Are Electric Toothbrushes Allowed on Planes?

Are Electric Toothbrushes Allowed on Planes?

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We heard the claim countless times that electric toothbrushes are far better than their manual counterparts. However, because they are electronic, they come with their own set of issues, most especially when it comes to traveling. There is hardly any clarity whether are electric toothbrushes allowed on planes.

Because of the lack of clarity and the countless rules and regulations enforced by airlines, it is very difficult to know whether you can carry electric toothbrushes when you travel by air. Since they are also quite pricey, knowing if you can actually carry one in your luggage ensures that the airport security won’t confiscate it and throw it away.

What Is an Electric Toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush has bristles that either rotate or vibrate. These will help in removing the buildup of plaque from your gums and teeth far more effectively. The vibrations from the bristles allow for more micro movements every single time you move the brush across your teeth.

Electric toothbrushes work on batteries. Some of the models have removable batteries while others have inbuilt batteries. Typically, the higher end electric toothbrushes, such as the sonic range, have an inbuilt battery.

The reason why electric toothbrushes are more popular and recommended by dentists is that they can reduce the risks of developing gingivitis and plaque as compared to manual toothbrushes. In fact, it is believed that those who use an electric toothbrush show a 21% decrease in plaque and 11% in gingivitis. The numbers were far lower for manual toothbrushes.

In addition to that, it is also believed that in electric toothbrushes, the oscillating ones seemed to do a significantly better job than the electric toothbrushes that just vibrate.

How Do Electric Toothbrushes Work?

Electric toothbrushes are equipped with an electric motor inside them. This motor will start to spin once it is turned on. Depending on the type of electric toothbrush you have—the oscillating kind or the vibrating kind—the motor will accordingly move within. This motion in the motor is caused by the electric charge, which is produced by the small battery.

Some of these electric toothbrushes work on inductive charging too. This is when two parts of a transformer that is inside the toothbrush are brought together. Therefore, what gets created is a small magnetic field, which creates the electric current to charge the battery. In most cases though, you will find electric toothbrushes with batteries that are either replaceable or rechargeable.

All of the electric toothbrush’s components are well covered so that it does not allow any water to seep in which will render it useless. Many new electric toothbrushes come with pressure sensors as well as timers that are set at two minutes for optimal brushing.

Why Are Certain Items Restricted on Airplanes?

Over the last few decades and terror attacks on airplanes, the rules and regulations on what you can and cannot carry on an aircraft have been made much stricter. For instance, you cannot carry liquid such as perfumes over 100ml, nor can you carry aerosol sprays with you.

That being said, even certain electronic items, especially the ones that work on batteries are considered to be unsafe to carry with you on the airplane.

Batteries have the possibility to randomly malfunction and, in some rare cases, even cause a blast. For this reason, portable chargers are banned from check-in baggage. This is where there is a ton of uncertainty with electric toothbrushes as they function on batteries.

Are Electric Toothbrushes Allowed on Planes?

As mentioned earlier, there is a lack of clarity when it comes to carrying electric toothbrushes with you on an airplane. Since these toothbrushes have a lithium-ion based battery inside, they can be dangerous in some instances.

Furthermore, carrying electric toothbrushes also differs from airline to airline. Each of them has their own set of rules. So, if you can carry it on United, there’s no guarantee that you can also carry it on JetBlue.

  • Cabin Baggage

Typically, such electronic items are preferably allowed in cabin baggage. This is because even if it does get accidentally switched on, you can pull your bag out from the overhead cabin bag storage and switch it off.

  • Checked-in Baggage

This is where there is a lack of clarity when it comes to carrying electric toothbrushes in a place. The rules and regulations for what you can carry in a checked-in bag are, as it is, very strict. So, it would not be ideal to have your electric toothbrush stored in your checked-in bag.

That being said, it is always wise to get in touch with the customer care service of the airline you are flying with to be 100% sure. You wouldn’t want to be throwing away your expensive Philips Sonicare Toothbrush at the airport now, would you?

What We Suggest

We would likely suggest for you to carry your electric toothbrush in your cabin bag instead of your checked-in bag. When it comes to portable chargers, it is essential to have it in your cabin bag and not the checked-in bag. By the same logic, as an electric toothbrush works on battery too, so it makes sense to have it in your cabin bag.

However, if you are just not finding any answer with your airline and you cannot find the rules clearly, we would honestly recommend to leave your expensive electric toothbrush at home and carry a manual toothbrush with you when you travel. There is no way anyone will throw away a manual toothbrush out of your baggage.

Furthermore, even if you choose not to carry it, manual toothbrushes are easily available at every convenience store, making it the safest bet when you travel on an airplane.


So, are electric toothbrushes allowed on planes? The answer entirely depends on the airline. As mentioned earlier, it is recommended that you contact your airline’s customer care hotline to find out what their rules are on electric toothbrushes. In case you have to take your electric toothbrush, it is best to carry it in your cabin bag only.

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