We strongly advise that you DO NOT buy a mouthpiece/automatic toothbrush.*
Our testing shows they DO NOT clean the teeth very well.
The health of your teeth and gums is AT RISK if you use these products in place of a regular toothbrush.
Our findings are supported by the results of the first clinical study into the efficacy of U-Shaped Automatic Electric Toothbrush (UAET). The University of Florence, concludes:
The UAET that was tested in this study proved to be not effective in removing dental plaque.
In particular, the UAET was not significantly different from no brushing, while plaque removal with the UAET was significantly lower than with a powered toothbrush and a habitual toothbrushing procedure.
Therefore, its use cannot be recommended for regular oral hygiene at home.**
An evolving marketplace
This style of toothbrush is still relatively new, and as the months go by new products are being created.
As a consequence, the marketplace is forever changing as is the quality, price, and efficacy of these devices.
Small improvements in quality and cleaning results have been seen since the very first items of this type were launched.
Y-Brush is the best performing product to date. Whilst it shows promise, it still falls short of the standard required.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers and sellers are focused on how well the product works.
We have seen an alarming increase in the number capitalising on the unique design and lack of testing, to sell poor quality products to unsuspecting members of the public.
Many lack the evidence to support the pre-sale claims they make.
Poor cleaning results – the evidence
To demonstrate the poor cleaning results that these products currently offer, take a look at the photos below.
In the first image you will see a photo of my teeth taken before and after using a mouthpiece toothbrush.
The purple stuff on the teeth is plaque. Normally it is colourless, but I have used a plaque disclosing solution to show where it exists on the teeth.
Plaque is the very substance that should be removed from the teeth when you brush them.
If it is not removed, in time, you can end up with unhealthy teeth and gums.
This image is from a real-life test of a mouthpiece toothbrush. You can see how even after use there is a lot of plaque left on the teeth.
Y-Brush is one particular automatic toothbrush that has delivered the best results, as shown in the image below.
But, whilst better, it is still not good enough.
We have yet to test a mouthpiece toothbrush that works as well as it should.
All of our tests have resulted in before and after images similar to those shown.
Used correctly, a manual or electric toothbrush removes all this plaque.
The recommendation is, and continues to be, brush for 2 minutes twice a day and floss at least once. Although statistics show that many spend a lot less time brushing than this.
The following images show before and after images of plaque removal based on different toothbrushes and cleaning times.
The ultimate test for any product is how it fares under clinical testing and trials.
In these circumstances dental professionals take a detailed look at such products and test them using standardised procedures to be able to come to informed conclusions on the product and cleaning results.
Despite being on the market for a few years, it was not until June 2020 that the results of the first clinical trial were revealed.
It was a relatively small study, with just 22 participants. It was conducted by a team at the University of Florence and the results were first published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
It looked at the efficacy (how well it cleans) of U shaped automatic electric toothbrush (UAET), in comparison to a manual and electric toothbrush and to not brushing at all.
Whilst they only tested one U shaped toothbrush as part of the study, it was the most popular and best selling product to date, V-White.
The results were pretty damning. The key findings and conclusions were:
- The UAET that was tested in this study proved to be not effective in removing dental plaque.
- The UAET was not significantly different from no brushing.
- Plaque removal with the UAET was significantly lower than with a powered toothbrush and a habitual toothbrushing.
- The use of this U shaped toothbrush cannot be recommended for regular oral hygiene at home.
To add additional context, the V-White brush was actually used for a full 2 minutes during this study, by each participant, rather than the 45 seconds of its longest cleaning mode.
The results of this study reconfirm our own findings.
This remains the only clinical testing we know of to date.
Using a mouthpiece may seem like a good idea as it covers all of the teeth at the same time. However, the quality of the brush it gives is much worse than your every day electric toothbrush. This is because it doesn’t reach all the surfaces of the tooth especially in areas like the gum margins where you can get gum disease
Dr Chhaya Chauhan – In-house dentist – GDC Number: 83940