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Sonic Toothbrush: How It Works, Why It’s Better, and How to Use It

Sonic Toothbrush: How It Works, Why It’s Better, and How to Use It

Fast Facts About Sonic Toothbrushes:

  • A sonic toothbrush delivers up to 15x more brush strokes per minute than a standard electric toothbrush
  • Sonic toothbrushes can be better at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis
  • Sonic toothbrushes are easier to use than manual and standard electric toothbrushes

About 41% of adults opt for an electric toothbrush over a manual one—and for good reason. They’re easier to use and research proves they’re better at removing plaque and preventing gum disease, primarily because they include 2-minute timers to ensure adequate brushing time.

However, there’s a special type of electric toothbrush that blows the competition out of the water: a sonic electric toothbrush.

Between ultra-fast brush strokes and built-in timers, a sonic toothbrush is an easy, efficient way to supercharge your oral care routine. Keep reading to learn the science behind sonic toothbrushes, how to use them, and why they’re a dentist’s delight.

What Is a Sonic Toothbrush?

A sonic toothbrush is a type of electric toothbrush that uses sonic waves to vibrate the bristles. Powered by battery, sonic toothbrushes produce up to or beyond 30,000 brush strokes per minute, much more than the standard electric toothbrush.

The high-speed vibrations from a sonic toothbrush stimulate saliva production and agitate the toothpaste and water in your mouth. This turns the fluids into an active cleaning agent that reaches below your gum line and gets into hard-to-reach areas that bristles can’t reach.

In addition to sonic wave technology, sonic toothbrushes include snazzy features like timers, pressure sensors, and multiple cleaning modes.

Curious how sonic toothbrushes stack up to other types? Let’s take a look.

Sonic Toothbrush vs. Electric Toothbrush: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between a standard electric and a sonic toothbrush is brushing power. A standard electric toothbrush averages between 2,500 and 7,000 brush strokes per minute, but a sonic toothbrush delivers up to and beyond 30,000 brush strokes per minute.

The increased brushing power of a sonic toothbrush makes it easier to remove plaque and debris between your teeth and along your gum line. Think of it like using a power washer instead of a garden hose.

Another key difference is how the brush head moves. The brush head on a normal electric toothbrush spins in an oscillating motion as it cleans. On the other hand, the bristles on a sonic toothbrush vibrate at a high frequency to break up stubborn plaque.

Just so we’re on the same page—all sonic toothbrushes are electric, but not all electric toothbrushes are sonic.

Is a Sonic Toothbrush Better than an Electric Toothbrush?

A sonic toothbrush gives you three key advantages over a standard electric toothbrush:

  1. Easier to use: Since the bristles move exponentially faster, you don’t have to work nearly as hard to get rid of pesky plaque and buildup between your teeth.
  2. More cleaning power: The bristles on a sonic toothbrush move 15x faster than a regular electric one
  3. Advanced features: Most sonic toothbrushes have timers, multiple cleaning modes, and ergonomic handles.

Sonic and standard electric toothbrushes are both better options than manual toothbrushes, primarily because they remind you how long to brush. But the sonic technology gives you an undeniable edge.

Sonic Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush

Decades of research have shown that sonic toothbrushes are more effective at controlling plaque buildup and periodontal disease.

A 2017 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry concluded that sonic-powered toothbrushes decreased plaque and gingivitis significantly more effectively than manual toothbrushes when used every day. 

These results can be credited to the crazy difference in brushing power. A manual toothbrush only moves as fast as your hand can, which for most people is about 300 strokes per minute. Compare that to a sonic brush, which generates 30,000 strokes per minute—that’s 100 times more powerful.

How to Use a Sonic Toothbrush

A sonic toothbrush is super easy to use. Here are a few pro tips from our resident oral surgeon, Dr. Jaclyn Tomsic (Dr. Jacci).

  1. Wet the bristles and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
  2. Place the brush against your teeth and press the power button to start.
  3. Gently guide the toothbrush across your teeth. “You don’t have to do the aggressive up and down brushing motion we’re all accustomed to doing,” explains Dr. Jacci. “Instead, glide the toothbrush along your teeth and let the bristles do the work.”
  4. Brush each of the four quadrants of your teeth for 30 seconds (two minutes total).
  5. After two minutes, the toothbrush will automatically turn off. 

Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, always brush at least twice a day. Dr. Jacci also notes that you still need to floss daily—even if you use a sonic toothbrush.

Brush Better with a Bamboo Sonic Toothbrush

Sonic toothbrushes have been around for decades, but we designed one that’s better for your oral health—and the planet’s health.

Our Bamboo Sonic Toothbrush is made with natural bamboo brush heads and 100% plant-based, soft bristles. We didn’t let natural materials get in the way of performance, though. Here’s a rundown of the key features:

  • Microvibrations up to 31,000 strokes per minute
  • 2-minute timer with 30-second interval pulses
  • 5 modes: cleaning, whitening, polishing, milder, and sensitive
  • Long-lasting rechargeable battery
  • Waterproof

Women’s Health named our Bamboo Sonic Toothbrush one of the best electric toothbrushes of 2023, and Dr. Jacci backs up that recognition.

"It has all of my must-haves—a timer and soft, plant-based bristles," says Dr. Jacci. "And the bamboo brush heads reduce plastic, making it a more sustainable choice."

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2017 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry concluded that sonic toothbrushes decreased plaque and gingivitis significantly more effectively than manual toothbrushes when used every day.