Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
Is the Olanen Sonic Toothbrush Worth the Purchase?
I have never quite mastered the technique of cleaning with a manual brush. I tend to mash the bristles against my teeth, searching desperately for those hidden surfaces that often evade my brush. In an effort to avoid another set of expensive fillings, I purchased a Philips Sonicare 4100 electric toothbrush.
Sonicare products are not cheap—the 4100 starts at $50.00—but they work amazingly well. Plaque is scrubbed away between scheduled cleanings and my last checkup resulted in a clean bill of health. But the price does matter. While I consider fifty dollars acceptable, the total cost could become unaffordable for someone intending to outfit his family with these fancy toothbrushes.
I checked out the less expensive competition, looking for a sonic toothbrush equipped with a charging dock and extra brush heads. The Olanen DDYS2, which was on sale for ten dollars, appeared to be the best candidate. I navigated to the Amazon site and ordered one.
In size, the Olanen DDYS2 is similar to the Sonicare 4100. It is, with the brush head included, 9.5 inches tall and one inch in diameter. This electric toothbrush weights in at 4.16 ounces.
The complete kit consists of the main unit, three brush heads, a wireless charging stand, USB charging cable, and a user’s guide.
My toothbrush was colored white with a silver strip backdropping the control panel. This panel includes a pushbutton which rotates through clean, whitening, sensitive teeth and power off modes. A set of LEDs are used to signify the various modes and to indicate charging status.
- The Olanen DDYS2 vibrates at a rate between 24,000 and 35,000 brush strokes per minute.
- A 2-minute automatic brushing cycle, with a slight pause every 30 seconds, is used to avoid over-brushing. Olanen recommends that the brush head be replaced every three months.
- This unit can operate effectively for 15 days between charges. The toothbrush is rated IPX7 and can be fully submerged while washing.
- Brand: Olanen
- Model: DDYS2
- Country of origin: China
- Weight: 118 grams (4.19 ounces)
- Height: 25 centimeters (9.5 inches)
- Diameter: 27 millimeters (1.06 inches)
- Age Group: Adult
- Type: Sonic Toothbrush
- Modes: Clean, whitening, and sensitive teeth
- Operating Duration: 2 minutes with brief pause every 30 seconds
- Charger: Wireless
- Input voltage: DC5V
- Battery: lithium
- Vibration frequency: 24,000 - 35,000 strokes per minute
Olanen is trademarked by Shenzhen Qianhai Wanguo import and export trade Co., Ltd. Olanen exports sonic toothbrushes and silicone cooking utensils.
Primary Testing of the Product
Although I am a qualified electronics technician, my background is insufficient to review a dental related product properly. I asked my dentist; Dr. Kevin Walsh, to examine this toothbrush. Dr. Walsh is highly regarded in his field and has practiced dentistry for over 29 years.
Dr. Walsh tested the Olanen DDYS2 toothbrush for ten days and then produced a report in the same format he uses when evaluating dental products for Clinicians Report. I have taken his main points and listed them in bullet form:
The Pros of This Product
- Cleans teeth well.
- Cleans most surfaces quickly.
- The brush head is reasonably soft (medium and hard bristles should be avoided).
- Brush head shape allows access to most areas of the tooth.
- The handle is ergonomic.
- Unit is still operating on original battery charge after 10-day test period.
- The control button is located well for easy access.
The Cons of This Product
- The Olanen DDYS2 fails to clean as effectively as a properly used modern manual brush. While Sonicare electric toothbrushes, for example, are capable of completely cleaning your teeth, the DDYS2 manages to scrub only 90% of the teeth’s surfaces. It misses small areas where the tooth curves forward and back at the gumline at the lower corner of the tooth.
- More pressure required to initially insert brush head than ideal.
- I noticed little difference between the clean and sensitive modes. In my opinion, the whitening mode is purely a sales tactic. I don’t see how a sonic vibrating head of any sort can possibly bleach teeth.
Overall Rating: B
Currently, Sonicare is my go-to sonic toothbrush. It is superior. Because of its price point, however, Olanen’s DDYS2 is worth considering.
Secondary Testing of the Product
I tested the Olanen DDYS2, comparing this toothbrush against my Sonicare 4100. Both units are similar is size and shape.
When in operation, I could distinguish no difference in the vibrations produced by these devices. The Sonicare product, however, was louder and higher pitched. While this was slightly annoying, it also suggests that the Olanen—with a rated oscillation rate almost identical to the Sonicare—does not vibrate quite as fast. On the positive side, the less expensive toothbrush did appear to foam toothpaste more effectively than the Sonicare 4100.
The most significant difference between these two electric toothbrushes is the quality and features of the brush heads. This should not be surprising; the cost of a replacement Philips brush head for the Sonicare 4100 is roughly equal to the price of the complete Olanen DDYS2 kit.
The Olanen brush head cleans well but is not equipped with the features that, in the case of the Sonicare 4100, warn when excessive pressure is applied and notify the user whenever a brush head is due for replacement.
As I removed the original brush head from my new toothbrush, the brush head’s insert (it is what grips the main unit’s shaft) remained in place. I was quickly able to lever it off with the edge of a butter knife, but this suggests a lapse in quality control. The other two brush heads could be inserted and removed correctly.
The Sonicare 4100 is equipped with a single button that turns the unit on and initiates a two-minute cleaning cycle. If I want to stop brushing at an earlier point, I depress the button again.
The button on the Olanen toothbrush cycles the toothbrush through three different modes. I’d initially assumed I would be required to press the button three times if I wanted to turn the unit off before its two-minute cycle ended. That would have been a pain. Happily, once the brush has been operating in one mode for ten seconds, a single push of the button will power the unit down.
As Dr. Walsh noted, the Sonicare electric toothbrush is superior to the offering from Olanen. The Olanen DDYS2, however, is quite capable. If you are looking for a decent sonic toothbrush at an affordable price, this product is worthy of consideration.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Walter Shillington
Muhammad Abdullah on August 27, 2019:
I will be sure to keep this all in mind.