I've been brushing with Quip's electric toothbrush for over a year, and I still love it - here's why

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quip reviewConnie Chen/Business InsiderI've been using my Quip toothbrush for over a year.

  • When it comes to oral health, we should be investing our attention in the basics. With Quip, you don't have to spend much money to do so.
  • Quip is an online oral care startup that sells electric toothbrushes (from $25) and refill plans (from $5 every three months) to improve how you brush your teeth.
  • These brushes are American Dental Association-accepted. They feature a built-in two-minute timer and one gentle vibration brushing mode to give you a thorough but gentle clean.
  • They're also really light and slim and powered by a single AAA battery, making it easy to continue a good toothbrushing habit on the go.

Though my day looks vastly different from that of my neighbor, my parents, and my fellow subway passengers, I'm willing to bet that we all started it the same way: by brushing our teeth.

For such a basic, universally recognized habit, toothbrushing is also often not practiced properly. People brush too hard and damage their gums, brush for less than two minutes, forget to brush twice a day, and don't switch brushes or brush heads until they become an exhausted-looking poof of bristles.

There are even more common brushing mistakes, but I'm sure you're not here to get a laborious lecture on your oral health mistakes - you want to learn about what Quip is and how it can improve the way you brush your teeth.

Launched in 2015, Quip is a direct-to-consumer oral care startup that has sold over 1 million of its American Dental Association (ADA)-accepted electric toothbrushes. Last year, its brushes became available for purchase at Target, and it also acquired Afora, a startup that offers an alternative to traditional dental insurance. In 2019, it introduced kids electric toothbrushes to motivate children to establish healthy oral care habits.

The company is continuing to grow, but it has always run on a simple principle: to become your one-store solution for oral health.

quip review 5Quip

The idea for a better electric toothbrush came about after a visit to the dentist's office.

Cofounder Simon Enever learned from his dentist that current brands were often highlighting distracting gimmicks rather than encouraging basic practices (like brushing for two minutes or switching brush heads). He advised Enever to find the cheapest vibrating brush with a two-minute timer, but Enever couldn't actually find any good ones that were also affordable.

Enever teamed up with fellow industrial designer Bill May to create a sleek and simple toothbrush that checked off all the boxes:

  • Two-minute timer that buzzes every thirty seconds to tell you when to switch areas
  • Soft bristles for gentle, non-irritating brushing
  • Starts at just $25

They also baked healthy habit-building features into the design of Quip:

  • An opt-in refill plan that automatically sends new batteries, brush heads, and toothpaste
  • A brush holder that attaches to your wall or mirror - both so your brush can air dry properly and so you'll have an immediate reminder day and night to brush your teeth

I've been using Quip for over a year now, and though I often have to test other toothbrushes in between, Quip's brush is the one I always end up returning to.

Here's what it's like to use a Quip toothbrush and why I keep going back to it.

quip review 3Connie Chen/Business InsiderMy copper Quip brush.

I own the Copper Metal brush ($40), part of Quip's most popular collection of metal brushes. It also sells plastic options, which are more affordable, and limited-edition colors, which are more expensive, but I personally like the metal ones the best. They're shiny, pretty, and honestly do make me look forward to brushing my teeth.

The Quip brush has just one mode, which you activate by pushing the button near the top of the handle. The brush head doesn't oscillate; instead it just vibrates in place as you guide it over each quadrant of your mouth. It alerts you every 30 seconds to switch areas, then turns off automatically after two minutes. When I manually brush my teeth, my idea of two minutes tends to be shorter than it actually is, so I appreciate the incorporation of the timer.

Perhaps because it doesn't oscillate, the vibration intensity isn't as strong as you might be used to. In fact, the brush mode is fairly gentle. I don't think it detracts from the effectiveness of the clean, though. Critics of the brush often say it doesn't feel as thorough as other models, but I've found it does clean plaque well and my dentist has never had any complaints during my checkups.

quip review 4Connie Chen/Business InsiderThe brush in its mount on the side of my mirror.

The brush feels very light in my hand, and it's noticeably smaller and slimmer than other electric toothbrush models. This size and weight also makes it easy to transport in the included travel case. At home, I slide it into the wall mount, which I attached to the side of my mirror. This storage solution prevents my brush from touching other things in my bathroom while still allowing it to dry and reminding me every time I look in the mirror, "Hey, have you brushed your teeth today yet?"

Its battery life is impressive, and it uses a AAA battery to reduce the clutter of a charging dock and cords. I'm not sure whether I'm using some type of magical battery or the brush doesn't suck up that much energy, but I've been using my Quip brush on the same battery for an exceptionally long time.

quip review 2Quip

Though you can buy the toothbrush on its own (you'll have to add $10 to whichever option you choose), it's recommended that you join Quip's refill plan. The purpose of this subscription is to automate the often forgotten practice of replacing brush heads, something that's pretty important if you want your brush to clean effectively. By the time you've lost track of how long you've been using your current brush head, Quip will already have a fresh shipment en route to your house.

Every three months, as recommended by the ADA, it sends you a new brush head and battery for $5. Your first shipment includes a free toothpaste, but subsequent toothpaste refills are optional and cost an additional $5 on top of the brush head and battery refills. With all subscription orders, you receive free shipping. If you choose to pre-pay for the entire year, you'll receive $5 off the total cost of the refill plan.

All in all, Quip combines convenience and good design into an effective oral care solution.

Its electric brushes prove that simple sometimes is better. When it comes to oral health, we shound be intesting our attention in the basics, and luckily with Quip, you don't have to invest too much money to do so.

Shop electric toothbrushes and refill plans, starting at $25, at Quip here

Compare Quip to 3 other toothbrush startups here

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