How we test products

Electric Teeth co-founder Jon Love with a range of electric toothbrushes.

Who tests our products? 

Here at Electric Teeth we have always completed hands-on tests of the products featured in our reviews and buyer’s guides. 

We fund this testing ourselves in order to remain impartial.

Our chief product tester is our co-founder Jon Love, who you see throughout the site and on our YouTube channel.

Jon has been testing and reviewing consumer goods for over a decade.

However, other members of our team, including our in-house dentists, also test products in order to provide extra insight.  

Our buying guides include accompanying information about products and general dental health, which is created in collaboration with our in-house dentists. 

Plaque disclosing test before and after
The results from one of our plaque disclosing tests

How we test them

We have intentionally designed our testing process to be simple and straightforward.

We test products like you would use them yourself, at home.  

We want to give you our opinions as fellow users.  

The opinions and advice we share within our content are the same as we would give to family and friends.

But, we do so with the knowledge and experience that comes from testing many products.  

We try all the features and functions a product has to offer.

As we try out each product, we consider the clinical and scientific evidence (or lack thereof) that exists for it. 

We aim to understand and communicate what the impact of these are on your oral health.

This is completed with the contributions of dental professionals. 

An electric toothbrush brushing teeth
Our co-founder, Jon Love, using an electric toothbrush

Key testing

There are many key items and considerations we make when reviewing a product.

We assess and consider the following:

  • Cleaning performance
    • What the brushing experience is like.  Is it soft, hard, awkward, painful?
    • How clean our teeth and gums feel. Can we see or feel plaque or debris on the teeth and gums after use?
    • Where appropriate plaque disclosing tests will be carried out.  If the results are below the standard expected these will be shared within the review.
  • Usability
    • The placement of buttons, ports, and controls.
    • The feedback buttons and other elements of the product gives.
    • How grippy, slippy or awkward a product is in hand.
    • How simple a product is to use irrespective of someone’s prior experience.
    • Do features actually work as suggested by manufacturers? 
    • Do the features and functions improve or negatively affect the day to day use?
    • Is the product easy to maintain?
    • Is the product noisy? We record the decibel reading so we know which brushes are the quietest.
  • Battery life
    • We fully charge the battery. We then run the product through continuous cycles of the default mode until the battery is flat. 
    • During this time the toothbrush is on the desk and not being used to clean the teeth.  This is to ensure we have a consistent test scenario.
    • This process is repeated multiple times.
    • The same test will be run on other modes, if appropriate.
    • Where possible we will look to achieve this same test with in-hand use.
  • Reliability
    • The build quality and construction of the product.
    • Gaps and potential weaknesses that may exist between joins in materials.
    • Manufacturers warranty periods and support mechanisms.
    • Feedback from existing users of the brand’s products.
Electric Toothbrushes with Decibel Meter
Testing how noisy electric toothbrushes are

As best possible, we will consider the wide array of potential users when testing.  From the young to the old.  From those with all their natural teeth to those without.  And we consider those that may have disabilities and other struggles with their oral care.  We acknowledge, however, that it is not possible to make detailed comments in every review.

Dental products are our thing

We stick purely to dental products. We have been testing toothbrushes and other dental care products extensively since 2015. Naturally, we have all been using them in a personal capacity for much longer.

We have a small team, which includes dental professionals.  This allows us to be more focused and informed about products, tools and services.  The knowledge and experience is not diluted amongst a larger organisation.

Y-brush mouthpiece toothbrush being used on a model of teeth
The Y-Brush mouthpiece toothbrush being tested on a model of teeth

No lab testing

We do not put products through scientific laboratory tests.  

We are not running clinical trials to see if brush ‘A’ removes ‘X per cent’ more plaque than brush ’B’.

Clinical and scientific tests produce useful data, and we reference these throughout our content where appropriate 

The defined approach of clinical trials can sometimes fail to pick up on basic niggles and frustrations.  Our in-hand testing looks to highlight these things.

And, let’s be honest.  Lab testing and clinical studies are expensive.

We wish to ensure that the content we provide remains free to you and others.  This simply would not be possible if we undertook such testing.

AutoBrush V4 in Mouth - Side view
Jon testing Autobrush

We are impartial

We are an independent organisation, with a strong ethics policy.

All the products we review have been purchased by us.  

We choose the products to review and then we review them.

We receive no external funding or sponsorship.  

Together this allows us to create honest and unbiased reviews with clear conclusions.

We make choosing  easier

It is our intention to make selecting dental care products easier.  We will aim to give a clear verdict about a product.  Positives and negatives will be highlighted.  

We will always justify the conclusions that we come to.  And we give strong recommendations when we believe there are better alternatives to consider.

Finally, we give warnings when we think there is a product you should avoid, such as new types of product that don’t perform to the standard required. One example of this is mouthpiece toothbrushes

Man in chair in dental practice
Chris & Chhaya in one of our video shoots.

Leave a comment or question

2 thoughts on “How we test products”

  1. I was wondering if you folks do any kind of longevity testing for the toothbrushes. I’ve been an advocate of Oral-B for many years, until my 5-month old Genius X 10000 went bad. It still charges with lights and all, but the motor doesn’t work.

    Suffice to say I’ve been reluctant to buy anything from Braun now, especially after the service center in my country refused to honor the warranty of the Amazon-purchased item.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear this Steve.

      The short answer is yes. We and those around us continue to use many of the models far longer than our standard testing periods. I always have a fallback product I go to if I am not testing something new. For example I have an Oral-B iO Series 9 for the last 2 years.

      We don’t carry out any scientific extended testing, that isn’t how we operate. Results and feedback are a little more ad-hoc based on user experiences.

      Should we find any data to suggest a big issue long term with reliability we will try to draw attention to it, but we have yet to be in a situation where this is really the case.

      Whilst we hope for brushes to last much longer 5 years is about in line with what we find people get from their brush. Some get less than this and many get more.

      Reply
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