The history of the rechargeable electric toothbrush began in 1954 when Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog develops the very electric toothbrush for Broxo SA. The initial purpose of the electric toothbrush was to help the patients who lacked mobility and could not use or had difficulty using a manual toothbrush. But one study done 1956, by Place Jean Arthur, showed that electric toothbrushes are superior to manual ones as they leave less room for an incorrect brushing procedure, thus paving the way for popular acceptance of the electric toothbrush as the most efficient way to a complete oral hygiene.
The ancestor of the rechargeable electric toothbrush crossed the ocean in the U.S. for the first time in 1959 when it appeared at the centennial of the American Dental Association. The first electric toothbrush was marketed in the U.S. under the name of Broxodent, and though it was a superior product, another electric toothbrush, developed by General Electric, soon took the lead in what was shaping up to be a very competitive market with a lot of financial potential. The Automatic Toothbrush produced by GE gained ground rapidly, mainly due to the large gap separating it from its main rival: the cordless hand piece that was powered by a rechargeable battery, making it the first rechargeable electric toothbrush ever.
Although it was the first model of electric toothbrushes, Broxodent had a hand piece which was very slim and compact, much like a modern rechargeable electric toothbrush. Compared with rechargeable toothbrushes of the day, which were very voluminous, Broxodent had another important advantage: the brushing session could last for a very long time due to the fact that it was connected to a power outlet. After a while the hand piece began to heat up, but it was still better than running out of power before the end of the session. Like most products made at the time, the Broxodent was built to last, so it is not unusual for a hand piece to last for longer than 20 years, a remarkable feat for today’s standards.
The Automatic Toothbrush by General Electric, the first rechargeable electric toothbrush, although it represented a great leap form cable electric toothbrush, was a very far from the modern products we use today. Firstly, the hand piece is quite large due to the size of the rechargeable batteries in the early ’60’s, characteristic which made the toothbrush as large as a flashlight. In addition, batteries were notoriously unreliable and suffered the effects of memory and battery laziness. The battery life was also reduced because it remained almost always in the battery charger, which was also support for the hand piece, so it was not unusual for the battery to die out even before the brushing session was over. But although there were many disadvantages in the beginning, rechargeable electric toothbrushes made a good impact on the public early on.
The AC-powered electric toothbrushes posed a problem for the bathroom use, due to risk of electrical shock accidents, which was a solid reason for the public to turn to the rechargeable electric toothbrush. Strict international standards were imposed by the end of the 90s regarding the cable-powered bathroom appliances. All of them were obliged to use a step-down transformer in order to reduce tension. Moreover many countries now require protected bathroom sockets, a measure that is in place in the U.S. since the 1970s.
The original design of electric toothbrush Broxo developed in the ’50s was still functional average of 90 but encountered numerous security certification problems because of its power cord. Meanwhile, the company began to lose ground to new rechargeable toothbrushes developed by serious competitors such as Philips and Oral B. Further complicating the situation, Broxo had no major distributor in the U.S. and counted solely on online sales, a big step backwards from the 30 + years as a market leader. By disappearing from the shelves of supermarkets, Broxo electric toothbrushes were also slowly disappearing from the U.S. public’s memory and today its an almost anonymous brand to the average consumer.
The effectiveness of brushing the teeth with a rechargeable electric toothbrush is disputed by the scientific community, mainly due to the fact that independent studies have concluded that electric toothbrushes are performing only marginally better than manual ones. The same studies mentioned before have taken into account that manual brushing is done properly and for a sufficiently long period of time. Even so, most dentists still recommend the rechargeable electric toothbrush for patients who have limited flexibility and for those who want to make sure they brush their teeth properly.
Brushing teeth correctly requires gentle up-down movements in short stokes on the length of the teeth, brushing the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of teeth. For each surface to be cleaned properly, dentists recommend brushing sessions at least 2 minutes long. Using a modern rechargeable electric toothbrush can greatly increase the efficiency of the grooming session as most of the products available today give out a sign 2 minutes after the session started. Some models also have intermittent signals, 30 seconds each, to inform the user when it’s time to switch to another part of the denture. It is also advisable to brush the tongue, as it holds most of the bacteria in the mouth.