How do you brush your teeth? Are you among that legion of consumers that prefers the electric toothbrush, or are you still old school? If electric is your thing, and your toothbrush takes AA or AAA batteries, you can make your toothbrush better with rechargeable batteries. We recommend batteries from Pale Blue Earth.
Electric toothbrushes first emerged in the 1960s. Back then, it was believed that they did a superior job of cleaning the teeth and gums. Sadly, decades of scientific research have not resulted in any conclusive evidence one way or the other. That is not true when it comes to the batteries that charge our electric toothbrushes. The evidence is in and it's clear: rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can power an electric toothbrush for longer and at a significantly lower cost.
Brushing with an Electric Toothbrush
The thinking behind electric toothbrushes is that they clean better because the bristles move back and forth faster. They also allow the user to maneuver the toothbrush into tight spaces with no need to move the hand up or down. Rotating or vibrating bristles do all the work. The user only acts as a navigator.
Some say that electric toothbrushes are a good idea for kids. As the thinking goes, a child is more likely to enjoy brushing their teeth with an electric unit. And if that's the case, an electric toothbrush can encourage your child to develop good oral hygiene habits early in life.
Getting back to whether or not brushing with an electric toothbrush is better, the jury is still out. In January 2020, Consumer Reports published an overview of electric and manual toothbrushes. They cited limited evidence suggesting electric models might be slightly better at removing plaque and preventing gum disease. However, other data suggests people can brush just as effectively with a manual brush.
The Battery Question
It is probably going to be some time before science can definitively say whether or not electric toothbrushes are better. But if you already use one, know that your choice of battery really does make a difference. The contrast between alkaline and lithium-ion batteries is clear enough to distinguish one as better than the other.
About the only thing alkaline batteries have going for them is their checkout price. In the simplest possible terms, single-use alkaline batteries are cheap. They are so cheap that people don't think twice about buying them. But cheap doesn't necessarily equate to cost effective and of course doesn’t necessarily reflect on their performance in certain applications. Pale Blue AA and AAA have a constant 1.5V output so they will be strong from start to finish. Alkaline and NiMH batteries have a decaying voltage over their discharge which means your toothbrush will get slower and slower, giving you less than an optimum clean.
Your electric toothbrush is a device you use every day. You might use it multiple times per day. That means you will always have need for batteries. Consider this: disposable batteries are single-use cells designed to be thrown away at full discharge. Lithium-ion batteries are meant to be recharged time and again.
Years of Service
USB rechargeable batteries from Pale Blue Earth are made to be recharged a thousand times and more. You could get years of service out of a single set of our AAAs. How many alkaline batteries would you have to purchase to go that long? Better yet, how much would you spend over that time?
The fact is that lithium-ion batteries break even on the fourth or fifth charge. After that, the rest is gravy. You get 990+ charges without spending another dime. That's how you make an electric toothbrush even better than it is.
There is no consensus on whether or not electric toothbrushes are measurably better. That's not an issue for us. Our concern is the batteries you use in your electric toothbrush. If you want to make it better, ditch the disposables and get rechargeable lithium-ion batteries instead.