Types of Battery-Powered Toothbrushes

The toothbrush is considered the most important tool to have for proper dental care, but oftentimes it is simply not enough to have completely clean teeth. Several dental care devices have been created to help a regular toothbrush eliminate all the germs and plaque on your teeth, but with the rise of technology when it comes to dental care, the regular toothbrush is almost becoming obsolete.

In order for the toothbrush to keep up with these high-tech dental care tools, many companies have created various versions of the battery-powered toothbrush, which has the basic function of a regular toothbrush but with added features thanks to technology. Now, there are many kinds of battery-powered toothbrushes available in stores, and each of them may have features that are not found on the other. If you are planning to buy a battery-powered toothbrush, here is a guide on its different types to help you decide on which one is the right toothbrush for you.

Types by Power

Battery-powered toothbrushes can be classified into three different types depending on their movement speed. These are the three main types of battery-powered toothbrushes by power.

Standard Power

Standard power toothbrushes have an audible frequency that is lower than 20 Hz, which basically means that it is almost silent, and it is slow enough for you to control its movements proficiently. These toothbrushes are typically the cheapest battery-powered ones because it has a smaller battery and it doesn’t consume a lot of power.

Sonic Power

Battery-powered toothbrushes that have an audible frequency of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz are considered as sonic toothbrushes. They are much more effective in brushing food debris and plaque out of the teeth than a standard power toothbrush, but it would take a lot of time to get used to controlling them. Some of the best sonic toothbrushes include the Philips Sonicare 4100 ProtectiveClean and the BURST Sonic Toothbrush, which has a charcoal toothbrush head.

Ultrasonic Power

Any toothbrush that has an audible frequency higher than 20,000 Hz is an ultrasonic toothbrush. The bristles of the ultrasonic toothbrush vibrate faster than a sonic toothbrush, making it the most powerful type of battery-powered toothbrush. The downside to having an ultrasonic toothbrush is that it can be quite noisy sometimes in the bathroom, but some ultrasonic brushes like the AquaSonic Duo Toothbrush and the Philips Sonicare 5100 have a sonic mode if you want the bristles to sound quieter.

Types by Function

Besides power, battery-powered toothbrushes are also classified by their features. These are some of the most common types of battery-powered toothbrushes in terms of function.

Side to Side

Side to side vibration is a feature found in some battery-powered toothbrushes that allows them to brush the teeth in an up-and-down motion if you hold the toothbrush horizontally. This type of toothbrush is mostly helpful for cleaning the front teeth, as we forget about the rule that we should brush that region up and down and not side to side.


Circular toothbrushes have brush heads that rotate in a circular motion around a single tooth. These toothbrushes are often used to clean molars better since most people won’t be able to reach and clean those teeth thoroughly using a regular toothbrush.


Rotating-oscillating toothbrushes usually have rotating necks that have heads that are moving in a circular motion once their power is turned on. This type of battery-powered toothbrush is more suitable for those who may have physical ailments like arthritis that prevents them from doing specific movements while brushing their teeth. In using a rotating-oscillating toothbrush, you simply have to glide the brush through each tooth and let it clean one for a few minutes before moving to the next.

Counter Oscillation

Counter oscillating toothbrushes have heads wherein the inner tuft of bristles move in one direction where the other tuft moves in another. This kind of toothbrush is better than the circular-moving toothbrushes since it is more effective in getting rid of plaque or food debris that cannot be brushed off using only one direction.


Toothbrushes with ionic function use an electrical discharge on their heads to quickly take off the plaque on the surface of a tooth. The electrical discharge is powerful enough to disrupt the placement of stubborn plaques on the teeth, and it is proven to be beneficial for those with severe plaque buildup. One of the best ionic toothbrushes in the market is the Dr. Tung’s Ionic Toothbrush System, which looks like a regular toothbrush but is packed with plenty of ions to remove plaque on each tooth.


Now that you are familiar with the different types of battery-powered toothbrushes in terms of power and function, it will be much easier to pick the perfect toothbrush for you. However, keep in mind that some plaque may still be present in your teeth even if you use battery-powered toothbrushes. To eliminate all the plaque on your teeth effectively, it is recommended that you consult your local dentist for better solutions.