• Dr. Peter - Pediatric Dentist in Arlington, Virginia

Why I Don't Recommend the Autobrush - Dr. Peter, Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Peter has been getting the following question more and more lately: "I saw an advertisement for an Autobrush or similar U-shaped auto brushing toothbrush. It looks easy. Should I get my kids one?"

We wanted to dive in and explain why we don't recommend these autobrushing U-shaped silicone toothbrushes for any of our patients regardless of the brand. Dr. Peter recorded a video that goes into detail about their brushing and how ineffective they are at removing plaque. If you'd like to see Dr. Peter use some plaque disclosing tablets and talk about these Autobrushes, look below!

If you're looking for a summary: We do not recommend these kinds of brushes, regardless of the advertising claims or the clever marketing tactics. Although they're sleek and seem easy to use, autobrushing toothbrushes simply don't remove plaque well which is the main reason to brush one's teeth. Silicone bristles are much less effective than conventional brush bristles and quite a few areas get missed.

Things we noticed:

1) You need to use quite a bit more toothpaste than a conventional brush which is worrisome for the younger kiddos who may not have mastered spitting all of that out (We want to limit how much toothpaste and fluoride is ingested).

2) Some of them are quite expensive ($100+), there are many electric toothbrushes that clean much better for half the cost.

3) Autobrushing U-shaped toothbrushes reinforce poor/bad habits. Leaning to brush one's teeth is a skill that takes time and practice to learn. By using something that's ineffective, kids don't develop the skills they need as well as the fact they 'think' they're actually brushing well when they aren't.

4) The marketing teams of these brands use sneaky wording like "American Dental Association Approved Technique" rather than an "American Dental Association-approved toothbrush". Although the technique is approved, the actual brush isn't. I can use NBA technique when I shoot baskets in my driveway but I'm not an NBA player...if you catch our drift. Their wording is misleading for most parents/consumers who think the actual brushes are approved. Look for the ADA stamp of approval for any brush you buy. If it's not on there, it hasn't been vetted. Most of the major brands (Sonicare, Oral-B, Quip) are all ADA-approved brushes and are effective at removing plaque.

Overall, Dr. Peter has nothing against the companies and wishes the technology would improve to a point that we can recommend them but for now, steer clear.

VK Pediatric Dentistry

5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207



Schedule An Appointment Today in Arlington, Virginia at VK Pediatric Dentistry

If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or would like to schedule an appointment, Dr. Peter and the highly skilled team at VK Pediatric Dentistry are just a phone call away. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 703-962-7814. We look forward to providing your children with a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles!