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Oral-B Vitality Plus review: The brush to buy if you’re on a tight budget

oral b vitality plus toothbrush review
Our Rating :
£19.99 from
Price when reviewed : £20
inc VAT

A basic, rather noisy brush that still does a decent job of cleaning teeth


  • Very cheap
  • Well built
  • Effective cleaning


  • Lots of noise and vibration
  • Other brushes give a deeper clean

You don’t need to spend much time looking at the headlines to see that not everyone has the spare cash to buy today’s all-singing, all-dancing smart toothbrushes. You also might have noticed that dental care is in something of a mess, making it all the more important that you do what you can to keep your gnashers in good shape. On both counts, Oral-B’s Vitality Plus brush could be the answer. At less than £20, it’s one of the cheapest major-brand electric toothbrushes you can buy.

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Oral-B Vitality Plus review: What do you get for the money?

The Vitality Plus is about as basic as electric toothbrushes get. It’s compatible with Oral-B’s standard (non-iO series) brush heads and even comes with two Crossaction heads, but it doesn’t have the pulsating 3D clean or pressure sensing features you’ll find further up the Oral-B product range. What’s more, you get an old-fashioned NiMH battery rather than the lithium-ion battery of most recent brushes. It’s supplied with a charger, but no case.

While it’s cheap, the brush itself is well-designed, solidly built and easy to grip, with a rubberized coating covering all but the head and the last two inches of the handle. Oral-B has added a couple of flat ‘feet’ on the rear to make sure that it doesn’t roll off if placed horizontally on a bathroom shelf, and the heads slip on and off the standard Oral-B mounting on the top.

Oral-B Vitality Plus review: What’s it like to use?

In a word, simple. With no brushing modes to worry about, you simply charge the brush, apply toothpaste, press the big, rubberised button and start brushing. The only feature is a quadrant timer, which pulses the motor every 30 seconds with a longer pulse when you hit two minutes, which is really all you need to make sure that you’ve brushed for long enough.

If you’re used to the smooth action of Oral-B’s iO series – or even the quieter vibration of one of Philips’ Sonicare brushes – then the brushing action of the Vitality Plus might come as a bit of a shock.It’s noisy, and the 2D oscillation seems quite fierce, causing a lot of vibration that carries up into your skull. It’s not painful or hugely irritating, but it’s one of the loudest brushes we’ve tested recently, and you should take care not to apply too much pressure on your gums.

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Oral-B Vitality Plus review: How well does it clean?

Sure, it plays a little rough and there’s no 3D action, but the Vitality Plus still provides good all-round cleaning. With fairly light pressure and a proper two-minute workout, my teeth felt smooth and clean, though I’m not sure you get the deep clean that pushes toothpaste in between the teeth that you get with the more expensive Oral-B and Sonicare brushes. Still, that’s nothing you can’t fix with some regular flossing – which you ought to think about even with a higher-end brush.

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Oral-B Vitality Plus review: How long do the batteries last?

With the NiMH battery I expected the worst, but – much to my surprise – battery life isn’t actually that bad. In tests, a full charge kept the battery running for 43 minutes, or roughly 21 brushes, so you’re looking at charging every 10 days or so. More expensive brushes should see you through two weeks or more, but an overnight charge every 10 days is hardly onerous.

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Oral-B Vitality Plus review: Should I buy it?

We used to recommend the Colgate Proclinical 250 as the best sub-£20 toothbrush, but as that’s no longer available there’s a definite space for a decent budget brush. Despite its no-frills nature, that’s a space that the Vitality Plus can fill. It’s cheap and basic, but effective – and a whole lot better than a manual brush. If you can find the extra for a slightly more expensive toothbrush, such as Oral-B’s own £40 Pro 3 3000 or the £70 Sonicare DailyClean 3100, then they’ll still give you a smoother brush with worthwhile mod-cons, but if £20 is all you have to play with, this is the brush to buy.

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