Like mobile phones and other devices, electric toothbrushes come with built-in rechargeable batteries. And, like other devices, these batteries can fail over time and stop holding a charge. To protect the battery and prolong the life of a toothbrush, how often should you charge your toothbrush?
Today we’ll explain how often to charge your toothbrush, and how to extend the battery life.
How Long Does the Battery in an Electric Toothbrush Last?
Most electric toothbrushes are designed to be used for two minutes at a time, twice a day. With four minutes per day of usage, a high-quality electric toothbrush can be used for 10-14 days between charges.
If your toothbrush handle is used by multiple family members, or you brush your teeth more often than twice a day, you may need to recharge the toothbrush more often.
Most high quality electric toothbrushes from reputable brands are backed by a one- or two-year warranty. Many manufacturers also offer a warranty extension if you register your toothbrush, so you can extend it to a two- or three-year warranty.
With proper care and good recharging habits, you can expect a high-quality electric toothbrush from a reputable manufacturer to last about five years. If your toothbrush stops working before then, it is not a good value, or has been used or cared for differently than designed.
Even if your toothbrush is out of warranty, it’s worth contacting the manufacturer to ask about repair and replacement. Some electric toothbrushes are easier to repair than others, and you may be able to get new parts for a small fee. However, most electric toothbrushes are not designed to be repaired, and it may not be possible, or worth the repair cost.
Can You Replace the Battery in an Electric Toothbrush?
The batteries in modern electric toothbrushes are not designed to be replaced by the customer. For most popular electric toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries, like Oral-B or Philips toothbrushes, replacing the battery requires dismantling the handle, de-soldering the old battery, and soldering in the new one.
It is difficult for most people to replace the battery with common tools. Furthermore, Lithium-ion batteries are volatile and need to be handled carefully and disposed of properly.
If you have experience repairing electronics, or have a skilled repair person in your community, you can attempt to replace the battery in an electric toothbrush. Doing this will void the warranty, so it should be done as a last resort. Otherwise, work with the manufacturer to replace a defective toothbrush or purchase a new one.
How Often Should You Charge Your Toothbrush?
Because electric toothbrushes come with a stand that doubles as a charger, it is natural to want to store the toothbrush on the charging stand. However, that is not the best way to protect the battery and make the toothbrush last as long as possible. Instead, store the toothbrush off the charger and recharge it when:
- A battery indicator on the toothbrush shows that it is time to recharge. Many toothbrushes have an indicator light that shows battery levels. When the light turns red (or signifies that it’s time), place your toothbrush on the charger.
- The battery is at 20-30% capacity. When your battery is at about 20-30% of a full charge, recharge it. You can estimate remaining charge using an indicator on the toothbrush, or by estimating how long it’s been since it was recharged. For example, if your battery lasts for 14 days between charges, it will be at about 30% at 10 days. Recharge it at that time.
How Can You Extend the Battery Life on Your Toothbrush?
Like other electronic devices with rechargeable batteries, there are a few ways you can help your battery, and your toothbrush, last for longer. Here are the most important tips.
- Don’t store the toothbrush on the charger. While modern Lithium-ion batteries now have safeguards that protect the battery from overcharging or continuous charging, many older devices don’t have this protection, and it can degrade battery life over time.
- Don’t allow the battery to completely discharge. Rather than waiting for the battery to run completely empty, recharge the toothbrush when the battery is at 20-30% of remaining capacity.
- Charge the battery to full. When charging the battery, charge it to full and then remove it from the charger. Some electric toothbrushes may not begin charging the second they are placed on the charger, and most have lights indicating when they are charging and what the battery level is. Monitor those lights and remove the toothbrush when the battery is full.
Following these tips will help your electric toothbrush rechargeable battery last longer and extend the life of your toothbrush. How often to recharge your toothbrush depends on your specific model and your toothbrushing habits, but monitoring your battery levels, and only recharging when necessary, should help your toothbrush last for five years or more.