Have you heard of the mouthpiece toothbrush but aren’t sure what it is? Or maybe you’re intrigued by its interesting design and thinking about giving it a try? Despite its potential appeal, read on to find out why we don’t recommend it.
The Mouthpiece Toothbrush
A relatively new type of toothbrush on the market, the mouthpiece toothbrush is also known as a mouthguard toothbrush, full mouth toothbrush, and 10 second toothbrush, to name a few. A hands-free, automatic electric brush shaped like a mouthguard, the mouthpiece brush fits into your mouth and cleans it all at once in a matter of seconds with a series of nylon bristles. The brush is available for adults and children alike.
Some of the key features of the mouthpiece toothbrush include:
- Replacement or rechargeable batteries, depending on the brand
- Various size and color options
- Compact size for easy travel
- Antibacterial material
- Wireless charging (certain brands)
- LED light for teeth whitening (certain brands)
The first mouthpiece toothbrush brand resulted from a 2017 Kickstarter campaign by Amabrush, and several new brands have since followed suit.
Some people refer to a particular brand name as the generic term for the mouthpiece toothbrush, and the most common brands are:
- 360 Sonic Brush
- Go Smile Blu
How Do You Use the Mouthpiece Toothbrush?
Prepare the toothbrush by applying regular or specialized toothpaste directly to it, on the top and bottom, and from end to end.
Insert the brush into your mouth. It has a front piece (known as the control unit) that remains outside your mouth, and you use it to insert and remove the brush, so you don’t have to place your fingers in your mouth. The control unit also enables you to turn the brush on and off with the touch of a button.
Depending on the brand you use, the cleaning process takes anywhere from 10 to 45 seconds. There’s no need to move the mouthpiece brush around like a manual toothbrush. Once you turn it on, it does the work for you.
When the mouthpiece brush finishes cleaning, the vibration will stop. Remove the brush and rinse your mouth as you would after regular brushing. Be sure to also rinse the mouthpiece brush after each use.
Is the Mouthpiece Toothbrush Effective?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, mouthpiece brushes are not effective in removing dental plaque. In fact, its study shows no significant difference between using the mouthpiece brush and not brushing at all!¹
The study suggests the reason for the mouthpiece brush’s ineffectiveness is because its bristles aren’t long enough to reach the mouth’s surfaces adequately. Evidence cited many instances where the bristles did not contact either the teeth or gingival tissues.
Another downside to the mouthpiece brush is that you must clamp down on it with your teeth to hold it in place, restricting its movement and ability to clean your mouth properly. And purchasing the correctly sized brush doesn’t guarantee a perfect fit because of your mouth’s unique contours.
One potential positive with the mouthpiece brush is that it could be helpful for people with psychomotor difficulties. But there are still better types of toothbrushes out there if you have special needs, such as the chewable toothbrush and the electric toothbrush.
Because the mouthpiece toothbrush hasn’t been around for very long, no studies exist to suggest what its long-term effects (positive or negative) might be. Preliminary studies, however, aren’t promising, but there are many other toothbrush options to consider if you’re looking to change up your dental hygiene.
- Nieri, M, Giuntini, V., Pagliaro, U, et al. Efficacy of a U-Shaped Automatic Electric Toothbrush in Dental Plaque Removal: A Cross-Over Randomized Controlled Trial. nih.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7370079/.