Diabetes and dental care: why Philips Sonicare vs Braun OralB?

@docslotnick, why do you (and other diabetic dentists) recommend Philips Sonicare vs Braun OralB, which appears to an outsider to be quite similar?

Michel, the main reason is the projection of water micro droplets as the result of sonic movement of the bristles. As the very soft and pliable bristles whip back and forth these micro droplets are propelled into the subgingival areas and between the teeth to “extend” the reach of the bristles. The force at which the droplets come off of the bristles is sufficient to remove plaque.

The sonic speed (30,000 strokes/min) is actually patented.

At the same time, the Oral B brush certainly does a credible job. The biggest problem is not the choice of motorized toothbrushes, but to get patients to invest in one and use it properly.


I’ve had a Sonicare since this post - it’s worked fine by me too. But this crazy newfangled devices
that propose to brush all your teeth at once in under 5 seconds (to the same cleanliness as 2-3 minutes total brushing,
so they claim). Can’t say I’m not lusting after those now, though I’m waiting for more data on real efficacy of course. http://www.bestelectrictoothbrushusa.com/

@thompsonlee umm, no. I don’t think so.

I looked at the information on the Unico toothbrush and although it looks very slick and cool, the concept looks quite flawed.

First, when you are brushing your teeth really the only place that matters is the 2-3 mm from the crest of the gum tissue to the gum attachment ( below the gumline). The configuration and action of the Unico brushes does not appear capable of accomplishing complete subgingival cleaning. Certainly not the way that a Sonicare can.

There have actually been manual brushes developed that use the same basic principal of brush head design. These brushes never did gain much traction because they really didn’t work that well.

Second, I’m a bit suspicious of the big deal they make out of their toothpaste. Toothpaste is the least important thing in cleaning your teeth. It is primarily to keep you from gagging. It has fluoride, which is great for kid’s dentition. But because of the way enamel matures it is not that effective in toothpaste for adults.

Given all of this I am still tempted to buy one of the Unico units, simply because it looks so cool. And it has an Android app to go along with it. That is just too tempting. But I would still brush my teeth with my Sonicare.


So, how much of that is in your opinion due to reps for one vs the other spending more time pestering dental clinics? Consider it and respond sincerely…(primarily regarding philips vs oral b)


@Sam I absolutely do not allow dental reps to pester me and do not spend much time speaking with them. So I think their influence, at least in my case, is pretty minimal. Most consumer dental companies recognize that they are not really reaching dentists so they spend the bulk of their promotion dollars pestering consumers directly.

Dentistry and the concepts involved in oral health are not rocket science. Even I can understand it :wink:. I rely on my understanding of these concepts and my own experience to arrive at my clinical decisions.

Concerning Sonicare vs. Oral B, they are both excellent devices for cleaning one’s teeth. However, the way that the Sonicare works just makes more sense to me.

I have tried both and have stuck with Sonicare for over fifteen years. My wife has used the Oral B for almost that long and never was really comfortable with Sonicare. If the device is used properly it will do the job intended.


This is what I grew up using, and I didn’t have a cavity until I was 23. So I feel like all these super advanced features being offered nowadays are just monetization of the act of toothbrushing, which is a really basic function that can be accomplished with any toothbrush.

More importantly than any toothbrush is the act of brushing and flossing regularly.


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But it didn’t have a phone app to go with it!


@ClaudnDaye That’s great that a plain manual toothbrush works for you. In my 40 years of professional experience you are a very small minority.

I also would bet that you would do a better job at removing biofilm and plaque with a motorized toothbrush. The difference with you however is that you don’t have an overt reaction to the stuff you leave behind. I hope it never catches up with you.

Most people need a better way to remove biofilms and plaque on their teeth than they are afforded with a manual toothbrush. That’s one of the reasons I have so much business.

So, although many of these new fangled toothbrushes cost a fair amount of money, in many if not most instances the money is well worth it.

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I guess if you need it, you need it. :slight_smile:

Mouth Health: Are Sonic Toothbrushes Really Better?

Growing up with my mom practicing medicine I was always amazed by how hard reps were constantly trying to put their product name in front of her… I just assumed it was the same in dentistry… “we brought you a notepad and pen” “how many kids do you have, here’s a convenient pocket calendar for each of them” etc etc

I was thinking about getting the sonicare for my wife for Christmas but I wasn’t sure if tooth brushes make good gifts or not

Never get your wife:

  • a kitchen appliance (unless she asks for it)
  • something you really want yourself (like new TV)
  • things for cleaning the house
  • a gym membership (unless she asks for it)
  • a scale

Ive gotten mine all of those things. She never uses any of them. She does brush her teeth though.