The best invention since sliced bread!
I’ll admit I was quite skeptical when Dave bought me an Oral-B electric toothbrush one Christmas. For some reason, I got it in my head that such a simple procedure as brushing your teeth could not possibly be improved by such a device, it was simply laziness to need an electric toothbrush – a gimmick to spend more money on unnecessary stuff.
Needless to say, I was quite wrong. That electric toothbrush has improved my quality of life so much. Maybe I am a bit of a stress head, because my toothbrushing technique (which was the root cause of my mouth ulcer epidemic) was far too aggressive. Since I took ownership of this electric toothbrush, I hardly ever got mouth ulcers and when I did, they were usually down to stress eating a bag of Doritos over the latest Strictly dance off!
How to avoid morning breath on the road
I cannot stress enough how great these things are and I dare you to find anyone who uses one who won’t similarly eulogise over them. So even on the shortest of trips the electric brushes will come with us. I have, on a couple of occasions, run out of toothbrush buzz living the vanlife, resulting in fraught and stressful days, until I can get back to civilization and charge up these pocket dynamos.
The toothbrush is supposed to last a good week, but needless to say, this does not always work out, leaving me without the intense rotating head action I need (no tittering at the back!). I always felt a bit silly packing the charger for such a small trip, but I now realise the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
Not only that, but Dave and I share an electric toothbrush (we each have our own toothbrush heads) so it needs charging twice as often.
You have the power… to have beautiful teeth! 😉
Still, this toothy story has a happy ending – a very cheap and simple solution – the USB toothbrush charger (£9.99). One of the great things about the Oral-B brushes (these are by far the best value and most popular electric toothbrushes on the market, in my opinion), is their safe and easy charging dock, given the requirement of the device to be waterproof. It uses a patented conduction element which charges through a plastic covering. So now all you need is a Van-friendly version. Albeit with an eminently sensible USB connection, rather than a country specific plug.
When it comes to Vanlife, we all know that electricity and power points especially are at a premium. That is why this charger is so perfect. Utilising a USB connector, rather than the standard UK DC three pin plug, it does away with all those problems. It is so small and lightweight, and it can be used on pretty much any Oral-B electric brush, so you can just pack one for as many brushes as you need.
This is effectively a trickle charger and so means that you can have it charging most of the time and it does not cause a major power drain, a really useful factor when you might have limited power. Once it has finished charging, it will automatically stop, again, eliminating power wastage. The cable is one metre long which means you can store it anywhere you like in the cabin without tripping over wires everywhere.
Evidence suggests that anxiety can increase your chances of developing mouth ulcers and they can be caused by how you use a plastic toothbrush. Which was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me, as I had been getting more than usual. If you have ever experienced a proper mouth ulcer you will appreciate how frustrating, painful, and slow to heal they are.
In my opinion, an electric toothbrush is an essential item in your Vanlife arsenal which will leave you looking and, more importantly, feeling like a million-dollar business professional. Even if you spent the night sleeping in a van, in a field, in the middle of nowhere. Brush up and look smart!
Chargers for other brands of electric toothbrush: