Electric toothbrushes not only make the process of brushing your teeth much easier but are also effective in removing buildup. According to an article on Healthline, electric toothbrushes offer added benefits for kids with limited mobility and are more effective in removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. (Source)
Unfortunately, electric toothbrushes are loud, and their vibrations are irritating. Electric toothbrushes produce noise in the range of 30 -60 decibels. Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how loud or quiet these toothbrushes are; a library is rated 30 decibels while an electric shaver or normal conversation rated 60 decibels.
You’d obviously want to muffle the sound and vibrations of your electric toothbrush to the lowest decibel. Below is a detailed guide on how to make an electric toothbrush quiet.
What is an Electric Toothbrush?
An electric toothbrush is designed to make fast, automatic bristle motions, either rotation oscillation or back and forth oscillation, to help clean teeth. They are classified as sonic, oscillating rotating or ultrasonic toothbrushes.
A 2014 Cochrane study showed that electric toothbrushes are highly effective over manual ones reducing gingival inflammation and plaque build-up by 6% and 11%, respectively, after 1-3 months of use. (Source)
For obvious reasons, including adapting to the latest technological advancements, you’re better off with an electric toothbrush than a manual one. An electric one ensures the job gets done in the shortest time possible and effectively.
Identify the Source of Noise
Electric toothbrushes have different parts, and chances are the culprit could be one of the removable parts. To identify the source of the noise problem, you need to use the elimination methods.
First, remove the head and switch on the brush. If it does make loud noises, then the culprit is the handle. You may need to contact the manufacturer for possible repairs of the handle or replacement.
If no noise from the handle after removing the head, the brush head is to blame. Below are some of the best methods to fix electric toothbrush head making noise.
Worn Out Brush Head
one of the most common reasons why you may experience noise is due to worn out brush heads. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the brush head after every three months. If you’ve been using your brush head for more than 3 months, chances are that it will generate more noise as it starts wearing out.
Ensure the Brush Head is Properly Attached
If you’ve just replaced your brush head or have been using it for less than 3 months, then chances are that it could be the brush head not appropriately attached.
Ensure that it’s attached properly and not loose or wobbly. It also shouldn’t be too tightly attached such that there’s no space between the handle and the head. There should be a small gap between the brush head and the handle to allow vibrations.
Unauthentic Brush Heads
If you’re on a budget, you may find that replacing genuine brush heads every three months to be something expensive.
I highly recommend getting genuine parts from trusted brands that will function quietly and keep your gums protected.
While not all common, electric brushes with removable batteries might generate more noise. Simply open up the battery compartment and make sure that they make good contact and the caps are secured properly.
While this isn’t directly related to the brush, the room you brush in could somehow alter the perception of the sound you hear.
For example, a bathroom with glass surfaces and lots of hard tiled surfaces will “amplify” the sound of your brush compared to a room filled with soft finishings, which have proven to have sound absorbing abilities.
It’s a fact that soft items such as towels tend to dampen noise, absorbing reverbs and echoes in a room.
Most electric toothbrushes last around 5 years, even though most last more than 5 years. Old models tend to produce more noise than newer ones though that’s not always the case.
The handle isn’t to blame in most cases, but the parts wear and tear with repeated use, resulting in more noise than normal.
Unfortunately, the brushes aren’t designed to be serviceable at home, but authorized agents can fix them. But you’re better of getting a new one rather than servicing your old one as you’re likely to incur more cost than it would be getting a new one. Unless it’s still covered in the warranty.
Keeping your electric brush in top-notch condition is an excellent way to ensure that it performs in top-notch condition.
Dried toothpaste around the head can affect the performance of your toothbrush causing more vibrations and noise.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to rinse it well and clean the handle. Ensure that it doesn’t get a buildup and keep it clean.
How To Muffle the Sound of a Vibrating Toothbrush?
Probably there’s nothing wrong with your electric toothbrush, or after getting a replacement from the manufacturer, you still find the noise emitted by the brush quite irritating. Here is what you can do to keep the noise and vibrations down to the lowest.
Wrap the Brush Handle with a Towel
One of the easiest ways to make an electric toothbrush quiet is to wrap it with a towel. Something like the American Soft Linen 3 Piece Luxury Bathroom Towel Set will help muffle the vibrations.
You can also use something like a hand towel, a washcloth, or a small piece of fabric cloth, not too big enough to interfere with how you brush your teeth.
Whatever you use, make sure that it’s clean and not dirty to cause oral hygiene problems. Additionally, don’t make a permanent fabric casing as it would interfere with recharging and encourage bacteria and germs’ growth.
Wrap the area between the joint that connects the handle to the brush head and also the entire handle to help muffle all the vibrations.
Soundproofing Your Bathroom
If you have a light sleeper as your partner, it would be wise to sound deaden your bathroom. This doesn’t in any way muffle the sound of your electric toothbrush but instead helps keep the noise it generates within the bathroom such that it doesn’t leak out.
Ideally, you may need to hang acoustical blankets on the bathroom door or simply attach acoustic foam panels on the door.
However, the most effective method would be to replace your hollow door with a solid core door– as these types of doors have more mass which contributes to noise blocking. Just make sure the door closes tightly as any gaps around it could be potential culprits in leaking electric brush noise out.
Get a Sonic Quiet Toothbrush
Sonic toothbrushes are quieter than regular electric toothbrushes. These are like an advanced version of the electric toothbrushes but offer advanced features than the regular ones.
Regular toothbrushes use removable batteries, and they oscillate at much lower speeds. On the other hand, sonic toothbrushes oscillate at much higher speeds. They are also quieter than regular toothbrushes, even though they operate at higher frequencies.
You get better results with a sonic toothbrush. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive, but they are much better than your regular electric brush in the long run.
A perfect example of a quite sonic toothbrush is the Philips Sonicare DailyClean 1100 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush.
How Loud Is Electric Toothbrush?
Like aforementioned, electric toothbrushes make noise in the range of 30-60 decibels. They also vibrate, with most offered on the market today vibrating as speeds as high as 12,000-70,000 movements per minute.
Today we introduce a new product to The Quiet Revolution. The Oclean X Pro Elite Electric Toothbrush, by @ocleanglobal This Smart Electric Toothbrush is ultra-quiet, with an operating noise lower than 45 dB.https://t.co/CvUhpyDk2g
— Quiet Mark (@QuietMark) March 29, 2021
Much of the noise produced by an electric toothbrush comes from the head where the motor is located. The head is the main moving part. But with impact noise/structure-borne sounds, the vibrations produced by the head as a result of the motor movements will transfer to your hand, making for some uncomfortable movements.
There could be something entirely wrong with your toothbrush at other times, especially if you’ve been using it for the longest time.
What is the Quietest Electric Toothbrush?
The quietest electric toothbrush is Oclean X Pro Elite, which produces under 50 decibels when tested at 6 inches. This is thanks to the noise suppression algorithm technology certified by Quiet Mark that allows the motor to deliver a quieter brushing experience.
It boasts unique features that you won’t find in most electric brushes, including 3.5 hours to full charge. After charging, it can last for about 35 days of normal usage.
Other unique features include:
- 42,000 RPM Strong Power
- 35 Days Battery life
- Noise Reduction Technology
- Large-sized Color Touchscreen
- Wall-Mounted Holder, IPX7 Waterproof
- 32 Intensities for Each Brushing Modes
- Wireless Quick Charging 2.0
Below is a table showing other quiet toothbrushes on the market today, including their decibel ratings.
|Model||Decibel Reading at 6inches|
|Oclean X Pro Elite||45-48|
|Foreo ISSA 2||57|
|Philips Sonicare Kids||58|
|Ocelan X Pro||62|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is There a Silent Electric Toothbrush?
Yes, the quietest electric toothbrush is the Oclean X Pro Elite which produces 45-48 decibels.
Do All Electric Toothbrushes Vibrate?
Yes, all-electric and sonic toothbrushes vibrate as the brush head moves from side to side or spins in a circle. However, sonic brushes vibrate at much higher speeds than the average electric brush.
Why Do Electric Toothbrushes Vibrate So Much?
Electric toothbrushes vibrate so much to help remove plaque buildup from your gums and teeth. These vibrations allow for micro-movements each time you move the toothbrush across your mouth.
How Do I Fix a Noisy Sonicare Toothbrush?
As earlier said, you can fix a noisy electric toothbrush by inspecting both the handle and the head. You can use a soft towel to wrap it and muffle the vibrations. However, the most important method would be to get a newer and quieter toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes are not a must-have, but they can save you a great deal of time and help keep your dental hygiene in check.
Unfortunately, they have their downsides. Not only are they expensive, but they are also noisy, which can be pretty annoying for those bothered by the slightest provocation of noise. Above are some of the best methods I would highly recommend to keep your brush quieter and its performance in check.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.