Pros: timer feature, attractive design, low price, rechargeable
Cons: weak vibration, small brush heads, expensive replacement heads
I bought the Braun Oral B Vitality Sonic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush after my brother recommended it to me. Only $20 for a rechargeable toothbrush sounded like a great deal! Some electric toothbrushes that I've seen in stores cost up to $100.
But as with most things, you get what you pay for. The Oral B Vitality has a weak vibration*. Its best feature is that it pulses twice after it has been on for two minutes so you know how that you've brushed long enough. It will pulse again every two minutes thereafter. I know because I tend to walk around my apartment while I'm brushing my teeth. I have to be multitasking when I brush my teeth. Anyway, don't expect to just move the Vitality from one spot to another and have it do all the work. It provides a small amount of extra movement, but you still have to scrub almost as much as you would with a traditional toothbrush.
As a comparison, I have a Crest Spin Brush that I got for free at the gym and I use at work. It uses batteries, but I've never had to replace them in almost a year of use (about 4 times a week at work), and the vibration is much stronger. I feel like the Spin Brush is giving my teeth a much better scrubbing.
Back to the Vitality. For $20, you get a charging base, the brush body, and a removable brush head. The first time you use it, you have to charge it for 12 hours before it's ready to go. The design is attractive and unobtrusive on your bathroom sink, and it fits well in your hand with its slightly knobby grip. The base is simple and very easy to clean. It's a little difficult to get the toothbrush to fit into the base the first couple of times you are charging it, but once it's broken in, everything is very simple.
While the starter pack for the Vitality is cheap, I felt that the replacement heads were a little bit expensive at $20 for a three-pack. They get worn out in about four or five months, maybe even sooner if you want to keep them really fresh. When I replace the brush heads, I notice that the metal part that it fits onto is rusty and gross-looking, but that's easy to clean, too, and it doesn't go into your mouth, so it's probably fine.... right? The only part that's a little harder to keep clean is the rubbery, knobby grip part because toothpaste tends to get stuck there.
My only other complaint is that I wish the brush heads were a little larger. I sometimes put a second dose of toothpaste on after a little while because I don't think I can fit enough on initially. As as aside, make sure you turn off the brush before you put the extra paste on or it will spray across your bathroom. Toothpaste on brush, toothbrush in mouth, and then turn it on. My brother said he learned this the hard way.
While the Vitality doesn't have a very strong vibration (as I said), it's also very quiet. If I was using the Crest Spin Brush at home, I'd probably disturb my roommates.
Overall, I am happy with this toothbrush as it does allow for more movement than a traditional brush. It can move in a circular/vibrating motion (albeit now as strongly as I would like) while I brush in another direction. I have noticed that my teeth look whiter and feel cleaner since I have been using it.
*No obscene comments about the brush needing a stronger vibrator, please.