Upgrading to an electric toothbrush is an obvious choice for a number of reasons. However, I find mine to be really noisy, and realized there must be a way to make an electric toothbrush quiet.
The easiest way to make an electric toothbrush quiet is to upgrade to a sonic toothbrush, as these oscillate much faster and hence, make less noise. An alternate method is to wrap the toothbrush in a washcloth or hand towel to muffle the sound.
My noisy electric toothbrush was such a nuisance that I had to find ways to make it quieter, but along the way I decided to just upgrade.
In this article, I look at the best ways to make an electric toothbrush quiet, along with the 5 best and most quiet electric toothbrushes.
Why is an electric toothbrush so noisy?
It probably won’t surprise you, but electric toothbrushes really aren’t that sophisticated when it comes to the technology inside them. I took mine apart and inside the casing found a motor, a cam, a gear, the circuit, a rechargeable battery, and the head attachment. So, did the guy in this video.
The cam, gears, and motor are obviously what makes the head spin or vibrate, which is called its oscillation. Standard electric toothbrushes oscillate at around 26 times per second. Much of the noise an electric toothbrush makes will come from the head, as this is essentially the main moving part.
The head is where the motion of the toothbrush’s motor is converted into the back-and-forth or rotating energy needed to clean teeth. The parts inside the toothbrush, such as the motor and gear, are actually reasonably quiet compared to the head.
Therefore, the head can be the cause and source of much of the noise you’re trying to cancel. I’d always advise buying the correct head for your toothbrush, as cheap or incorrect brands won’t fit properly and this can cause them to be much louder than usual.
Similarly, you should replace your toothbrush’s head every 3-4 months. This isn’t only for the obvious hygiene reasons, but also because the parts inside the head will start to wear down, which will again increase the amount of noise your toothbrush makes.
It’s also worth making sure your toothbrush always has enough charge, regardless of whether it’s rechargeable or uses disposable batteries (obviously the first option is preferable). An electric toothbrush with low charge will make more noise than one that’s fully charged.
However, if you do have a rechargeable toothbrush, don’t constantly leave it on charge. Almost all electric toothbrushes use the same lithium-ion technology as cell phones, so will lose the ability to hold charge if constantly connected to a power source.
So, my first tip for how to make your electric toothbrush quiet is to simply keep it in good condition, and always with plenty of charge. Treat it just like any other electrical device and look after it, and you’ll have a better performing piece of equipment.
How to make your electric toothbrush quieter
I struggled for a long time with a loud electric toothbrush. It was a particular problem for me because I had to get up so early and didn’t want to wake up everyone in the house. This might be the same for you, and is the thing that brought you here.
Alternatively, you might just be sick of the sound of your loud electric toothbrush. Well, luckily for you I’ve found the best ways to make an electric toothbrush quiet.
1. Identify the source of the noise
As I mentioned above, the electric toothbrush’s head is most likely the source of the noise. Start by having a look at your toothbrush, making sure the head is fitted securely and is in good condition. It shouldn’t move at all if it’s secured firmly to the body.
Again, make sure you only use the right heads for your electric toothbrush. If you’re using a major brand, like Sonicare, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, but they should always be from the correct brand.
Cheap alternatives will never fit properly, and are made out of much lower quality materials. Not only will they not clean your teeth as well, but they’re much more likely to make noise.
There realistically shouldn’t be too much noise coming from the body of your electric toothbrush. However, if there is, there’s not much you can do about it anyway. It might be a sign that your toothbrush is old or potentially broken, and so my best advice would be to upgrade to a new one.
If you’ve got an electric toothbrush that uses removable batteries, then this could be a source of noise. The toothbrush’s vibrations can cause it to rattle if it’s not secure enough. Open up the battery casing and make sure the contact points are pronounced enough, and then make sure the cap is screwed on tightly.
2. Wrap something around the electric toothbrush
The cheapest and quickest way to make your electric toothbrush quiet is to simply wrap something round it. This will make a surprising difference and will muffle the vibrations quite well. I used this as a short-term fix before solving the problem with a new toothbrush.
You can use pretty much anything, but as with all soundproofing solutions, the denser the material, the more sound you’ll muffle. Some of the best options include things like a washcloth or hand towel, a t-shirt or sweater, or a blanket. Obviously this will largely depend on what you have to hand at the time.
While this is clearly a pretty easy thing to do, consider the following points when trying to muffle your toothbrush with fabric:
- Don’t make any fabric casing permanent. Not only will this cause issues trying to fit rechargeable electric toothbrushes into their holders, but it’ll also be an amazing breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
- On a similar note, make sure whatever piece of fabric you use is clean, as it’ll be going near your mouth.
- Try to wrap it around the connection point between the head and body. This is a major source of the noise, and is also the highest you can really put a piece of cloth on the toothbrush.
The best thing I found to use was either a microfiber cleaning cloth or a washcloth. Both of these are pretty dense piece of material, and are small enough to comfortably wrap around a toothbrush while still having control. Although this option is definitely the best quick fix, I’d recommend something a bit more permanent to solve the issue.
3. Upgrade to a more quiet sonic toothbrush
Probably the most effective way of making your electric toothbrush quiet is to upgrade to a better model. I know this might not be an option for everyone, but it shouldn’t be difficult to justify to yourself spending a bit more money on a toothbrush. After all, your teeth are with you for life.
While sonic toothbrushes are electric toothbrushes, there’s definitely a difference on the market between the two. Electric toothbrushes are generally models that have removable batteries, are usually cheaper, and oscillate at a much lower speed.
Sonic toothbrushes are a leap forward in terms of tooth cleaning technology. They oscillate at much faster speeds than normal electric toothbrushes. In fact, they oscillate 260 times a second, which is around 31,000 brush strokes every minute!
Sonic toothbrushes are generally much quieter than normal electric toothbrushes because they vibrate at much higher frequencies, around 10 times higher in fact. So not only are these better at cleaning your teeth, they’re overall much quieter too.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that sonic toothbrushes are also much more expensive than normal electric toothbrushes. I decided to accept the cost and upgrade, if only because they were much quieter. I found it was definitely worth the switch though, so I would recommend it if possible.
5 best and most quiet electric toothbrushes
1. Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries
Oral-B is one of the leading names in the tooth brushing industry, and with this toothbrush it’s easy to see why. It’s got excellent brushing ability, and more importantly is really quiet.
My main focus here is on electric toothbrushes that are quieter than normal, and this is a good place to start. Importantly, the toothbrush’s body is covered in silicone, which both provides better grip and does a surprising job at dampening those vibrations.
That said, the Oral-B 7000 is by no means a loud toothbrush. The head can oscillate up to 400 times a second, which is really quick, and also means it’s really quiet.
Similarly, the Oral-B 7000 has sealed joins to make it watertight, but this also means that there are fewer parts to vibrate against each other. Sealing gaps is a major tip in soundproofing, and this toothbrush has done just that.
- The Oral-B 7000 comes with a downloadable app that allows you to track your brushing habits.
- Excellent cleaning ability, with brushes made of silicone.
- Waterproof body also does a great job at dampening vibrations, which are minimal thanks to its oscillating speed.
- Rechargeable battery lasts for ages and the toothbrush comes with 6 cleaning modes.
2. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Another heavy-hitter in the toothbrush world is Philips, and while this model isn’t as impressive as the Oral-B 7000, it has a much more attractive price point. What’s more, it’s still a great toothbrush.
Sonicare toothbrushes are one of the biggest names for sonic toothbrushes, and this one gives you around 31,000 brush strokes a second. This is enough to drastically reduce noise levels when compared to a normal electric toothbrush.
One of its best features is the BrushSync technology, which keeps track of how long you’ve been using the current head for. As I mentioned above, an old head can be a big source of noise, so this is particularly helpful.
One thing the Sonicare 5100 does lack is the same attention to detail around the seals. This electric toothbrush isn’t fully waterproof, but is splash resistant. However, this does mean that over time it might have the potential to wear down and vibrate more.
- This electric toothbrush charges quickly and can last up to 2 weeks on a single charge.
- It has different settings to help you focus on all your mouth, including quad pacer technology.
- The sonic vibrations drastically reduce the amount of noise the toothbrush makes.
3. Pures Sonic Electric Toothbrush
This sonic toothbrush from Pures comes with 5 different cleaning modes, and oscillates fast enough to clean your teeth properly and not make too much noise. What’s more, it comes with toothbrush heads designed for sensitive teeth.
This electric toothbrush vibrates around 40,000 times a minute, putting it firmly in the sonic category. It’s a particularly quiet toothbrush, but this might be because its traditionally shaped head goes forward and backward, rather than side-to-side.
It has plenty of features to help improve your brushing, including a timer and 5 brushing modes. However, unlike some other models, it doesn’t have the same quality of build around the seals and in the head.
While this toothbrush is on the more expensive side, and it does a pretty good job of cleaning, I’m unsure how it’ll hold up over time. That said, I got plenty of good use out of it, and it stayed really quiet.
- Only takes 6 hours to charge and will last weeks on a single charge.
- Different design of head actually does a good job on cutting out noise when compared to rotating heads.
- Brushes are pretty good at cleaning, and the specifically sensitive brushes are helpful.
4. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
This electric toothbrush is the upgrade on the Sonicare I mentioned above, and includes a $40 price increase. While this might not be for everyone, the jump in price is worth it for the jump in quality.
The Sonicare 6100 comes with all the same basic features as the 5100, including the sonic technology. This means that it’s still nice and quiet, and the build quality assures you it’ll stay so for years to come.
It comes with 3 brushing intensities, along with 3 brushing modes. The extra intensity feature is really useful when combined with its BrushSync pairing. This detects the type of brush you’ve fitted (such as gum health) and adjusts its strength accordingly.
This Sonicare still vibrates around 31,000 times a minute, which is enough to make it nice and quiet. What’s more, its brushing ability is much better than the 5100, and is a noticeable improvement.
- Sonic oscillating speed cleans teeth properly and keeps everything nice and quiet.
- The 3 brushing intensities are really helpful for varying your brushing routine and keeping all areas of your mouth healthy.
- The price increase might put some people off, but it’s definitely worth it if you can make the stretch.
5. Fairywill Sonic Electric Toothbrush
Fairywill have produced a fairly good sonic toothbrush at a much more entry-level price. This is a particularly good brush for those on a tighter budget, as it still ticks all the boxes for quality and noise level.
The brush head vibrates at around 40,000 times a minute, which does a good job of keeping noise levels down. However, I did find that the connection between the head and body isn’t the tightest, and this may begin to vibrate over time.
The actual quality of the brushing is pretty good though, and the brush heads are a nice size for reaching certain places in your mouth. What’s more, the set comes with 10 heads, which will keep you going for over 2 years!
I found this toothbrush was overall pretty quiet, and its 3 cleaning modes are enough to keep your mouth feeling fresh and healthy. I was particularly surprised by its quality considering its price.
- Sonic technology keeps noise levels to a minimum.
- Plenty of replacement heads mean you never have to worry about yours wearing down and making more noise.
- Brushing quality is still high considering the entry-level price point.
- You could do a lot worse than this brush for keeping your teeth clean and your bathroom quiet.
Some final thoughts
So, I found that there are actually a few ways to make your electric toothbrush quiet. The first, and most obvious place to start is to identify the source of the noise and to see if you can fix this. If not, it’s time for an upgrade.
A short-term solution is to wrap some cloth around your toothbrush, and this does a surprisingly good job. However, I’d recommend just making the upgrade to a sonic toothbrush when you can afford it.
Not only will a sonic toothbrush be much better for your teeth, but it’ll be much quieter too. I tested out a few to find out which were the quietest, and I was generally surprised at the quality. However, if none of these are doing it for you, then shop around. There are plenty of quiet electric toothbrushes currently on the market.