to be fair Y-Brush is a very close alternative.
For the vast majority of users, a regular electric toothbrush will perform better.
I don’t yet advise switching to SymplBrush.
My choice would be the Oral-B Smart 1500.
It’s affordable with the features you need. It is our number 1 choice for the best electric toothbrush.
You do need to make sure you use the correct brushing technique to gain maximum benefit from it.
Our guide to taking care of your teeth shows you all of the important things you need to know, irrespective of the toothbrush you use.
SymplBrush in-depth review
Statistics suggest that on average people brush for just 45-70 seconds per day. This is considerably less than the recommended 2 minutes, twice a day. It is also very unlikely that people are using the correct brushing technique as they brush.
The mouthpiece/automatic style toothbrush is a relatively new toothbrush concept that has gained a lot of attention in recent years.
The premise is that they clean multiple tooth surfaces at the same time, cleaning the teeth to a comparable or better standard than you would if using a regular manual or electric toothbrush. This is because the bristles are (supposedly) perfectly positioned for optimum cleaning.
And because multiple surfaces are cleaned at the same time, the total time required to clean the teeth is less.
We explain in great detail how they work in our mouthpiece toothbrush article.
Interest has been heightened as a result of some very successful crowdfunded products raising millions in funding. Despite multiple attempts from various manufacturers, none have resulted in practical, usable everyday products.
In fact, with limited exceptions, all pose a risk to your oral health if used regularly instead of a conventional manual or electric toothbrush.
SymplBrush is not a crowdfunded product. It has been funded privately. And as far as I am aware, it is the first product of this type to have been led by a practicing dental professional, rather than entrepreneurs with dental advisors.
This seems to have made a difference – SymplBrush is the most practical and effective automated toothbrush I have tested.
Variants of this toothbrush
At the time of review, there are 2 variants of SymplBrush.
There are no functional differences between them, the only difference is the color of the handpiece.
You have the choice of:
- Turquoise and white
- Red and navy blue
You do also have the choice between the bristle sizes. You can choose between 76mm and 81mm. However, both sizes come included in the SymplSet which is the starter kit you buy.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x SymplBrush electric handpiece
- 1 x 76mm (small) cradle and bristles
- 1 x 81mm (large) cradle and bristles
- 1 x USB charging cable
- 1 x Storage stand
- 1 x 4oz/113g tube of SymplPaste
- Cleans the teeth in 30 seconds (15 seconds per arch)
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Built-in timer and pacer
- Different cleaning modes
- Different sized brush heads/mouthpieces
Design, usability, clean & general use
To better describe how SymplBrush differs from its competitors, I have broken this part of the review up into several sections.
The idea behind SymplBrush
As you will have seen, SymplBrush, isn’t your regular toothbrush.
It is part of a growing range of products that look to conquer the category of mouthpiece toothbrushes.
The name is really quite clever. It is a play on the word ‘simple’ and ultimately this is what ‘SymplBrush’ is trying to do. They want to make toothbrushing simpler for the user.
A good oral hygiene routine doesn’t need to be complicated.
We have for a long time advocated that if you follow the steps below you will be on track for a healthy mouth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Brush for 2 minutes each time
- Use the correct brushing technique
- Spit after brushing, don’t rinse with mouthwash or water
- Clean between the teeth once a day, with interdental brushes (floss or water flossers are an alternative)
If you’re willing to brush for two minutes, twice daily, existing products like the regular toothbrush are hard to beat.
But the reason SymplBrush exists is because dental professionals have been telling patients to brush for two minutes twice daily for years – yet very few people actually do.
Statistics show that on average people are brushing for just 45-70 seconds per day. And we know that many are not following the other steps in this routine.
A large proportion of a dentist’s day can be spent fixing the consequences of brushing too hard, or not brushing long enough.
SymplBrush has taken the approach of developing a product that fits in with existing behaviors. Theoretically, it helps those brushing incorrectly to achieve better results.
With SymplBrush, not only are the bristles already aligned at the perfect angle, each individual tooth surface is actually being brushed for longer than it would with a regular manual or electric toothbrush, despite the cleaning mode being just 30 seconds long.
Why SymplBrush can’t replace a regular toothbrush yet
SymplBrush is the best of its kind. The cleaning results can be very impressive. But my testing shows that SymplBrush isn’t yet ready to replace a regular manual or electric toothbrush for the vast majority.
This is because you need to use the correct technique to get the best results. This means it isn’t quite so simple after all.
Placing SymplBrush in the mouth and leaving it there for 15 seconds per arch is not enough.
As you brush, you need to move the bristles from side to side in a small circular motion. Biting down onto the bristles gently also helps.
One of the common selling points for automatic toothbrushes is that they are easier to use than a regular toothbrush. They are implied to be less technique sensitive.
In my opinion, because you need to master the technique with SymplBrush, you might as well master the technique with a regular manual or electric toothbrush.
I would argue the technique for a standard electric toothbrush is easier to perfect than the technique required for SymplBrush.
When you then consider that it costs 3-4 times more than a good electric toothbrush, it becomes very difficult to justify this as an alternative.
Of course, a big draw is the reduced total brushing time.
SymplBrush cleaning results
The cleaning results achieved by SymplBrush are impressive. It surpassed my expectations.
But, the results are not perfect. Particularly if you have not mastered the technique of using this automatic toothbrush.
I definitely achieved better results after 14 days of use than I did after day 2 or 3. This is because I had learnt how to use the brush correctly.
To demonstrate the cleaning results I used plaque disclosing tablets to highlight the plaque on my teeth.
Plaque is highlighted a pink/purple color by the disclosing agent. The aim of toothbrushing is to remove plaque.
The following images show before and after shots of my teeth.
As you will no doubt see, the results are not perfect. Areas of my teeth and along my gumline remain purple in color, showing plaque still exists.
But, the results are pretty impressive considering I am brushing for just 30 seconds in total.
After 2 weeks of use and practice, I felt my technique had improved. The results were better, with less plaque at the gumline.
It still isn’t perfect, but there does seem to be an improvement.
Brushing for a further 30 seconds, so 60 seconds in total had a minor improvement in the results, but perhaps not as significant as I might have expected.
My testing is by no means scientific. But, the images provide a good guide of what is possible with this product.
I do believe SymplBrush does a better job at cleaning than comparable products like Y-Brush – but then again, the cleaning time is 3 times as long.
However, as you might expect, the results are not as good as a manual or electric toothbrush, used correctly for 2 minutes.
A regular toothbrush certainly feels like it works better for cleaning the tightest of spaces in the mouth, such as the very back teeth.
I do not advise switching to SymplBrush as a replacement to the tried and tested manual and electric toothbrush.
If you already do or are willing to brush twice daily for 2 minutes, stick to existing tools.
The Forsyth Institute has conducted a six week clinical study in which SymplBrush users were measured against those using a manual toothbrush. SymplBrush users were 137% better at reducing gingivitis when used twice daily for one minute when compared to the manual brush. The study also found a 70% greater reduction in inflammatory markers present in patients with gum disease, compared to manual brush users.
These results are impressive, which is more than can be said for V-White, which was determined to be no more effective than not brushing at all!
This must have something to do with the fact that SymplBrush is the product of a dentist, rather than entrepreneurs with dental advisers. The extra insight and experience really appears to play out in the results.
Ultimately, the whole mouthpiece toothbrush market requires more research and investigation, but things are certainly looking up.
Some people can benefit from SymplBrush now
If you don’t have a good oral care routine and struggle to brush twice daily for 2 minutes each time, SymplBrush could help you. It could potentially reduce the amount of plaque and clean the teeth better than you are doing so already.
The benefit is that it is covering more tooth surfaces at the same time and positioning bristles at ideal angles.
It is targeted primarily at those whose total brushing time is 70 seconds or less per day.
But, and I stress, this is not the solution.
Don’t buy SymplBrush thinking you can get away with brushing for less time now and in the future. The goal is and remains to perfect your brushing technique and brush for the recommended time, with tried and tested tools.
However, it is well worth noting that there is a particular audience for whom this could be a really worthwhile solution, right now.
That is those with disabilities or circumstances that make regular oral care challenging.
Millions of people struggle to brush their teeth and need assistance, whilst others can’t tolerate regular brushes. Some may go without regular brushing due to the difficulties they face.
Of course, there are many different circumstances and we still advocate for traditional tools where possible, but SymplBrush could potentially offer a lifeline for some people.
I feel this is particularly the case if disabilities mean the other option is no brushing at all.
Our article dental care advice for people with disabilities looks at this topic in a bit more detail.
How SymplBrush looks, feels and assembles
The retail packaging is fairly minimal and simple. I like it.
The downside is there is no information on the box that explains the product and what it offers. It works well for an online environment. It would catch the eye on a shop shelf, but you wouldn’t learn anything about the product itself.
The actual box is comparably sized to most other electric toothbrushes and there is a big focus on recycling and sustainability.
An outer sleeve wraps around the main cardboard box. Inside, the main components of the kit are individually packaged.
There are 2 main parts to SymplBrush, the handpiece and the bristles. These connect together to create the toothbrush.
The handpiece comes in 2 color options, turquoise and white or red and navy blue.
I have the turquoise variant. You can see how this color adorns the upper third of the brush handle, whilst the lower 2 thirds are white in color.
With the other variant, the red is in the upper third and the blue in the lower 2 thirds.
It is a nice touch and adds a nice design element to the handle.
The 2 colors tie in with the 2 pieces of the plastic body that appear to come together to form the handpiece. There is a tiny line that runs between the 2 colors and creates the smallest of breaks within the handle.
It has a very minimalistic design to the handpiece. The front and back are essentially flat with curvature to the sides of the handle. There is the main power/function button on the front. In the exact same position on the rear is a dimple in the body that aligns with the magnetic stand that comes supplied.
At the lower edge of the handle is a circular LED panel. This is present on both front and back. This gives feedback on the battery charge status and indicates the correct brush position whilst you are using it.
The handpiece measures 3.3cm wide x 2.5cm thick x 12.7cm tall (without the mouthpiece). This creates a handle that is a little taller than my hand when wrapped around the handpiece. It is a nice comfortable size.
Although there are no rubber grips, that combination of squared and rounded edges means the handpiece doesn’t feel slippery in hand.
The base of the handle is rounded and home to the charging port. There is no cover over this port, but it is recessed slightly. The design creates a slight lip which does technically allow the handpiece to stand upright on a countertop. Although it isn’t very stable when stood up like this.
I do have concerns about exposed charging ports. They do potentially make the toothbrush vulnerable to water ingression and possible product failure. But, to be honest, recessing helps. I have not come across any users who have actually had a product fail as a result of this type of design.
The positioning and orientation of the brush should rarely lead to water making its way into the port.
Within the handpiece itself are all the electronics required to make the brush function, including the motor and rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
Extending from the top of the handpiece is a very small shaft that locks into the mouthpiece that fits onto the top of the handpiece.
When powered on this shaft rotates a full 360 degrees and is responsible for actually moving the bristles within the mouthpiece.
The bristles/brush head is actually made up of 2 pieces, both white in color. I will cover this in more detail shortly. But, essentially you have bristles within a white plastic U shaped frame.
The head twists onto the handpiece and locks into place. It does not push on and pull off like most other toothbrush heads.
You need to place the brush head at 90 degrees to the right side of the handle itself, push it down slightly and then twist 90 degrees in a clockwise direction. It then locks into place.
Once together it looks like a really smart toothbrush. The shape, colors and overall profiles work really nicely together.
With the largest mouthpiece fitted, the toothbrush is 17.8cm tall and 8cm wide.
It is actually relatively lightweight too at 95 grams.
You don’t get an instruction manual in the box on how to use this product. Instead, there is a QR code that directs you to the following video. This tells you a little about the brush and shows you how to use it.
How the cleaning modes work
The handpiece offers 2 cleaning modes, they are:
Guided is the main mode that you use. It is the first mode available on the brush. Just press and release the button to activate it. It lasts for about 35 seconds in total. You actually spend 15 seconds cleaning each arch (upper and lower) but there is a pause of about 5 seconds to allow you to move the bristles between the arches.
Manual mode allows you to brush for as long as you like. You have to press and hold the power button the whole time. So, if you want to brush for 10 seconds or 100 seconds, you can. Just press and hold the button for as long as you like, as you brush.
There are some important things you need to know about guided mode and also how to get the best results from the brush.
When using the guided mode, you want to ideally start with the top arch.
Place the brush in the mouth and move it more towards the right side of your mouth.
Press and release the power button.
The brush will begin immediately.
One half of the ring will be lit with a white light. This isn’t the easiest to see unless you are brushing your teeth in front of a mirror. After 7.5 seconds the brush stops briefly.
This stops the bristles moving and changes the sound of the brush.
This is your cue to move the brush to the left side of your upper arch.
The brush will begin again automatically and the other half of the light ring will now be lit.
After another 7.5 seconds (15 in total), the brush stops again.
It is now time to take the brush out the mouth, flip it over and place it over the bottom arch of teeth.
Move it to the right side and the brush will begin again automatically. The LED ring will have one half lit.
After another 7.5 seconds the brush will stop.
This is your cue to move the brush to the left side of your lower arch.
The brush will begin again automatically and the other half of the light ring will now be lit.
Once complete, the brush will stop and the brushing session is now over.
As you brush each quadrant for 7.5 seconds, you want to gently move the brush from side to side in a soft circular motion.
To get better results and make sure all areas of the teeth are brushed, it is recommended that you use a moderate biting force on the brush head.
So, if the bristles are on the bottom teeth, you bite down with a small amount of pressure from the top teeth.
SymplBrush has a pressure sensor built-in. It is not visible. Nor does it vibrate the handle when activated, like a Sonicare toothbrush might. But, if you apply too much force, the brush will pause until such time as the pressure is relieved.
How the brush heads work
With the starter kit come 2 different brush heads or mouthpieces, whatever you wish to call them.
There is a smaller 76mm set and a larger 81mm set.
It is not a one size fits all approach like most other products of this type.
SymplBrush acknowledges that even with 2 sizes, these will not suit everyone, but suggest 95% of adults will be catered for.
As it stands, this is not designed for children and there are no kids brush heads available.
I am very pleased with having this choice. I found Amabrush and Unobrush too big and very uncomfortable with their one size only approach.
For me, the smaller 76mm seems to be about perfect.
Now these mouthpieces are essentially made of 2 pieces.
Do refer to the hands-on images if you can as these do a better job of demonstrating the intricate design.
Essentially you have a white plastic cradle. This forms the outer frame. Into the frame clips the bristles.
The frame is a U shape, with cutouts in the body that allow the upper edges to flex and bend quite considerably. This ultimately helps with the fit and positioning when in the mouth.
The bristles are a bit odd compared to any other toothbrush in their configuration
Essentially you have a straight piece of plastic with 21 pads of bristles. This plastic has been cut and shaped in such a way that it bends and flexes a lot. This is what SymplBrush calls the ‘living hinge’.
What this means to you and me is that the way the structure flexes allows for a much more comfortable brushing experience and better fit within each of our mouths.
These bristles get placed into and clip inside the white U shaped plastic cradle.
They clip in and out very easily, but not so easily they pop out when in use.
The design is such that when clipped in, they position bristles at all 3 surfaces of the teeth.
You have bristles focused on the biting surfaces as well as the front and back.
Unlike a lot of mouthpiece toothbrushes that use silicone bristles, SymplBrush uses nylon bristles.
Without getting into the science, these are the most recommended type of bristles and the same type you find on the vast majority of regular manual or electric toothbrushes.
The bristles are very thin and they are very soft and gentle on the teeth and gums.
It is not clear exactly how many bristles are in each head. It is estimated between 23-30,000 per head. Each of the 21 pads have a number of bristle clusters with varying lengths and angles.
One of the common trends with mouthpiece toothbrushes is the positioning of the bristles. Those bristles aimed at the front and rear of the teeth are typically angled at 45 degrees.
Believe it or not there are multiple different techniques for brushing the teeth. Most recommend angling the bristles at 45 degrees to the gumline. The bass/modified bass technique is the one of the most common approaches taught by dental professionals.
You will notice that with SymplBrush the bristles targeting the front of the teeth are angled at 90 degrees rather than 45. I reached out for comment on this, because it seems unusual.
The response from their CEO was:
The 45 degree recommendation for ‘modified Bass’ is recommended so that people using traditional toothbrushes don’t injure themselves from brushing too hard. Ideally when you brush, you want to engage the shaft of the bristle along the teeth and gums, with the edges coming in as little contact as possible. They tend to be sharp and will cause damage.
We experimented with angled bristles and found them less effective. When you place the SymplBrush in your mouth, watch in the mirror how they behave. You won’t see many of them at a 90° angle.
Extensive iteration led us to a design that gives the bristles an adequate freedom of movement so when they face resistance, they flex to engage the tissue at an angle. That’s not because I want the 45° per se, but I want most of the cleaning to occur along the body of the bristle shaft – not the edge. This is a critical aspect of toothbrush design and efficacy. You want bristles to have freedom of movement, but you also want most of the cleaning to come from the shaft and not from the end of the bristle.Keith Arbeitman – DDS & SimplBrush CEO
Myself and our in house dentist Dr Gemma Wheeler agree the bristles don’t have to be at 45 degrees, although this is a very common brushing approach. But, what myself or Dr Wheeler have never come across is reference to the shaft of the bristle doing the cleaning rather than the bristle tip. The logic certainly makes sense and no doubt the shaft plays a key role. The larger surface area of the shaft should be able to help. Yet, despite all the studies and medical literature, we have read we recall no mention of the importance of the bristle shaft in cleaning the teeth.
Let me be clear that my hands-on testing is not a scientific or clinical study. I leave that to the experts. I am just giving you my genuine user feedback as a guy having used many different toothbrushes.
I am really impressed with the design and engineering here. There is a lot of flex and movement in the head which I haven’t seen in other mouthpiece toothbrushes.
Yes, the silicone heads in the likes of V-White flex, but you don’t have the same effective nylon bristles.
Y-Brush uses nylon, but the head doesn’t shape to the teeth quite like the bristles do here with SymplBrush.
The flexing and movement means that it fits in the mouth much more comfortably and is much more pleasurable to use.
Now, I would suggest I have an average sized mouth and opted for the smaller 76mm bristles.
I could move the bristles around my top teeth with absolutely no issue, super comfortable, no matter which way I wiggled and twisted the bristles.
It isn’t quite the same story on the lower jaw. When moving the bristles round to the far right and left side I could feel it pressing against the softer tissues at the back of my mouth and causing some discomfort that I wanted to avoid.
Even though the mouthpiece flexes, your cheeks and jaw don’t cause it to flex in quite the same way your hand does.
I think getting the perfect fit is always going to be difficult unless we move to a world whereby we have custom made/sized mouthpieces.
This mouthpiece style toothbrush might not be ideally suited to those with smaller mouths just yet.
I am not saying this lack of movement in the lower jaw affected the cleaning results, I can’t say that for sure. I am just acknowledging it as an issue for myself.
Despite this, the freedom was much greater than Amabrush or Unobrush and I really felt the bristles making contact with the teeth and the gumline. I can honestly say no other mouthpiece/automatic toothbrush have felt this good to use.
I adjusted my technique a little. Biting down and rocking the bristles up and down, rather than side to side, seemed to help quite a bit. After a couple of weeks I did desensitize a little too, which certainly helped.
When in motion the brush head is offering somewhere between 750-900 movements per minute, depending on how much pressure is put on the motor during each use. This is far less than Oral-B and Sonicare brushes, but considerably more than the manual toothbrush which is around 300 per minute.
After use I certainly didn’t get the same invigorating, just clean feeling as I do with an electric toothbrush. I suspect this might have something to do with the power of a conventional electric toothbrush, and what I am used to. Power certainly isn’t a major factor in toothbrushing.
Of course, the true test is working out just how much plaque it removes. Plaque is the reason we clean our teeth in the first place.
Now, I must reiterate this is not a clinical study and just my experience. The results were better than I expected, but not quite as good as I hoped.
I also do believe this has produced the best cleaning results to date for a mouthpiece toothbrush.
However, there is a bit of a catch here.
SymplBrush requires you brush for 30 seconds in total, 15 seconds per arch of teeth.
Y-Brush is only 10 seconds in total, so 5 seconds per arch.
It is by no means conclusive, but if you use Y-Brush for 30 seconds (3 times longer than required) I think the results are comparable, but favor SymplBrush marginally.
The bristles for SymplBrush are designed to be replaced every 3 months, like the brush head for a regular manual or electric toothbrush.
Because you get 2 different sizes with the starter kit, by the time you come to replace the bristles, you should know what size you need, be that the 76 or 81mm options.
Each time you replace the bristles you will get a replacement white plastic cradle as well.
I have raised it with the company that this seems a bit wasteful as I suspect the cradle would outlast the bristles by quite some time. SymplBrush acknowledges this, and are monitoring this ongoing. They require more testing and user feedback to see whether they could potentially replace the cradle less frequently. They would also have to alter the manufacturing process to accommodate this as I understand.
The magnetic stand is a nice addition
The magnetic stand is a really nice addition to the package.
I haven’t quite seen anything like it before with a toothbrush. The ones I have seen have all been wall mountable. This stand is designed to sit on a countertop.
Not only does it give a neat mounting solution for the SymplBrush it obviously serves a function.
When you have finished using SymplBrush, rinse the bristles with water and mount it with the bristles facing down. Doing so allows any water, toothpaste and moisture in the brush head to drain away from the handpiece.
SymplBrush is water resistant, although this has not been officially certified.
Internal testing with SymplBrush suggests an IP rating of IPX6. So whilst this offers some resistance as you might expect for a product of this type. It is not currently advised to use this in the shower or in the bath and it is why the recommendation is to allow the water to drain away from the handpiece.
The downside is that any residue then accumulates on the countertop or shelf on which the stand is placed.
It would have perhaps been nice if the stand had some sort of drip style tray at the bottom to catch this. The consequence would have been a much larger and potentially less stylish stand.
The current sand is about 11.5cm tall and 3cm wide. It is quite weighty at 116g/4.08oz. This of course prevents it from falling over.
There is only 1 place on the handle that the stand will magnetize too. The magnets are the perfect strength for what they need to do. Enough to keep it securely in place, but weak enough you can easily remove it from the stand. You will need to hold the stand as you pull the handpiece away.
A small touch I like is that on the back of the handle is a small dimple where the magnet is placed. On the stand itself, the magnet protrudes ever so slightly. When they come together they align perfectly. The design has been really well thought out.
Toothpaste is included, but you can use your own if you prefer
Included in the box is SymplPaste, the company’s own toothpaste.
I am not intending to offer a full review of this paste on its own.
A few key things to note are that it is a 4oz tube (113g) that is fluoride free, vegan and SLS free.
The ingredients are:Vegetable Glycerin, Hydrated Silica, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Purified Water, Nano-Hydroxyapatite, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Peppermint Flavor, Methyl Salicylate, Potassium Sorbate.
The lack of fluoride may well be an issue for some and might not meet with approval from many dental professionals. But, it does have nano-hydroxyapatite instead. This is a well regarded alternative to fluoride and will likely be included in more toothpastes over the coming years due to the properties it has. Hydroxyapatite is naturally found within the teeth, so it is bio-compatible.
The tube comes with a special nozzle that you twist so that you can easily inject the paste into the bristles. This is again a nice touch.
You do not have to use the paste provided, but given it is in the kit, you might as well give it a try.
It is suggested that you place a small amount of paste on the 2 pads in the upper right and left of the bristles. So, 4 dots in total. Then run a strip of paste through the main arch of the head.
Time will tell, but I think this will result in using a lot more paste than is necessary. Where a regular tube might last 3 months, I can see paste running out sooner with this approach.
You don’t need to apply more paste as you clean each arch. 1 application is enough for both arches.
Something that other mouthpiece toothbrushes have suffered with is the paste sticking within the bristles. You could spend more time rinsing the paste out of the bristles after the brushing session than you did spend brushing. This is not the case here at all. No clumps of paste left in the mouthpiece at all. Perfect.
It’s not ideal for travel at the moment
One of the negatives with SymplBrush at the moment is that it is not the most convenient thing to travel with.
At the time of review, there is no case for the brush itself or the bristles.
Ok, so you could place it in a wash bag and take it with you, but this isn’t ideal.
The handpiece could potentially be activated. Although it would only run for 30 seconds until it was activated again.
The bristles could become damaged or pick up some debris. Given the shape and design damage is unlikely and any debris could likely be cleaned off. I am just making you aware. I understand they are looking at this though and no doubt there will be a solution in time.
Whilst electronic products like this are not the best for the planet, there are certainly steps that can be taken to minimize the impact.
SymplBrush wishes to be as sustainable as possible, although they know it will be difficult to create a perfect system.
SymplCircle is a scheme that SympleBrush are running whereby they accept back the brush, bristles or SymplPaste tubes when you are done with them.
They will cover the postage and take care of breaking it down and recycling in the most sustainable way possible.
The cardboard packaging that the starter kit, paste and bristles come in are all recyclable at the curbside or at local recycling facilities.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- 2 parts, handpiece and brush head (mouthpiece/bristles)
- U shaped mouthpiece
- 2 different mouthpieces included 76 and 81mm – should suit most
- Nylon bristles fitted within the brush head.
- Cleans 1 row of teeth at a time, but all 3 sides.
- Good overall build quality
- 2 different color options
- Water resistant, although not officially IP rated
- Single function/power button.
- 2 cleaning modes – guided and manual
- Default mode cleans the teeth in 30 seconds (15 per arch)
- Built in timer and pacer
- Particular brushing technique to use
- Best cleaning results of a mouthpiece toothbrush to date
- Teeth do feel clean after use, but some plaque remains
- Not a replacement to manual or electric toothbrush just yet
- Brush head requires replacement every 3 months.
- No reminder system to replace the head
- Comes with SymplPaste – can use your own
- Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Stylish and useful magnetic stand included
- No travel case provided
Sealed inside the SymplBrush handle is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery with a 1000mAh capacity.
It is not user removable and is recharged by connecting the supplied USB power cable into the base of the handpiece.
The USB cable itself is approximately 90cm (3 feet) in length and is white in color.
At one end of the cable is a male USB A connector and at the other, is a proprietary barrel pin connector.
Unfortunately, the SymplBrush does not have a microUSB or USB type-c connector.
There may well be a reason as to why it has been designed this way, but I would really like to see future versions make use of more common connectors such as USB type-c as it just makes things a little bit easier. Y-Brush has a micro-USB connector on its handpiece.
It is all too easy to mislay a cable, and when it has a proprietary connector, sourcing a replacement can be much more difficult. If it were USB type-c for example, it is more likely that you would have one of these in your home. Many smartphones and technology products use such.
Perhaps I am being a bit harsh here. It isn’t like you are going to need to charge the battery all that often.
A positive of the USB cable supplied is that it is simple to charge wherever you are in the world. Connect it to a USB wall outlet, a port on your computer or laptop, or even a portable battery bank. Or of course, if you would prefer to charge it via a wall socket, just use a USB plug adapter. Although it does not come supplied, you will more than likely have one of these within your home that you can use.
The claimed battery life is 60-90 days. This is quite a broad time frame to give.
That is equivalent to something like 120-180 brushing sessions.
I think it is then fair to say that if you get anything more than 60 days, which is about 2 months, then you are doing well.
The average battery life of a regular electric toothbrush is around about 3 weeks. Many more do last a lot longer.
I have always advocated for at least 2 weeks on a single charge, because this allows for practical everyday use for most people. You can go away on vacation for example and not need to worry about taking the charging stand/cable.
Clearly what will affect the amount of time between charges is how long you spend brushing the teeth.
The standard mode on SymplBrush lasts 30 seconds, but there is nothing stopping you from brushing for longer.
Whilst the actual usable power remains the same within the battery, brushing for 30 seconds each time is going to result in more brushing sessions, than if you were brushing for 1 minute (60 seconds) each time.
Also affecting the battery life is pressure. The motor and battery can be made to work harder, and use more power if you are applying lots of pressure and biting down on the brush head/mouthpiece.
Once plugged in for charging, a full charge should take about 2 hours.
In my hands-on testing, the battery was still going strong after 290 simulated brushing cycles (each 30 seconds long).
At this point the battery light for low power (20%) hadn’t yet come on. I actually had to give up on running the tests.
That running time is equivalent to 145 days or nearly 5 months. More than comparable to the competition.
One of the best alternatives to SymplBrush is Y-Brush and this has a claimed battery life of 1 month.
The suggested battery life of a fully charged Y-Brush is 1 month. However, with my hands-on testing, it far exceeded this. In fact, I gave up on tracking the usable life as it kept on going and going and going.
Admittedly this battery life is with no additional pressure being applied to the bristles/mouthpiece during use.
But, all things considered, it looks like the battery life is pretty decent here.
Of course, something to bear in mind here is whilst a regular electric toothbrush might last 2-3 weeks on a single charge, a standard brushing session is 2 minutes compared to the 30 seconds of SymplBrush.
With a quarter of the total brushing time each session, it isn’t unrealistic to expect the SmyplBrush to last 4 times as long.
When SmyplBrush requires recharging, the LED ring will display 3 red pulses. This shows that 20% or less of the battery power is remaining.
A point to note is that the whole LED ring does not light up red. Only a small light at the bottom edge of the ring.
Once placed on charge, within the LED ring, a small yellow light pulses.
Once fully charged within the LED ring, a small green light pulses and then turns itself off.
Summary of battery life
- Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
- Battery has a 1000mAh capacity
- Claimed battery life of 60-90 days
- Real world use appears to be around 5+ months when using the default 30 second mode
- Barrel pin connector on handle for charging
- USB type-A to barrel pin connector cable provided
- Charging takes about 2 hours
- 3 pulses of red light in LED ring when battery life is below 20%
- Light in LED ring pulses yellow when on charge
- Light in LED ring pulses green and then turns off when fully charged
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
Traditional electric toothbrushes often have a retail price, but their actual selling price is often 20% less.
With SymplBrush we are unlikely to see discounts on its price, given how new it is and the fact that at the time of review, it is only available directly from www.symplbrush.com meaning the prices of the product are tightly controlled.
That said, enter the discount code ‘ET20’ to get $20 off the retail price, when buying before 31st October 21.
To be fair to them, it can be difficult to know how to price the product. It isn’t like existing toothbrushes, so arguably it commands a premium, but how much is fair?
There is limited competition to benchmark it to. The closest alternative is Y-Brush which has been on the market for some time now. It isn’t identical, but their standard solo package is around $160.
SymplBrush costs $189.
A $29 premium for SymplBrush is more than fair I do believe.
Both of these are far more expensive than a typical electric toothbrush at around $50.
SymplBrush is being sold with and without a subscription option. It is your choice as to what you opt for.
Called ‘SymplSet’ the idea is that you set it and forget it.
You buy the SymplBrush, but when signed up to ‘SymplSet’ every 3 months, a replacement set of bristles and a 6oz tube of SymplPaste is delivered to your door.
You pay $25 for the subscription, rather than the $39 value for the replacement bristles and toothpaste.
The subscription will clearly save you money if you want to make use of the paste that is on offer, in addition to the bristles.
However, for the sake of this review, I am going to focus on the cost if you were purchasing without a subscription.
I will also calculate the cost excluding the SymplPaste, because at $23 for a tube, that is quite expensive.
Unless a subscription is the only method I avoid factoring this and toothpaste into the cost of ownership.
We price an electric toothbrush over 3 years when working out this cost.
Although it comes with 2 brush heads in the box, you will likely only use one, due to the size.
Therefore, with 3 monthly replacement, you will require another 11 over 3 years.
Each set of bristles (irrespective of size) cost $15. That is a total of $165 on top of the $189 purchase price.
The total cost is $354 or $0.33 per day to own.
This seems quite high when you consider that a regular electric toothbrush like the Smart 1500 from Oral-B works out at $0.11 per day.
SymplBrush is 3 times the price, but brushes the teeth in a quarter of the time. This is a premium many would consider worth paying for the time saving alone.
You also don’t have the massive scale and pricing control that Oral-B and Sonicare have Production costs are inevitably much higher for SymplBrush.
Compared to the likes of Y-Brush this is very comparable. It currently works out at $0.31 per day. But, the brush heads only get replaced every 6 months, rather than 3. When they do, they cost an impressive $36 a time.
The now collapsed Amabrush solution worked out at about $0.34 per day, whilst HiBrush or V-White costs $0.37 per day.
Amabrush and V-White do require special toothpastes, which SymplBrush does not. The cost of that paste had been factored into their costs, so if you excluded this, the daily cost for these would be lower. But, nonetheless, it is a rough guide for comparison.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- Sold direct from www.symplbrush.com only
- Retail price of $189
- Option to subscribe for $25 every 3 months (replacement bristles and paste)
- Replacement bristles cost $15
- Total cost (without subscription) of $354 or $0.33 per day
- 3 times the price of a regular electric toothbrush
- Comparably priced to similar products
Reliability & long term use
To be honest it is difficult for me to comment on the reliability of this product. I have only used it for a short period of time. And SymplBrush has no prior products or trading history to make comment on.
On top of that, this is a new product type. There isn’t the reference designs to use compared to a regular electric toothbrush.
Having handled the product and studied it the best I could, I see no obvious causes for concern. The overall construction is good with fairly tight tolerances.
A couple of potential weak points are the charging port on the very bottom of the handpiece and the break within the handle body between the 2 different colored pieces of plastic.
My fear is that water and toothpaste will seep into these parts and potentially damage the product in the long term.
Although not officially certified, SymplBrush believes the handpiece is rated to IPX6, which is more than sufficient. They do not advise use when bathing or showering.
What helps mitigate against these risks is the magnetic stand they provide. It is encouraged to mount the brush bristles down, so any moisture drains away from the handpiece, rather than to it.
The company also offers a 100 day satisfaction guarantee in the starter kit. If you are not happy for whatever reason, you can return it for a full refund. You just need to make contact with them to arrange this.
On top of this, there is then the default 1 year guarantee/warranty you are provided with. This covers typical workmanship and manufacturing defects. It does not cover user damage.
It is a shame it is not 2 years, I think this really should be the minimum for this type of product.
It is not yet time to replace the manual or electric toothbrush. When used with the correct technique, they are more effective than SymplBrush.
But, what I cannot deny is that SymplBrush is impressive.
It looks, feels, and performs, in my opinion, better than any other mouthpiece toothbrush I have tested to date.
The cleaning results are better than I expected. I could feel the bristles making contact with my gums, something few brushes of this type have achieved.
But, plaque was left at the gumline in my plaque disclosing tests. It felt like it was doing a better job than it was.
To get better results, I had to perfect the technique, which to some extent defeats the appeal of this type of toothbrush.
As automated toothbrushes go, this surpassed my expectations.
For those people who often skip brushing in the morning because they are in a rush and 2 minutes is too much time to dedicate. 30 seconds spent brushing with SymplBrush is certainly better than no brushing at all.
Some users, notably those with disabilities could benefit now.
I can see a place for this even for those with a perfect oral care routine. If you are prepared to pay the price, it offers the opportunity to give a quicker and quite an effective clean for those times you need it.
Improvements and refinements do need to be made though.
But, I think the company is well on its way to creating a product that works. Time will tell if it can ultimately pull it off.
- Height (without head) – 12.7cm/5 inches
- Height (with head) – 17.8cm/7 inches (with large mouthpiece)
- Width – 3.3-8cm/1.3-3.12 inches (with large mouthpiece)
- Thickness – 2.5cm/0.98 inches
- Weight (without head) – 73g/2.57oz (with large mouthpiece)
- Weight (with head) – 95g/3.35oz (with large mouthpiece)
All are approximates
- Is SymplBrush an oscillating brush?
- What brushing/cleaning modes are available?
- The SymplBrush has 2 cleaning modes. They are:
- The SymplBrush has 2 cleaning modes. They are:
- What brush head does SymplBrush come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- SymplBrush starter kit comes with 2 brush heads/bristles. A 76 and 81mm option.
- Both bristle sizes can be purchased separately.
- They are designed for adults and are the only 2 options.
- Does the SymplBrush have a pressure sensor?
- Yes, it does.
- It is not a visible sensor. It will stop movements to the brush head if too much force is applied.
- Does the brush have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- No, a travel case is not included in the box.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging cable is included.
- How long does the battery last?
- The battery is said to last 60-90 days. It surpassed this in our simulated testing. It looks to be lasting around 5 months. However, the pressure used when brushing will have an effect.
- Can I use SymplBrush in the shower?
- No, it is not advised or recommended.
- Although the brush has some water resistance, it is not yet rated for use in these conditions.
- Does the SymplBrush come with a warranty & how long is it?
- If purchased new from SymplBrush, it comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Can I use my own toothpaste?
- Yes, you can.
- A tube of SymplPaste is included in the starter kit, but you can use your own paste if you prefer.
- SymplPaste does benefit from a special nozzle to help with application into the bristles.
- Why are nylon bristles used instead of silicone?
- Nylon bristles are more effective than silicone at cleaning the teeth and removing plaque. The thinner fibers reach in between the teeth more effectively.
- Why is this a single sided brush head and not a dual sided one like most other mouthpiece brushes?
- It has been intentionally designed this way to ensure it is as comfortable as possible to use, whilst speeding up the brushing experience.
- Can children use this brush?
- No, it is not designed for use by children.
- How often should the mouthpiece/brush head be replaced?
- The bristles should be replaced every 3 months.
Do you own or have you used SymplBrush?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.
The SymplBrush brush spoken about in this review was provided by SymplBrush PR department. Electric Teeth did not purchase this model. No financial reward was provided to conclude the review the way that we did.