The Y-Brush is a reinvention of the wheel, and most will see it as a novelty. But it does deliver on its promise – you really can brush your entire set of teeth in just 10 seconds. Most people would probably still be better off with a traditional electric toothbrush, and you can get one with the additional benefit of pressure detection for around the same price. But if those two minutes each morning and night are torturous, you won’t find a faster solution than the Y-Brush.
- Three-month battery life
- Very fast brushing experience
- Two-year warranty
- Frustrating controls
- Rinsing the mouthguard is a faff
- It feels a bit gimmicky
- Brushes in 10 secondsTackling a row of teeth in one go, you can brush everything in 10 seconds.
- Adjustable sonic vibration power settingsThe power and time is adjustable to suit your mouth.
Twenty-six hours. That’s how much time you spend each and every year brushing your teeth. At least, you should be.
While splitting that time into two-minute chunks twice a day seems reasonable, most people will agree that it simply feels too long. And that’s exactly where Y-Brush wants to help.
Essentially a mouthguard with bristles attached to a vibrating motor, it takes the traditional toothbrush blueprint and tears it to shreds. Pop it in your mouth, swivel it from side to side as you repeatedly bite down, and you can, apparently, brush every single tooth in your mouth in just 10 seconds.
Clearly, there’s a healthy dose of scepticism that should be harboured when faced with a product so different from the norm. But that’s why I’m here.
Design and accessories
- Four brushing modes
- Single, stiff button
- Chunky and well built
If you’re after an array of colours, fancy wireless charging docks, and faux leather travel cases, look elsewhere. The Y-Brush is all beast and no beauty. Resembling a medical-grade dental moulding tool, it’s not exactly the sort of thing that you’d want to leave out in your meticulously designed bathroom. If you care about that sort of thing, that is.
Still, it’s a tool first and foremost, and given its nature and price, I’m not holding its appearance against it. It’s built like a tank, too – the black base which houses the battery and motor has a reassuringly solid feel, with a pleasant rubberised grip. The power button also feels as solid as a bank vault door, although this is a detriment. It’s so incredibly stiff that you might struggle to turn it on if you didn’t know what it was.
Considering that the power button is also used to switch between modes (5-15 seconds or infinite), this stiffness often proved frustrating. The idea is to lightly press the button to choose either a 5-, 10-, or 15-second mode, which is indicated by the LED segments surrounding the button itself. If you press it enough times, the entire LED ring will be lit, to indicate that you’re in infinite time mode. This is the mode that new users are recommended to start with, so they can get used to the unusual brushing experience.
Once you’ve chosen your mode, you press even harder on the button to turn it on. But because it’s so stiff and has practically zero travel or feedback, I often turned it on before I’d selected the right mode. It’s too finicky, in my opinion, and I’d have preferred a more tactile button, or separate controls for adjusting the mode.
While there’s no charging dock, a Micro-USB port offers a handily non-proprietary way to top up the juice, though I still prefer to see USB-C these days. The three-month battery life is miles ahead of practically any other electric toothbrush out there, though, and I’ve yet to reach for a top-up after more than a month of use.
Lastly, my review unit came with a single brush head, although you can sign up for a subscription service for regular replacements if you wish.
- Clean teeth in just 10 seconds
- Takes a while to get used to brushing technique
Right, what is this crazy contraption actually like to use? Let’s walk through the motions. The first step is applying the toothpaste. Each Y-Brush comes with a silicone toothpaste applicator head, which you can pop over the end of your toothpaste tube to apply toothpaste along the bristles. I presume this is both for hygiene reasons, and to help ensure a more consistent spread, rather than giant blobs of wasted toothpaste each time.
The applicator does the job admirably, but having to rinse it out each time to clean it adds an extra step to the brushing process, which slightly defeats the point of a 10-second brush. While it doesn’t take too long to rinse out, it wastes a little toothpaste each time, too, so I popped some toothpaste in my mouth with a finger before swirling it around to cover my teeth pre-brush.
Once you’ve battled through the power button woes and are ready to brush, it’s a simple, quick process. Pop it in, bristle side up, and bite down. Turn it on, and it’ll start vibrating. Move the handle gradually from left to right, biting up and down around five times as you do so. Once that’s done, flip it over, and do the same for the bottom teeth. It’s as simple, and as quick, as that. It didn’t take us long before I hit the 10-second mark, although there’s an even quicker five-second option with more powerful vibrations for truly impatient brushers.
The sensation is odd initially, but you’ll soon get used to it. You’ll look extremely strange, of course, but unless you’re the type to brush your teeth in airport restrooms, no one will ever know your quirky teeth-cleansing secret.
During the process, I could feel the bristles hitting all of my teeth from every angle, so I can definitely verify that there’s full coverage. But the vibrations, even at the strongest setting, just didn’t give us the same feeling of cleanliness that I’d find in a traditional oscillating or sonic electric toothbrush.
To visualise things a bit better, I turned to my trusty set of false teeth, which were diligently covered in beetroot and spinach.
While the Y-Brush does scrub well, its gumshield-like design means that food and debris can inevitably get stuck in all the bristles. This brings us to another niggle. Cleaning.
Once you’ve finished your nippy brushing routine, you’ve got to rinse out the Y-Brush itself, ensuring that any debris and toothpaste are removed. You’re also recommended to soak it in diluted mouthwash around once a week. This is an extra step that’s not needed with a regular toothbrush, and while the overall experience is still much shorter than two minutes, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s just a bit of extra faff.
Overall, while there’s no denying that all of my teeth get brushed and my mouth feels fresher, there’s just not the same squeaky-clean freshness I’ve enjoyed from using other electric toothbrushes, such as the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige.
Should you buy it?
You don’t like brushing your teeth:
This toothbrush gets you clean teeth in a matter of seconds.
You want more brushing modes and less clean-up:
A regular toothbrush is easier to clean and a little more flexible.
If the basic Y-Brush starter kit was priced any higher than £69.99, I wouldn’t consider recommending it. But while it’s a novelty, it does do exactly what’s advertised. You can brush your entire set of teeth in 10 seconds, and if you think that reinvention of the wheel is worth it, you’re welcome to give it a shot at this price.
For most people, though, I recommend spending the same cash (or slightly less), on a more traditional electric toothbrush that has the additional benefit of pressure detection.
If you truly find the regular two-minute brushing process extremely tedious, then the Y-Brush might be worth a shot – as long as you’re aware of the extra bit of clean-up afterwards.
How we test
We test every electric toothbrush we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main electric toothbrush for the review period.
Tested to see how well each brush cleans.
Tested to see what real-world battery life is.
You might like…
Yes it can, the brush head covers a row of teeth, so you can clean the top in five seconds and the bottom in another five.