5 Best Electric Toothbrushes For Seniors And The Elderly

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

As you age, dental care becomes an important part of your overall health and electric toothbrushes can help you get the job done with a lot less work. Learn more about electric toothbrushes for seniors and the elderly here.

senior electric toothbrush

As you age, dental care becomes an important part of your overall health and electric toothbrushes can help you get the job done with a lot less work. Learn more about electric toothbrushes for seniors and the elderly here.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors.
I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Practicing good oral hygiene is important for your overall health, regardless of your age. However, due to a variety of issues related to advanced age, seniors may find it even more difficult to keep up with a daily oral care routine.

Mental and physical conditions, like arthritis, can make regular brushing and flossing of teeth more challenging than it normally is. As such, it is important for caregivers to find ways of ensuring that seniors keep their oral hygiene in check.

Using an electric toothbrush can significantly simplify the task of brushing teeth. In fact, according to research findings, electric toothbrushes can remove a significantly higher percentage of plaque than regular manual toothbrushes.

For a list of some of the best electric toothbrushes for seniors, as well as some practical tips on how to make brushing of teeth easier for ageing adults, read on below.

Why Might Seniors Need A Special Toothbrush?

As previously stated, it might be harder for seniors to keep up with a strict oral hygiene regimen due to a number of reasons.

For starters, they may forget to brush their teeth or be unable to use a toothbrush due to various mental conditions such as dementia.

Furthermore, physical conditions, such as arthritis and weak joints, may make the task of brushing teeth on a regular basis quite painful.

To overcome these challenges, seniors need a special toothbrush and electric toothbrushes are usually a better option.

What Features Are Important For Electric Toothbrushes For Seniors & Elderly?

Here’s what you need to look for when shopping for an electric toothbrush for an older adult.

Soft Bristles

When shopping around, you will find products with different types of bristles. For seniors with overly soft teeth and gums, soft bristles are a must. These bristles are gentle on gums that are prone to bleeding due to a medical condition or medication.

Ergonomic Handle

If your elderly loved one has weak, painful or arthritic hands, using a regular toothbrush might be challenging. In such cases, it is best to get a product that comes with an ergonomic handle. By eliminating or minimizing any discomfort associated with the handling of and use of toothbrushes, seniors are more likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis.

Buttons Vs Switches

Big responsive buttons are a great alternative to switches when it comes to electric toothbrushes. Large buttons make the work of activating and deactivating the toothbrush, as well as cycling through different settings, a breeze – especially for seniors with arthritic hands.

Ease Of Use

While all electric toothbrushes are designed for the most convenient use, some are easier to use than others. When shopping around, it is recommended that you look for something that is generally easy to use. The best product should have simple controls that are not confusing to the user.

Maintenance

To ensure the best oral hygiene, it is essential that you properly clean and maintain your electric toothbrush. While some products come with a convenient self cleaning and drying feature, others require the user to follow detailed cleaning processes every now and then to keep them clean and hygienic. Furthermore, replacing the brush heads on the best electric toothbrush should be easy and effortless.

What Are The Best Electric Toothbrushes For Seniors & Elderly?

WORKS IN 30 SECONDS!

The SymplBrush

symplbrush tooth cleaning device
Bristles: Soft, Angled Whole Mouth Brush System
Ergonomic Handle: Yes
Buttons: Single Button Operation
Ease of Use: Easy, Works in 30 Seconds
Maintenance: Change Bristles Every 3 Months

Brush your teeth too softly and you won’t be able to clear out all the plaque; apply too much pressure and you run the risk of hurting your gums! Fortunately, you can avoid both scenarios and get the best cleaning results each time with the SymplBrush. This unique looking electric toothbrush is designed to give users a new and improved oral hygiene experience.

When I first saw this unique electric toothbrush, I was a bit skeptical. So, the team over at SymplBrush sent me one to use. I used it – and only it – for a week for the 30 seconds per use as they recommend. It was a bit awkward at first and there was some learning curve fitting the brush in my mouth properly. But, I got the hang of it after 2 or 3 uses and was impressed how well it worked – especially on the hard to reach molars in the back. I still use it daily!

The SymplBrush electric toothbrush set includes a SymplPaste tube, 2 different sizes of their patented cradle and bristles and a hand piece.

If your elderly loved one has been struggling when it comes to using traditional toothbrushes to clean their teeth, perhaps it’s time to move on to something new. The SymplBrush combines 20 pairs worth of traditional brushes of nylon bristles in a patented design that promises to clean all your teeth without missing anything. For easy and comfortable handling and use, this product comes with an ergonomic handle.

Pros:

  • Comes with 2 patented flexible nylon cradles that fit any mouth
  • Comprehensive teeth cleaning results in just 30 seconds
  • Users can use both manual and electric mode
  • Long lasting battery that can go for between 60 and 90 days on a single charge

Cons:

  • Cleaning the cradle and bristles requires more work
  • Does not come with a carrying case

FULL COVERAGE BRISTLES

Triple Bristle Original Sonic Toothbrush

Bristles: Soft, Angled Triple Brush System
Ergonomic Handle: Yes
Buttons: Single Button Operation
Ease of Use: Easy, Charging Dock
Maintenance: Change Head Every 3-4 Months

If you are looking for an electric toothbrush that is made to meet the specific needs of older users, then the Triple Bristle Max is definitely worth considering. The design and features of this product are inspired by feedback collected from users! The toothbrush which comes with a one of a kind triple sided brush is capable of leaving you with a clean and sparkling smile.

A great product for seniors, including those suffering from arthritis, this toothbrush comes with a new ergonomic handle that is lightweight and easy to hold. Its soft charcoal infused nylon bristles are designed to be gentle on gums as well as sensitive teeth. In addition to properly cleaning natural teeth, this product can also be used on veneers, braces, crowns and implants.

Pros:

  • Tongue cleaner included
  • Holds charge for up to a month
  • Waterproof construction
  • Comes with a 2 minute smart timer
  • Four cleaning modes to ensure the best teeth cleaning results

Cons:

  • Extra replacement heads not included

BEST ERGONOMIC HANDLE

TAO Clean Umma Diamond Sonic Toothbrush

Bristles: Soft
Ergonomic Handle: Yes
Buttons: Single Button Operation
Ease of Use: Easy, Charging & Cleaning Dock
Maintenance: Change Head Every 3 Months
Where to Buy:

The TAO Clean Sonic Toothbrush is designed to help users upgrade their daily oral routine. On top of cleaning your teeth effectively, this product also comes with an advanced docking station that cleans the toothbrush when not in use.

The package includes a hygienically sealed toothbrush head, handle, docking station, power cable and charger.

For the cleanest teeth, the TAO Clean Sonic uses 40,000 brush strokes every minute. To make sure of that you brush your teeth for no less than 2 minutes – as recommended by dentists – this product comes with a 2 minute timer. To remind the user to move to another spot after every 30 seconds, the toothbrush comes with an automatic pause feature.

The product’s lightweight design and ergonomic handle make for easy handling by seniors, including those with weak or arthritic hands.

Pros:

  • Compact patented docking station that cleans, charges and dries your toothbrush when not in use
  • Dual speed settings – Sensitive Clean And Super Clean
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty cover
  • Simple cleaning and maintenance thanks to the UV-C self cleaning feature

Cons:

  • Some users have reported quality issues when it comes to the construction and durability of this product.

PORTABLE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

hum by Colgate Smart Battery Toothbrush Kit

Bristles: Soft, Sonic Brush System
Ergonomic Handle: Yes
Buttons: Single Button Operation
Ease of Use: Easy
Maintenance: Change Batteries Every 75 Days, Change Head Every 3 Months
Where to Buy:

If you have been looking for the perfect electric toothbrush that comes with smart capabilities, then this is definitely your best option. This smart electric toothbrush helps you keep your teeth clean, while using you smartphone to manage and monitor your oral hygiene. Designed to ensure utmost portability, this product is powered by 2 AAA batteries.

The hum by Colgate case contains 2 electric toothbrush heads, one handle, a carrying case and 2 AAA batteries.

This product makes the task of maintaining your oral health as simple and effortless as possible. Thanks to its smart capabilities, users can connect it to their smartphone and use it to manage their oral hygiene while earning points and rewards. You can even get Amazon Alexa to order you a new brush head automatically through the Smart Reordering feature. This way, you will always have a fresh new brush head whenever you need it.

To ensure comfortable handling by users who may be suffering from pain or discomfort in their hand or finger joints, this product comes with an ergonomic handle. If your elderly loved one loves to travel, you will be happy to know that this product is designed to be highly travel friendly. It is powered by 2 AAA batteries which can be easily bought just about anywhere. Furthermore, a carrying case makes travelling with this product much easier.

Pros:

  • Enjoy a cleaner mouth with this product’s connected smart features
  • Highly portable
  • Comes with an extra brush head
  • Battery powered product that eliminates the need for a power cord
  • Comes with 2 powerful sonic vibration modes as well as a 2 minute timer

Cons:

  • AAA batteries must be replaced when depleted
  • Setting up the smart features make initial use a bit more complicated

BEST RATED

Oral Care Club by Dr Jim Ellis

Bristles: Soft, Angled Triple Brush System
Ergonomic Handle: Yes
Buttons: Two Button Operation
Ease of Use: Easy, Charging Dock
Maintenance: Change Head Every 3 Months
Where to Buy:

Designed to remove up to 5 times more plaque than manual toothbrushes, the electronic toothbrush from Dr. Jim Ellis offers the most thorough cleaning you can possibly achieve at home. This product comes with angled bristles that oscillate 40,000 times per minute.

To provide the most effective teeth cleaning experience at home, this product comes with three speed settings that massage, oscillate and pulsate. The 2 minute automatic timer, as well as 30 second quadrant timer, will help ensure that your elderly loved one does not forget to brush any part of their mouth for the recommended duration.

This product also comes with a large and ergonomic handle that facilitates easy and comfortable handling by seniors, including those suffering from arthritic hands.

Pros:

  • Comes with 2 bonus electric toothbrush heads
  • 3 speed settings
  • 2 year manufacturer guarantee
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a self cleaning feature

Tips For Making Toothbrushes Easier To Use For Older Adults

To make it easier for seniors to use toothbrushes you can:

  • Try switching to an electric toothbrush for effortless brushing of teeth.
  • For users with arthritic, weak or painful hands or joints, try to enlarge the handle by wrapping tape or a bandage or sponge around it. Alternatively, you can push the handle through a foam or rubber ball.
  • Look for specially designed toothbrushes and toothpaste dispensers.

Conclusion

Regular and effective brushing of teeth plays an important part in safeguarding your oral health. Due to a number of physical and mental factors, ageing adults may find it harder to keep up with a strict oral hygiene routine. Fortunately, electric toothbrushes not only make the task of brushing teeth easier and effortless, by automating the bristle strokes, but also come with a variety of useful additional features.

With the above information in mind, you should be able to pick out an electric toothbrush that meets the exact needs of your elderly loved one; and with it, ensure that they stick to a healthy oral hygiene routine.

Other Sources:

  1. https://www.consumerreports.org/toothbrushes/toothbrush-tips-for-older-adults-how-to-choose-a-toothbrush/
Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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