Brush with a better technique & quicker
Triple Bristle's unique 3 sided design provides an invigorating and effective clean in a third of the time it takes with a regular toothbrush.
It looks a bit dated and is bulky in the mouth, but it reduces the chances of you brushing incorrectly which is a tradeoff worth making.
Cleans 3 surfaces of the tooth at the same time
Brush head size
Bristles positioned at the perfect angle
No pressure sensor
3 brushing modes
Bulky charging stand
Good battery life
No travel case
Which other brushes should I consider?
My ultimate choice for an electric toothbrush today would be the Oral-B Smart 1500 or any of those featured in our list of top rated electric toothbrushes.
As novel as Triple Bristle is, there are some compromises which include the bulky brush head.
The 1500's smaller head feels easier to use, if the total brushing time is longer. It's dentist approved and more affordable.
If you are set on something a bit different Triple Bristle isn't a bad choice. But you may wish to also consider some of the newer mouthpiece toothbrushes.
Design, usability, clean & general use
The packaging that I received my Triple Bristle toothbrush in was a little different to that advertised on the website.
Compared to the more traditional box, with a plastic window that displays the brush and heads inside, I received what appears to be a more compact cardboard box better suited for mailing.
Looking much simpler, initial impressions were it was more environmentally friendly until a plastic tray inside was revealed (cardboard could have easily been used).
The handle and heads were all in plastic bags too. But, to be fair, this was PE-LD plastic, which in theory at least is recyclable.
The most premium unboxing experience this is not, but no major complaints.
First impressions of the brush itself are ok. The handle feels solid enough, but it is a tiny bit larger and lacks some of the quality and finesse of major brands like Sonicare and Oral-B. The plastic feels a bit cheaper.
On the front of the handle, in the upper third, there is a large Triple Bristle logo in blue, which stands out against the gloss white plastic.
Running down the majority of the front of the handle is a silver panel, inside of which are the main controls. It is wider at the top and bottom with a sweeping edge. It pinches in and is thinner in the middle. This is best understood from the hands on images included throughout the review.
A circular power button is located at the top of this panel. This turns the brush on and off and also allows you to change between the 3 different brushing modes that this offers.
3 LEDs below the power button depict the different modes and each will illuminate as the mode is selected.
Towards the bottom of the handle is another LED which illuminates when the brush is on charge or when the battery built into the handle is running low.
The handle has a rounded design, but is not perfectly cylindrical. It flattens off slightly at the sides and on the back about 2 thirds of this side is completely flat. It will not roll on a countertop thanks to the flattened back of the handle.
There are no buttons or controls on the side or back of the handle.
On the base of the brush are regulatory icons and a recess into which the prong on the charging stand fits.
It will stand upright on a countertop.
At the top of the handle is where the 3 sided brush head attaches. Sliding onto the shaft that extends from the motor inside.
This head is what makes this toothbrush so different.
Whilst it is certainly functional, the actual design of the handle feels a little dated and lacks grips.
It feels a touch slippery in hand with a few strategically placed rubber grips or raised plastic notches would help. That said the slight squaring to the body is better than nothing.
Maybe I am being a bit picky, but It does just feel like it is in need of a refresh to make it look a bit sleeker and current. It is not as refined or classy as the likes of the 4100 ProtectiveClean from Sonicare. But, it's a toothbrush and how well it cleans the teeth is more important.
So, let me talk about this all important brush head.
You get 2 included in the box, one with a pink colored band around the bottom and the other with a blue band. These bands are there to indicate whose brush head is whose, should you share the handle with a family member for example. The color of the band does not serve or depict any functional differences between the heads.
Just like Oral-B, Sonicare and many others the heads push onto the shaft and pull off, you do not need to twist them or anything like that.
They need to be replaced on average every 3 months (90 days), sooner if the bristles are showing obvious signs of wear or damage.
Within the white bristles are a cluster that are blue in color. These will fade over time. These fading indicator bristles are another cue/reminder to you about brush head replacement. Once these blue bristles have changed to a very pale blue, almost translucent, this is when you need to replace the head.
And for those wondering, the nylon bristles are extra soft and feel as gentle as they can do on the teeth and gums.
The design of the head is very clever and sensible really when you think about it.
We should brush the front, back and tops of our teeth. When we do, with a regular brush, we brush one surface at a time.
Triple Bristle allows us to brush all 3 at the same time.
Because of this, in theory at least we can brush our teeth in a fraction of the time (40 seconds) we would usually (120 seconds) because the head is doing 3 times the work.
However, this is not all about the speed of brushing. It is about being effective and getting the best coverage when brushing.
You may or may not know that you should brush with the bristles of the head at a 45 degree angle to the gumline. This ensures the bristles get the best opportunity to clean away debris and plaque.
With Triple Bristle, the head has been specifically designed so that the bristles are at the perfect angle. So, with each pass over the tooth surface, the head will be cleaning as well as if not better than a regular manual or electric toothbrush.
Something I noticed and many comment on is that it can feel like the bristles are poking at the gumline and it is uncomfortable. Some may get bleeding too. This discomfort and bleeding will usually go away after a few days.
Believe it or not this discomfort and blood, for most people is actually a good thing.
What you are feeling and seeing is your teeth being cleaned properly.
Bleeding gums are normally a sign of the early stages of gum disease or periodontitis.
The gums often become red, puffy,inflamed and sensitive as a result of the soft tissue being irritated by the plaque on the teeth and under the gumline. The gums then bleed as a reaction, particularly when brushed.
It is possible to reverse the early stages of gum disease and a good oral hygiene routine is the first and often only step required.
Nearly 50% of the American population have gum disease, a condition that can be helped significantly with the correct brushing technique.
Triple Bristle unlike so many other toothbrushes essentially forces you and me to brush correctly. A few days of discomfort can be well worth the positive results that come as a result.
Using this brush is a bit different to most others. Even having used many different toothbrushes, it took me a little while longer to feel comfortable with this, because the brushing style is different.
When you brush, your teeth essentially sit inside the head and the brush head cups around the teeth. You then move the brush head along the row of teeth.
Think of your teeth like a rail and the head fits over, cleaning the rail (your teeth) as it goes.
It is an odd sensation using this. But, it is good and my teeth felt really clean after each use. But they didn’t just feel clean, there were clean. The following images shows the before and after results of using a plaque disclosing tablet on the teeth.
What was also noticeable is how my gums felt more invigorated. What I mean by this, is although I make sure I always brush properly, it felt like using Triple Bristle had somehow worked my gums that bit more and the dentist like clean felt, to me at least, like it lasted for longer.
The design means it will work for most people fairly well. If you have small or average sized teeth, I am sure you will feel pretty impressed with the results.
If you do have particularly large teeth or a number of teeth that are not aligned correctly this might not be the ideal brush for you. Although, the manual does include tips for those with long teeth and gum recession.
It should also be noted that the style of brush head does mean it is larger and bulkier in the mouth. I think this is something most will get used to and accept for the benefits it brings. However, those with smaller, cramped mouths may find it difficult to use or uncomfortable. It won’t be for everyone.
I personally didn’t feel like I could get to my partially erupted wisdom teeth quite as well. I pushed the brush back as far as I could, but space is limited so trying to clean these very back teeth is difficult at the best of times with a regular toothbrush.
I do think this brush could really help those who have less movement in the hands and wrists as well as those with disabilities that may struggle with conventional brushes.
One small complaint or issue is applying toothpaste. You have to put it on the bristles where they meet at a 45 degree angle. It is a little more difficult and I found it a touch harder to apply the recommended pea sized amount. You get the hang of it after a few goes!
Built into the brush handle is a sonic motor that moves the bristles at up to 31,000 vibrations per minute.
I don’t know the exact number of vibrations per cleaning mode, of which there are 3, but you get the full power on the highest mode.
The 31,000 vibrations is equivalent to most other ‘sonic’ toothbrushes.
The modes available are high, sensitive and massage.
There is a clear difference between each and they all offer something a bit different.
As the name implies, high is the most powerful, whilst sensitive is the most gentle and ideal for first time users. Opting for sensitive mode will ease you into life with a sonic toothbrush.
Massage mode essentially pulses between higher and lower vibrations patterns to give bursts of more intense cleaning.
You select the mode you want, by turning the brush on, then pressing the power button to begin selecting the modes. Continue to press the power button until the mode you desire is selected. The selected mode is confirmed via an LED on the brush handle.
Under each LED is a letter, H, S or M to highlight which LED relates to which mode.
I found the high mode quite comfortable to use on a daily basis. I could really feel the bristles working. It didn’t feel quite intense/powerful as a Sonicare toothbrush, but then again the whole bristle arrangement is very different, so a direct comparison is more challenging.
Although the toothbrush can in theory allow you and me to brush our teeth in a third of the time we are supposed to, Triple Bristle has included a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
What this means is that you are encouraged to still brush each quadrant of the mouth for 30 seconds like you would a regular toothbrush.
A single pass of each tooth is all it really needs, but within 30 seconds you are likely going to make a couple of passes, moving back and forth and maybe introducing a slight tilting of the head to really make sure you have cleaned as well as you can.
Done correctly, you are in theory going to be brushing each tooth surface for 3 times as long as you would usually.
At 30 second intervals, a pause in the brush motor changes the sound and brushing sensation to act as your que to move.
As 120 seconds (2 minutes) passes there are additional pauses and the powering off of the toothbrush to alert you that the 2 minute cleaning time is up.
You can tell that this product was created by a dentist, there is a real focus on technique and brushing time.
There is no pressure sensor built into this brush. In many respects this is a disappointment, because models like the Sonicare 4100 will alert you when you brush with too much force.
Excessive force when brushing can wear away the teeth and gums over time. You want the bristles to skim the surface. Hard scrubbing does not equal a better clean.
However, although there is no pressure sensor, the design means that actually you kind of don’t need one. It is very difficult to brush with too much force because of the configuration.
One obvious omission for me is some form of travel case.
Plastic caps are provided for the brush heads to protect them when not in use or when the brush is in a bag. They are functional.
A slim plastic travel case that holds the handle and the heads would have been well received. With the current setup, the power button could be activated by mistake when in a bag.
A travel case would limit the chances of this happening and provide an additional layer of protection. As disappointing as this is, it's not really a deal breaker.
I should give an honorable mention to the instruction manual. It is relatively thorough with clear directions on how to use the product and brush properly. In many respects it puts the manuals included with brand leading products somewhat to shame.
All things considered Triple Bristle is different, a good different.
It looks and feels a tiny bit cheap and dated, but most importantly and I stress most importantly, it cleans the teeth really well.
I was impressed, my teeth and gums felt good after use.
Whilst I would never encourage brushing for less time than is recommended, the fact that you can in theory brush for 40 seconds and at least have a fairly good clean as a result is a very appealing feature. I do think that even the most lazy toothbrushers will brush for longer with Triple Bristle.
And, if you don’t get on with it, at least you can take advantage of their 30 day money back guarantee.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Built-into the Triple Bristle toothbrush is a rechargeable battery.
Their website, packaging or documentation makes no reference to the type of battery, but I do believe it is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) as opposed to the newer, and often more desired Lithium-Ion.
I am not going to discuss the pros and cons of these battery types here, the most important thing is that it is functional.
Another interesting thing is that there is no clear mention of how long the battery should actually last for. I did discover that it should last for approximately 2 weeks, but this was not immediately obvious on the sales page etc.
The manual does state, you should charge it fully before use, which can take 24 hours.
In my hands on testing, it lasted 58 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes long.
This gives a total usage time of 29 days based on 2 cleans per day.
That is twice the usage time I had been expecting. This is very good!
Supplied with the brush is a white colored charging stand.
The circular stand has a dome shape to it, with a flat base with 4 rubber feet to stop it slipping on a countertop. The brush stands upright in the stand. There is the Triple Bristle logo on the front.
With a 3.5 inch (9cm) diameter it feels nearly twice the size I think it needs to be. But, I am perhaps being picky.
What is good to see, is that it is a USB charging stand. This makes it practical for travel as you don’t need to worry about different voltages. You don’t get a plug adapter. So if you want to connect it to the wall you will need a USB to wall socket adapter.
When on charge, the LED in the lower half of the handle, the one with the CH letters under it is lit blue.
When the power is low the charge light will flash blue.
Summary of battery life
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.
The Triple Bristle Sonic original electric toothbrush that I am reviewing here has a recommended retail price of $69.97.
Different variants such as the Sonic Duo naturally have a different price.
It is very common for products of this type to have a suggested price, but actually sell for 20% less. However, my research has suggested discounts are not all that common. It would appear that the pricing is fairly tightly controlled and discounting is not that prevalent.
The best deals are likely to be had when you buy directly at www.triplebristle.com where offers or discount codes are made available from time to time.
Considering what you get, this price appears very reasonable.
To give some sort of benchmark for comparison, the cost of owning this brush over 3 years will be $169.82 or $0.16 per day.
At $69.97 to buy, you get 2 brush heads in the box. You will require a further 10 over 3 years. Sold in packs of 2 at $19.97, this adds $99.85 to the total cost.
The 30 Second Smile electric toothbrush is the closest alternative and costs $0.24 per day.
Compare this to the $0.13 per day of the traditional Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and Triple Bristle is a good value buy, particularly if you consider in theory it can clean your teeth in a third of the time.
Share the Triple Bristle handle with another user and this value is only going to get greater!
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
Reliability & long term use
My hands-on time with this toothbrush has been fairly positive and I have no major concerns.
I have not found any glaring faults or had any reliability issues myself.
The shaft that extends from the motor in the handle and to which the brush head attaches, does appear to be plastic. It could be metal capped in plastic, and is a possible weakness. But I have no evidence to say it should pose a credible risk.
Within the recess on the base of the brush is a screw to essentially assist with disassembly of the brush. It is deep into the recess and should pose no risk of corrosion or exposure to any significant moisture.
There isn’t the same reassuring quality in hand like leading brands offer. Materials feel a little more cost effective and a bit inferior.
Whilst I haven’t experienced any issues, nor had to contact customer services to assist with such, I am aware that there are those online who have complained about the quality, reliability and some of the support offered.
There doesn’t necessarily appear to be one particular fault that affects all or a batch, but potentially some inconsistency in quality.
Triple Bristle offers a 30 day money back guarantee on their toothbrushes. You can find more information on that here.
Triple Bristle does offer a 1 year warranty, which covers the typical issues that fall under a warranty. You are not covered for faults as a result of misuse or user damage.
Triple Bristle does exactly what they suggest it does.
Make no mistakes, it looks and feels very different to use, but I believe that this is a good thing.
The larger brush head might be more challenging for some people to use, but you can feel the bristles working, cleaning the teeth and gums.
I have no complaints on the standard of clean that it offers. It is certainly comparable to a traditional electric toothbrush. In fact, many will feel it is better, because it forces the correct technique.
If you find brushing your teeth boring and a bit of a chore, I am convinced the process and the cleaning results will feel more rewarding when using Triple Bristle.
You can purchase Triple Bristle directly from triplebristle.com, but before committing, make sure you familiarize yourself with other options.
- Toothbrush height with head - 23cm / 9.1 inches
- Toothbrush height without head - 18.5cm / 7.3 inches
- Width - 3cm / 1.2 inches
- Depth/thickness - 3.4cm / 1.3 inches
- Weight with head - 141g / 5oz
- Weight without head - 134g / 4.7oz
- Package weight - 399g / 14.1oz
Country of manufacture