As we publish guides on how to repair electric toothbrushes we are often asked, when buying a new electric toothbrush, which models will be easiest to repair or replace the battery in when the battery eventually stops holding a full charge. Below is our current answer to this question, as of mid-2017.
We would go for an Oral-B (Braun) rather than a Philips Sonicare toothbrush due to the fact that genuine replacement brush heads are available more cheaply and this is the main ongoing cost with electric toothbrushes. The brush heads are usually on offer in at least one of the big UK supermarkets at any given time, and are often half price in Superdrug too.
There are a few currently available Braun Oral-B models. Type numbers are generally not visible on packaging apart from misleading ones and the labelling system can be confusing.
- Vitality models: Straightforward to repair once you get the handle open, which can be slightly more difficult as the current chargers supplied have no hole to assist in opening the brush. However, it can still be done by sacrificing an old brush head. Also these models do not have the third “dimension” of tooth cleaning i.e. vibrating the head back and forth in the direction the bristles point. This is Oral-B’s cheapest model.
- Type 3756/3754 labelled as PRO 600,1000,2000,3000,4000: These have one button on the handle. They are the most compact but the battery can still be replaced. Needs fine soldering. These are Oral-B’s mid-range models.
- Genius: Most expensive, and as yet not dismantled for repair.
- Last season’s Triumph v2 models (types 3761, 3762, 3764) – labelled as SmartSeries 6000, 6500, 7000: These have two buttons on the handle. Easiest brushes to change the battery on. Lots of extra modes and bells & whistles if required. Still fairly pricey. Also sometimes labelled as a 5000 (with 2 buttons) but not to be confused with the 1 button version labelled as 5000 which is a Type 3756/3754. Still available from Amazon here.
Don’t forget that if you don’t have a 2-pin shaver socket in your bathroom to plug the charger into you will also need to buy a shaver adaptor plug, which plugs into a standard 3-pin UK mains wall socket and has a fused 2-pin socket on the back of it. Unfused ones are dangerous and do not meet current electrical safety standards.