Great results for just 10 seconds of brushing, but there's room for improvement
Y-Brush is one of the best mouthpiece toothbrushes that I have seen and tested to date.
The brushing results are surprisingly good, but it is not quite good enough to replace your regular toothbrush, yet.
Surprisingly good cleaning results
Fit of mouthpiece
Cleaning results are not perfect
Long battery life
Toothpaste residue left in bristles
Firm power/function button
Construction and quality
You will be better off with these brushes
I do believe that the best overall electric toothbrush, the Oral-B Pro 3 3500, is a much better choice for now.
Not only will the Oral-B clean the teeth better, but it is also considerably more affordable.
However, if you do particularly desire something that cleans the teeth well in less than 2 minutes Triple Bristle and 30 Second Smile are 2 possible options to consider.
How does it work?
Y-Brush is a little different to most toothbrushes you will have seen before.
Known predominantly as a mouthpiece toothbrush, it is designed to clean all surfaces of the teeth at the same time, rather than 1 surface at a time like a regular toothbrush.
Y-Brush is designed to clean 1 arch, top or bottom teeth at once rather than together.
Where you would normally apply toothpaste and move the toothbrush around the mouth, with Y-Brush, you apply paste and loosely bite into it like you might a mouthguard.
Once in position, a single press on the button will launch this into action and begin brushing all surfaces of the teeth in a single arch in 5 seconds. Fip it over, repeat on the other arch of teeth and the total brushing time is just 10 seconds.
During the 2 x 5 second routine you do need to use a particular technique. With the toothpaste applied, you bite into the mouthpiece and move it from the right to left side of your mouth in a steady motion whilst chewing into the mouthpiece. I call it the ‘chomp & slide’.
The technique is demonstrated in the following instructional video.
Y-Brush cleans all your teeth and their surfaces simultaneously, whereas with regular toothbrushes, manual or electric, you clean one surface of the tooth at any one time.
Dental professionals recommend that you brush for at least 120 seconds (2 minutes). This means that for the average mouth with 32 teeth, you clean each surface for just 1.25 seconds.
With Y-Brush, every surface is cleaned for a minimum of 5 seconds, because all teeth in the upper or lower jaw are brushed simultaneously.
This means: every surface gets brushed 4x longer than they would with a traditional brushing technique. The total toothbrushing duration is 12x less (10 seconds instead of 120).
Design, usability, clean & general use
If you haven’t gotten the message by now, Y-Brush by French company Fasteesh is not your regular toothbrush.
Y-Brush is actually a really good name, inspired by the Y like shape the unit has.
The box it comes in does not shout quite as loud as it could about some of the features it offers. However, it is clear, it is designed to clean all your teeth in just 10 seconds.
The white cardboard box is securely closed via a magnet on the front edge. Lift the front panel and you reveal the brush within.
There is a bit more plastic and foam than I would like considering we are in a more environmentally considerate era, but I will cut some slack here.
What is included in the box depends on which package you have ordered. I have listed my box content of this ‘solo’ package above.
There are 2 main parts to this toothbrush, you have the handpiece and the brush head.
It is the handpiece that contains all the electronics and the Y shaped brush head attaches to this handpiece.
Initial impressions are it is satisfactory in terms of its build quality and materials.
I am perhaps being a bit polite here or overly critical depending on your viewpoint. It does feel a bit like a production sample and not an entirely finished product. It certainly doesn’t have the finesse and premium feel of some other toothbrushes.
This is to be expected to some extent with the initial products that come out of crowdfunding campaigns like this, but Amabrush looked and felt better in hand in my opinion, albeit larger.
Perhaps some neatly placed rubber/silicone would soften harsh edges and improve the look?!
The images shown throughout best illustrate how this product looks, but essentially the handpiece has a 3D trapezoid shape.
A flat bottom edge allows the handpiece to stand upright. The left and right sides taper up towards a shorter but flatter top edge.
On the top edge is a large plastic protrusion, with a hexagonal shape, that the brush head pushes onto.
The base of the handpiece is free of ports and controls as is the right edge. There are however 2 very small feet on the base that help give stability.
On the left edge (as you look at the handpiece) is the microUSB power port. It is recessed into the handpiece and revealed by removing a rubber port cover, which is attached to a rubber strip that runs around the edge of the device.
On the front side, in the middle of the handpiece is the power/function button.
Round in shape it has a Y icon on it and sits slightly proud of the slightly depressed LED ring that surrounds it.
The LED ring is made up of 3 sections of light that illuminate based on the cleaning mode and status of the battery. More on these later.
On the back of the handle is a sticker with regulatory information and the handpiece number.
The handpiece is a sort of sea green/turquoise colour.
Fitting to the top of the handpiece is the brush head, with the notable Y shape.
The neck of the brush head has a strong white plastic construction that fits over the top of the handpiece. There is a reassuring ‘click’ when fitted.
It simply pushes on and pulls off. It actually fits 2 ways to the handpiece, the bristles facing you or facing away.
Extending from the white plastic is the main mouthpiece part of the brush head. I am not sure what material it is precisely, but it seems to be a type of flexible plastic and has a sort of cream colour to it.
Depending on where you run your fingers the material is either smooth to the touch or there is a slight texture. This is all based on the way that the bristles have been fitted and to keep the overall size of the mouthpiece down, so it is as thin as possible.
It has a U shape to it, to match with the arch of your teeth.
Within the U shape are 6 rows of nylon bristles, 2 on each side that come into contact with the teeth.
The whole mouthpiece is fairly flexible. It is not as soft as that supplied with HiBrush, but not as large or stiff as that supplied with Amabrush.
It is clear from looking at the back of the mouthpiece there has been an attempt to give some extra strength as can be seen with the lines of white material within the mouthpiece.
As I have mentioned earlier, unlike some other mouthpiece toothbrushes Y-Brush is designed to clean just 1 row of teeth at a time and not all teeth in the mouth at the same time.
This has been designed with comfort in mind and I would be inclined to agree that this was a good move.
Y-Brush have also opted for the more traditional nylon bristles compared to the silicone bristles that most others have opted for. As you will see later, I think this was a very good choice.
Built into the handpiece is a 1000mAh rechargeable battery, motor and electronics needed to make this work.
With the brush head attached you can begin using it.
You need to apply toothpaste into the mouthpiece brush head.
Where some products require a special toothpaste, this does not. You can use your regular paste. The idea is you apply a small amount throughout the bristles.
To make this job easier, you can buy a small plastic adapter that allows you to feed the toothpaste into the brush head with a little more ease and essentially create a string of toothpaste that follows the shape of the brush head.
Failing that you can apply 3 small drops in the mouthpiece. 1 at the front and 1 either side of the mouthpiece, where the bristles will come into contact with the rear teeth.
You then want to select the cleaning mode you wish to use.
To do this you need to give a short press on the power/function button found on the handpiece.
This button is very firm and provides little feedback which is a real shame. I am surprised such a stiff button made it to this final production unit. It does however prevent accidental activation.
Nonetheless. Press it once and you will see 1 LED light up on the ring around the button, press it twice and 2 LED’s and a third press will activate the third LED.
The light is white in colour.
Each light relates to the cleaning mode. They are:
- Ultra soft - 1 LED - 15 seconds of vibration for a softer deep clean
- Normal - 2 LEDs - 10 seconds of vibration for daily cleaning
- Intense - 3 LEDs - 5 seconds of powerful vibration for those in a hurry
You may note, although this brush can clean each row of teeth in just 5 seconds,
Y-Brush recommends a 10 second ‘normal’ mode for daily cleaning, so 20 seconds in total.
Right, the technique of brushing then...
Begin by placing the brush head in the mouth, ideally, the top arch of teeth first.
Bite into the head and you should feel the teeth slip into the mouthpiece, with the head cupping the front, top and back sides of the teeth.
You then turn the handpiece on with a long press of the power button. As the vibrations begin, you then use your hands to move the Y-Brush side to side in the mouth. It should take about 2 seconds to move to the right side, left side and back to the right side again.
At the same time you need to move your jaw up and down as if you were biting into the mouthpiece. You should do this about 6 times in the time it takes to move Y-Brush from side to side.
This then gives an up and down and a side to side effect to the cleaning.
I am coining this ‘chomp & slide’ because you are lightly biting into the brush head whilst sliding it from one side of the mouth to the other.
You repeat this technique for the duration of the cleaning mode you have selected. The brush will power off when you are done.
Once the clean of the top teeth is complete, you remove the brush head, turn it over and fit it to the bottom teeth and repeat.
So, with whatever mode you select, to clean all the teeth in your mouth you power on the brush twice and it will turn itself off twice.
Lastly, you rinse the brush head out, remove it and place it on the supplied stand to dry.
This process does mean it takes a few seconds longer to clean each arch, but it is still a lot quicker than a regular brush.
It does take a little practice, but is relatively easy to master.
Having used many mouthpiece toothbrushes, I think the implementation by Y-Brush is one of the best I have seen. The cleaning results are better than the vast majority. But, the newer product SymplBrush just takes the edge in my opinion.
Take a look at the images below, this shows the plaque on my teeth before and after using Y-Brush.
The after image is based on using Y-Brush for just 5 seconds on each row of teeth, 10 seconds in total.
Whilst it is clear that some plaque still exists, the vast majority has been removed.
What remains is in the tighter spaces of the teeth, where often floss and interdental brushes would be needed.
It even felt and looked to me like it managed to get most of my back teeth too. Some other mouthpiece toothbrushes have fallen woefully short here.
I can’t say my teeth felt unclean after brushing, but I didn’t get quite the same clean feeling and satisfaction with Y-Brush as I would normally.
Results can and will vary.
Take a look at the following video we shot, doing the same test, but on a different set of teeth.
The overall clean and efficacy is not as good as a manual or electric toothbrush. I would not be left with this level of plaque with an Oral-B or Sonicare toothbrush for example.
But it is much better than I had expected. It is significantly better than most other mouthpiece toothbrushes I have used to date Although, I think SymplBrush does a better job. Then again it brushes for 3 times as long.
Whilst silicone bristles have a place, the tried and tested nylon bristles are notably more effective in my opinion.
Y-Brush is miles ahead in the cleaning capability and the obvious difference to other mouthpiece toothbrushes is the presence of nylon bristles.
However, Y-Brush have also been more open about the need to undertake the ‘chomp & slide’ technique as you brush. This mechanical action clearly helps.
You might be wondering whether the results were better if I brushed, for 10, 15, 20 or even 30 seconds on each arch. The short answer is I was unable to tell any significant difference. Marginal improvement yes, maybe a 10% improvement.
Y-Brush provides a clean to the teeth that is much better than not brushing at all.
If you are guilty of brushing rarely or for just a few seconds, I think there is an argument that this could be helpful. But, it is not a replacement to the regular toothbrush just yet. It still does not clean as well.
Please don’t ditch your regular toothbrush thinking Y-Brush is all you need!
This said, it shows real potential and gives me a renewed sense of hope that this type of product could be the future.
And in the future Y-Brush needs to address and make some other changes too.
The biggest change, in my opinion, is to the brush head.
Y-Brush bristles fit to the arch much better than the vast majority of mouthpieces toothbrushes. Unfortunately, my experience using it on the bottom jaw was very different from the top.
When cleaning the top teeth, it was a good fit and I could easily and comfortably bite into it and move the mouthpiece from side to side as required.
However, when fitted to the lower jaw, whilst the fit over the teeth was good, I could only move it side to side by about 10 degrees. Any greater and I was in significant discomfort. Push it to 20 degrees and it was flat out painful.
Although the mouthpiece appeared to fit the arch fairly well, including the molars at the back of the mouth, there just wasn’t the same room to move the brush head.
It came into contact with the gums but more specifically the back of my mouth. It pushed and aggravated the tissues right at the back of the jaw, causing real displeasure.
This isn’t entirely surprising, because the lower (mandibular) arch is smaller than the upper (maxillary) arch.
Ultimately this was quite off putting and felt like I was perhaps not getting the best cleaning as a consequence. However, the actual results were impressive considering the limited scope of movement in the lower jaw.
Now, this is just my personal experience, but I feel others (not all, but some) might experience something similar. My fiancee had the exact same experience when she tested it.
Fasteesh offer 2 sizes of mouthpiece, one for children and one for adults. Whilst this is somewhat obvious, I have always had concerns how a one size fits all could really work.
Other manufacturers have suggested there is little difference in the sizes of people's mouths, so a one size fits all generally works for the majority.
My experience has me questioning this.
I think possibly you need 2 mouthpieces, one for the upper and one for the lower jaw. I would suggest about 5% smaller would have been absolutely perfect.
I certainly wouldn’t be against replacing a brush head mid-way through a cleaning session if it fitted better and allowed slightly better cleaning results.
However, longer term I think there is a much better solution. Now, this is going to be a more time consuming and expensive solution initially but I am convinced it is possible.
That solution is a custom made brush head.
Imagine an impression of your mouth being taken and then that is used to create your own, perfectly sized brush head.
This could be done with old fashioned alginate impressions or with the more high tech 3D oral scanning. Using this data the brush head is then made to order.
Each time you need a new one, Y-Brush refers to the files they have of your particular mouth.
We have the technology, it is ultimately cost that holds us back at this time.
It seems an apt time, that Y-Brush recommends replacing it every 6 months, rather than the typical 3 months.
Because the brush head is used for shorter periods of time, the bristles should last longer.
There is no reminder system to tell you when to replace it.
The second big issue I think needs a solution is how toothpaste is dealt with by the brush head.
Whatever I did, I was left with a reasonable residue of toothpaste within the brush head and it took 10 seconds or so, to properly clean it out after each use.
When the brush head is in motion, whilst it does move the paste, it doesn’t do it in the same way a regular brush does.
A foam type toothpaste is the more practical option and spreads a bit better, but not quite good enough in my opinion.
Or alternatively using toothpaste tablets could be an option too.
I did try this,and because you essentially rinse the toothpaste over the teeth prior to brushing, it felt a bit better. But, it is awkward as you need to retain the toothpaste solution in the mouth as you insert and remove the brush head. You can end up dribbling, because it doesn’t stick to the bristles like a regular paste might.
This might all sound a bit critical, but this is the reality of the situation.
Despite these criticisms, I am on the whole really quite impressed with Y-Brush. Having been disappointed by others, I think the expectations had been set quite low, so it was nice to be surprised.
Once you get the hang of it, Y-Brush is surprisingly easy to use and the design I believe makes it a little less technique sensitive.
A few final comments about my daily experience with Y-Brush…
When running, Y-Brush makes quite a loud vibrating tone. Not unpleasant, just a bit louder than a normal sonic toothbrush. Still quieter than an Oral-B toothbrush. You also feel quite a lot of vibration in the handpiece.
In the box comes a triangular plastic stand for brush heads. It will hold 2 brush heads and offers a home for them to be stored and dried essentially. The design means the heads don’t tend to touch when placed on it.
It is a basic but functional approach but it provides no protection to a brush head as I know some would like.
Included in the box is a manual and instructions on how to use Y-Brush. They are fairly basic and have come out of a standard office printer, but they serve the purpose.
Y-Brush does not come with a travel case as standard.
You can purchase one as an accessory, I did.
Functional it is, but it is way too bulky and isn’t all that practical in my opinion.
It is a tiny bit smaller than the polystyrene trays you might get served a burger in from a fast food outlet. There is a sip that runs around 3 edges and it hinges like a book. There are then 2 compartments into which you can put the items you need.
I think, in time there is a much better, slimmer and sleeker solution Y-Brush could come up with. I am thinking of a case that is literally only a little larger than the handpiece and head fitted together. Having something is better than nothing though.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Fitted within the handpiece is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
It is not user removable and recharges by connecting a microUSB power cable directly into the handpiece.
The original concept product was suggested to have wireless charging, like most other electric toothbrushes, but this has been changed since funding was achieved.
The suggested battery life of a fully charged battery is 1 month.
That is equivalent to 62 brushing sessions (620 seconds), or 31 days, based on 2 cleans per day.
A typical electric toothbrush tends to offer somewhere in the region of 2-4 weeks of battery life, so on the face of it, this sounds pretty good.
However, Y-Brush is actually cleaning the teeth for a fraction of the total time a standard electric toothbrush would.
10 seconds twice a day compared to the typical 120 means that Y-Brush has a total running time of just 10 minutes.
But, it doesn’t really matter because Y-Brush is so unique and is challenging convention.
So what is the battery life really like in daily use?
Well, in my hands-on testing I actually gave up on testing how long it lasted, because it just kept going on and on.
I tested it on the 5 second intense mode. To complete a brushing session you have to run the intense mode twice, once for the top jaw and once for the bottom.
I achieved 300 brushing sessions. This is equivalent to 150 days or 50 minutes of total running time.
I am baffled. The quoted battery life is 1 month! This is 5 times greater, and the battery wasn’t even flat!
I would have been fairly ok with a month. 5 months and still going is excellent!
Do be aware, that whilst the total running time is the same irrespective of the mode selected, if you use the 15 second mode rather than the 5 seconds, it will need to be recharged more frequently.
For the sake of comparison, this is similar to V-White mouthpiece toothbrush, but not as good as Amabrush. But, neither of these clean the teeth well.
When the battery does require charging, the LED lights on the handpiece will flash red, making it very clear that the battery is running low on charge.
You need to connect the provided microUSB power adapter to the handpiece. In the box is a 2 pin EU microUSB adapter, but I did receive a 2 pin EU to 3 pin UK adapter in the box to make charging in the UK possible.
The microUSB port is found on the left side of the handpiece (when looking at Y-Brush) and there is a rubber cover to pull open to actually access the port. This rubber cover protects against water ingression.
It is a shame that it does not have a USB Type-C connector, but I believe cost has a part to play here.
It takes up to 8 hours to recharge the battery fully and when on charge the LED around the power/function button pulses green.
Once fully charged, this LED ring turns to a solid green.
The supplied charger does support 110-220v so this is useful for international travel, although you may require a plug adapter, depending on which country you are visiting.
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.
At the time of writing, the only place you can purchase Y-Brush is directly from the French company via their online store at www.y-brush.com.
Being such a new and innovative product, and because the company is very small there can be delays between ordering and delivery. Don’t expect it next day.
In fact, at the time of writing, they are still fulfilling orders to their original backers.
Supply is improving, but the company is not producing products at the rate most would expect. I don’t know the exact numbers, but daily output is intentionally much lower to ensure quality.
All products are being made within France rather than being outsourced to the likes of Asia where rapid mass production is commonplace.
The 4 different packages that are available have a recommended retail price and a discounted price that they are currently being sold at.
I am not sure how long these discounted prices will remain for. To my knowledge so far, all have been sold at a discounted price.
There are those that got an even lower price than are currently offered because they backed the crowdfunding campaign back in 2018.
The prices are:
- Y-Brush solo package - £111/€129.99 - RRP £162/€189 - Saving of £51/€59
- Y-Brush duo package - £134/€159.99 - RRP £183/€214 - Saving of £49/€54
- Y-Brush duo+ package - £197/€229.99 - RRP £290/€339 - Saving of £93/€109
- Y-Brush family+ package - £248/€289.99 - RRP £368/€430 - Saving of £120/€140
Rarely do toothbrushes actually sell within the UK and Europe at their recommended price. Average selling prices fall around 20-50% less. The retail prices are almost over inflated intentionally.
However, Y-Brush by Fasteesh isn’t your normal toothbrush churned out by one of the household brands.
I do expect Y-Brush will in time drop the discount and sell at full retail price, or closer to it, but when, I do not know.
To try and give a benchmark of price and how it compares to the alternatives, here at Electric Teeth we price the brushes over a 3 year period.
Taking the Y-Brush solo package:
Assuming a purchase price of £111 we then need to buy a further 5 brush heads to last this time.
At €29.99/£26 per time, they are not cheap and add a total of £130 to the cost.
This makes the total cost £241 or 22p per day.
My initial reaction is that this price is quite high when you compare it to the likes of a very capable Oral-B Pro 3 3500 that comes in at 7p per day and cleans the teeth better.
However, 3 times the cost it may well be, but it cleans the teeth in a 12th 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 has. Production costs are inevitably much higher for Y-Brush.
Ultimately comparing prices is very difficult, because this product is unique. There is generally a premium to be paid for innovation.
The best I can do is compare this to the prices of other mouthpiece toothbrushes, all of which are NOT suitable as daily teeth cleaning products.
The now collapsed Amabrush solution worked out at about 30p per day, whilst HiBrush or VWhite costs 29p per day.
Sitting somewhere between a regular toothbrush and Y-Brush is 30 Second Smile which costs about 21p per day.
When you compare Y-Brush with more obvious like for like products, it actually appears reasonable value.
Amabrush and V-White do require special toothpastes, which Y-Brush 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
Reliability & long term use
Having only owned and used Y-Brush for a short period of time, I cannot give extensive detail on the reliability of this toothbrush.
Fasteesh, the manufacturer is very new and does not have the experience of some other manufacturing brands. In addition this is a whole new type of toothbrush, which brings its own engineering challenges.
I don’t deny that it does not have the same reassuring quality to the product that a Sonicare or Oral-B product might. It feels a bit cheaper and without wishing to sound harsh, homemade.
A possible weakness is the charging port. The fact that the product will be near water and other liquids, means it is feasible that it could get into the charger. However, there is a rubber seal which seems to fit well, with enough flex to withstand repeated removal and fitting back into the port.
There are no glaring issues that give me real cause for concern, I can’t say that it will last as long as the major brands, but, it does come with a 2 year warranty, should anything go wrong so there is some peace of mind here.
Conclusion: one of the better mouthpiece toothbrushes
There is no denying that of the mouthpiece toothbrushes I have tested to date, Y-Brush is one of the best.
It exceeded my expectations in how well it actually cleaned the teeth.
Whilst it is not yet a replacement to your regular toothbrush, with revisions, I can see this becoming a device you and I look to use on a regular basis.
The problem as I see it is whether the revisions required can be made by a company the size of Fasteesh with the funds and resources available to them. I would love to believe so.
I ultimately think a custom sized mouthpiece is the answer. This could be costly and complicated, but with advancing technology, I think this is perfectly possible in the coming years.
Until then, select one of the other options available today.
Country of manufacture
Can I use my own toothpaste?
- Yes, you do not need to use a special toothpaste.
- Y-Brush does offer a special adapter that can be fitted to a screw top toothpaste tube to help apply the paste accurately into the mouthpiece.
Why are nylon bristles used instead of silicone?
- Y-Brush has found that 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?
- Y-Brush intentionally designed it this way to ensure it is as comfortable as possible to use, whilst speeding up the brushing experience.
What is the right size brush head for me?
- Y-Brush makes 2 brush heads to suit users. The sizes are referred to as S and M.
- S is designed for children aged 4-12 years.
- M is designed for those aged 12 years and older.
- It is for the most part a 1 size fits all, but the slight flexing in the head should accommodate the majority of people.
How do you clean Y-Brush?
- The mouthpiece should be rinsed after use, like a manual or electric toothbrush.
- The mouthpiece can be stretched lightly to allow through rinsing and cleaning between bristles.
How often should the mouthpiece/brush head be replaced?
- Y-Brush suggests replacing this every 6 months.
- This is 3 months longer than most others because the bristles are not subjected to the same level as wear as a regular toothbrush.
Does Y-Brush have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- The design means that the chance of applying excess pressure is reduced.