In recent years, Aldi has added an electric toothbrush to its Special Buy rotation. (This is not to be confused with the more deluxe Dentiguard Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush.) I remember being intrigued the first time I saw these on the shelves, but also a little concerned. At my last cleaning, my dentist had suggested an electric toothbrush, but the ones he tossed out were expensive, some more than $100. The Aldi electric toothbrush, meanwhile, was less than $5. The price was so low that I immediately wondered what the catch was. If I use this, am I somehow more likely to get cavities? I figured it was going to be inferior to the expensive ones in some way — it had to be — but how, exactly?
Eventually, I gave in and took the plunge. In fact, I ended up buying two of them across two years. Here is what I learned.
The Dentiguard Power Toothbrush comes with the toothbrush and four brush heads. The brush heads are very easy to swap out. The bristles, according to the package, are made by DuPont. (You can get soft or medium bristles. I went soft.) The brush heads are meant to last three months, so with what’s in the package you’re good for a year. It’s supposedly possible to order replacement heads, but I would guess it’s probably cheaper just to get a new toothbrush every year, which is what I did.
The toothbrush is powered by AA batteries. I went through the original batteries pretty quickly, as well as a second pair of batteries. For the third battery set, I used a pair of Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries, which are designed for higher power devices like digital cameras and other electronic devices. The Ultimate batteries lasted a lot longer than the others, and that would be what I would suggest if you don’t want to mess with replacing the batteries every few weeks. No matter how you slice it, though, you’ll probably pay more for batteries than you do for the toothbrush.
So … does it clean? I thought so. Between the design of the bristles and the movement of the brush head, I felt like it did a pretty thorough cleaning. You pretty much just hold the brush over your teeth and gums and let it do the work.
The true test came with my dentist. Good news there: I had no cavities or other dental problems in the time I used it, so the toothbrush appears to do what it’s supposed to do. (I could never own up to the dentist that I had entrusted my teeth to a $5 powered toothbrush, though.)
After the first year using up the heads on my first toothbrush, I liked it enough that I bought a second. However, a little over halfway into the second brush’s life, it stopped working. To be fair, the brush comes with a one-year warranty, but I didn’t go that route so I can’t speak to whether the warranty process is worth it.
For an absurdly cheap price, we found the Dentiguard Power Toothbrush to be effective at keeping the cavities away, although it can drain conventional batteries quickly. We also had mixed results with reliability, although the toothbrush does come with a warranty.