My Oral-B Vitality Electric Toothbrush Review – Is it Worth It?
September 1, 2020
Oral-B makes a lot of different toothbrushes. They have a wide array of standard (manual) toothbrushes as well as a variety of battery powered toothbrushes.
Where their products shine however is in their top-of-the-line assortment of rechargeable electric toothbrushes.
For the most part the Vitality electric toothbrush is the entry point to this line of products but just because it’s an entry level toothbrush doesn’t mean it isn’t very good.
Is the Oral-B Vitality Any Good?
It is good and it is an excellent value for it’s performance compared to it’s price.
In fact thousands and thousands of real customers have reviewed this particular toothbrush over on Amazon and have given it high marks.
What most people want to know however isn’t whether or not electric toothbrushes are worth buying, they want to know which model is right for them… what features and how much performance are they missing out on buy buying the entry level model?
In this review I’ll be coming at you from the perspective of a regular guy who actually owns and uses the Vitality (because I am a regular guy and I do own one) and I will try my best to clue you in on the details of this toothbrush that matter and the features you may be missing out on that will only matter to some people.
Before we get into the meat of this review I want you to check the current price of the Vitality on Amazon and keep in mind how much more money you have to pay to get some of the features this brush is lacking in.
The Biggest Reason Why You Would Buy the Oral-B Vitality
The Vitality is priced low relative to it’s fancier brothers and sisters but it is also priced at a premium to grocery-store spin brushes which are easily found under generic brand names.
The Vitality is different because it doesn’t just spin. The head oscillates and rotates back and forth like a washing machine, scrubbing each individual tooth in many different directions resulting in a clean that feels a lot like what you get after a full dental hygienist gets a hold of you for 30 minutes or so.
Oral-B calls this 2D cleaning because the brush head rotates back and forth, and wobbles side-to-side.
In some of the more expensive models in the Pro and Genius line the toothbrush head also pulsates (up and down) which is where they come up with 3D cleaning.
For the vast majority of people however, the 2D cleaning is perfectly fine and still cleans way better than manual brushing can ever achieve.
Let’s now take a look at a few of the other features included in the Vitality and what they actually mean for you in the bathroom every morning!
A Review of the Oral-B Vitality’s Main Features
The main features of the Oral-B are as follows:
- The Vitality offers only one cleaning mode.
- It includes 2D cleaning by both oscillating side-to-side and rotating back and forth at 7600 rotations per minute like a washing machine on beast mode.
- The Vitality electric toothbrush can use any Oral-B head you can find. It is however usually only sold with a couple of the most commonly used brush heads, the floss action head and the dual clean brush head.
- It incorporates a 2-minute timer on the toothbrush so that it’s easier to brush for the full amount of time recommended by dental professionals. The two-minute timer does not have 30-second notifications, for this minor feature you have to trade up to at least the Pro 500 which is only slightly more expensive.
- Base chargers are provided with the purchase of the vitality and they can be used by other Oral-B toothbrush base units. The base charger does not have a charging notification light so you wont ever know if a unit is charging, you just have to trust it! 🙂
- The Vitality brushes use a NiMH internal battery that does not need to be replaced. It holds a charge that should last you for roughly 5 days assuming you brush twice a day for two minutes at a time.
- Lastly, the price you pay for this electric toothbrush is very low compared to the premium Oral-B models like the Pro 5000, Pro 7000, or the Genius 8000.
Here are some other common questions people have:
– The charger is item number 3757. Its the same charger that ships with the Pro 500.
– The charger uses inductive charging. It is coated in plastic so that it’s waterproof.
– The Vitality has a two-minute timer that pulses to let you know you have brushed for a full two minutes. After the timer expires the brush will continue operating until you turn it off. Within the 2-min timer there are no pulsations or sounds to indicate 30-second intervals like you get with the Oral-B Pro toothbrushes or higher end Sonicare models.
– The Vitality will fit all Oral-B brush heads, not just the two brush heads it comes with.
– Oral-B brush heads can be purchased in compact models which are more appropriate for small sized mouths and children’s mouths.
– Many kids will do fine using this toothbrush but because it doesn’t have a pressure sensor it is probably not the best electric brush for younger kids even with the smaller brush heads because they may press too hard or gnaw on the brush head while brushing which can be hard on the teeth and gums.
– All Oral-B brush heads fit this toothbrush but if you have braces you shouldn’t use the 3D White or the Floss Action brush head. Instead you should should consider buying an Ortho brush head which is designed to clean around braces specifically.
– The toothbrush handle is item number 3709. It’s the same handle type that ships with the Pro 500. The handle type has some slight internal variations in the Pro 500 and the color scheme is slightly different but other than that they are exactly the same.
– The battery in the brush lasts for roughly 5 days based on 4 minutes of brushing daily. Over time (years) the battery will decline a bit. This can be minimized by letting your toothbrush go a few days between charges as opposed to setting the brush on the charger after each use.
– The charger base is designed for 110 voltage. It does not work on 220 volt outlets.
– The charger will take roughly 12 hours to completely charge an empty battery but even brand new in box the battery is not fully dead.
– If you’ve never had an electric toothbrush before you will have to get used to the size which is a lot larger than manual brushes. When on the charger with a brush head on the Vitality stands over nine inches tall! The handle by itself is about 5 1/2 inches long and as thick as a big carrot.
– The power cord for this brush is roughly three feet long and there is no way to coil unused portions of the cord into the charger base.
– The toothbrush comes with a single brush head, usually this will be the dual clean or the floss action heads. The switch to a different brush head all you have to do is pull the old head off. There are no fancy clips, screws, or mechanisms to learn. Just pull it off and push the new head on.
– This brush is an electric rechargeable but the batteries are not replaceable – they are internal and although you can access them to properly dispose of them if you want or need to throw the brush handle away they are not designed for replacement. Similarly you cannot use AA batteries as a backup with this brush so don’t stray from electrical outlets for more than a week or so unless you are fine using this manually.
– All of the Oral-B brush heads are supposed to last for about 3-months with regular brushing. They all however include colored bristles that discolor as you use them. Kind of like how your tire tread gets smaller with time prompting you to buy new tires the color will fade prompting you to replace the brush heads. If you brush more frequently, longer, or press harder the heads may last for only a couple months. On the other hand less frequently brushing, shorter brushing times, and a softer hand will extend their usable life. See this post for more on how long toothbrushes last.
– The Oral-B Vitality toothbrush is an entry level electric toothbrush. Although it works great and is much better at cleaning than any manual brush you can get more features by moving up into the Pro and Genius lines. Most people looking to buy the Vitality brush compare it to the Pro 500 or the Pro 1000. There are really only slight improvements in the Pro series brushes that you miss out on in the Vitality. You can see the following dedicated posts for a deep look at the differences and similarities between these brushes: Vitality vs Pro 500 and Vitality vs Pro 1000.
– The face of the brush handle says “Timer” – this references the basic 2-minute timer that is activated automatically when you turn the brush on. It will pulsate or stutter ever two minutes but will remain on until you turn it off manually or until the battery dies. On Pro model brushes that use this same handle type the face is labeled “Pro Timer” referencing the extra 30-second intervals that the timer gives you while brushing to help with mouth quadrant pacing.