Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual brushes, but they’re far superior. No matter how diligent and meticulous you may be when brushing, you won’t be able to reach the dental hygiene level that an electric toothbrush provides.
This guide will help you choose the best electric toothbrush for your needs.
Our Guide to Choosing The Best Electric Toothbrush
Choosing an electric toothbrush can be difficult. There are dozens of models on the market, and virtually every single one will provide you with a cleaning that far surpasses what a manual toothbrush can offer.
A few key points and features to remember when choosing an electric model are:
1. Battery Life
Rechargeable batteries are the norm for an electric model. You want to consider:
- Time to recharge
- Battery life duration
Some models boast 3 modes, while others offer just one or more than 6 modes. You want to choose a model that is right for you. The modes that are used most often include:
- Whitening / deep clean
3. Plaque Power
Plaque removal is essential to proper dental hygiene. The amount of plaque removal will vary from one toothbrush to the next. Some offer 2x plaque removal to as high as 7x plaque removal. While 2x will more than sufficient, 7x removal is better. Price is the main factor in this category.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes per brushing. Unless you’re very diligent, you’ll need a timer to help you monitor your brushing habits. There are, typically, two timer types: 30-second and 2 minute. The 30-second timer ensures you brush each of your mouth’s four quadrants appropriately.
5. Pressure Sensors
Brushing requires just the right amount of pressure applied to the brush. Too much pressure can damage your tooth’s enamel. Pressure sensors are included with some models to ensure you don’t brush too hard.
6. Extra Features
You’ll also find other features, such as apps, that help you adjust your brushing habits to better clean your teeth. These apps are not necessary, but they do help you change your brushing habits for a better overall cleaning. Aside from these features, you’ll want to read electric toothbrush reviews and choose a model that is within your price range.
Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes: Why Upgrade?
So, what’s all the fuss with electric toothbrushes anyway? Aren’t these brushes just as good as a manual toothbrush? No.
When you upgrade, you’re making the choice to have better overall dental hygiene. These toothbrushes far outperform their manual toothbrush counterparts no matter how hard you try to brush routinely.
The truth is that you can’t perform as well as an electric brush.
Pros of Electric Toothbrushes
A few pros of an electric toothbrush include:
- Electric models remove far more plaque than their manual counterparts. You’ll find that most models remove at least twice as much plaque as a manual toothbrush. Plaque that is allowed to remain on the teeth can lead to tooth decay. While plaque is a normal process, removal is essential for healthy, clean teeth.
- Electric toothbrushes are easy to use and convenient. When upgrading, you’ll find features, such as timers and pressure sensors, to help you brush more efficiently.
- Children love electric toothbrushes. With timers and fun settings, kids are more likely to brush properly with electric toothbrushes.
Cons of Electric Toothbrushes
But there are some cons of electric toothbrushes as well:
- The upfront cost is higher than a traditional toothbrush.
- Batteries will need to be charged or replaced.
Cost is something you can’t avoid when buying a good electric model, but it’s important to know that these costs are lower following your initial purchase. You’ll only need to replace brush heads – not the entire unit – during regular maintenance.
And if you’re concerned about upgrading due to care and maintenance of your electric model, don’t be.
Electric Toothbrush Reviews: Our Favorites
You’ve asked is for it, and here it is: our favorite electric toothbrushes – the best models on the market today.
1. Sonicare Diamondclean
The Diamondclean is Sonicare’s flagship model, offering 100% more plaque removal than a manual toothbrush and whitening teeth after just one week of use. Your gums will also be much healthier in just two weeks. We’ve selected it as the best electric toothbrush.
Small and compact, this model offers:
- 5 Cleaning Modes: Ideal for teeth cleaning customization. Providing 31,000 pulsations a minute, the modes available include: clean, polish, white, sensitive and gumcare.
- Timer: A built-in timer allows you to monitor your brushing for the dentist recommended 2 minutes, or use the quadpacer, which offers 30-second interval timers.
Battery life on this model is superb and lasts up to three weeks on a single charge, or roughly 42 uses. And don’t worry, there is a battery indicator light to warn you when the battery is nearly depleted. You can plug this unit right into the wall or use the charging cup. The company even includes a USB charging travel case as well as two brush heads to help you get started.
When using this model, I recommend starting on the sensitive setting until you get accustomed to brushing with an electric toothbrush. Highly rated and one of our favorite electric toothbrushes on the market, the Diamondclean is a must-have for anyone that is serious about their dental health.
And with five brushing modes, your dentist will be impressed by your oral hygiene during your next dental visit.
If you’re in the market for the best-of-the-best electric toothbrush, look no further than Diamondclean.
2. OralB 7000
Philip’s Sonicare is only matched by one brand – Oral-B. The 7000 comes in an all-black color with blue accents and a white brush head. Futuristic in looks and functionality, this toothbrush offers 3D cleaning to remove 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and an Oral-B app is available via Bluetooth.
When you’re brushing, you can connect your app to the toothbrush to get real-time feedback on your brushing habits. It’s like having a dentist recommend better cleaning techniques every day.
- Tracks daily brushing habits
- Alerts you when you’re brushing too hard
- Provides tips to enhance your oral health
And if that wasn’t enough, Oral-B also includes:
- 6 Cleaning Modes: The six modes include: tongue, gum care, daily, sensitive, whitening and deep clean.
- Pressure Sensor: A visible pressure sensor alerts you when you’re brushing too hard – which can lead to enamel damage.
- App: The free app is the major feature of the 7000 that puts it above the competition.
You’ll also enjoy 16-degree brushing, which has been shown to clean between teeth more efficiently. Oral-B is the most recommended brand by dentists the world over, and you’ll enjoy an exceptional teeth cleaning time and time again.
I almost forgot to mention that a two-minute timer is included and that this model is compatible with all Oral-B brush heads.
While less expensive than the Diamondclean and superior in some ways, battery life is just one week, which may concern some users. Aside from this minor complaint, this is one of our favorite Oral-B models.
3. Sonicare Platinum
The Platinum is another Sonicare model that deserves praise. What really makes this brush special is that it can remove up to ten times the amount of plaque as a normal toothbrush. There are still 31,000 brush strokes per minute, on par with the Diamondclean.
What I really appreciated about this toothbrush is that it’s highly customizable thanks to:
- 3 Cleaning Modes: Clean, White, Deep Clean
- 3 Intensity Settings: Low, Medium and High
You’ll also find that there are two different brush heads offered: the AdaptiveClean and InterCare heads. The latter is ideal for cleaning deep between your teeth thanks to the extended bristles design. If you want the deepest clean possible, this is the model we recommend.
A smart timer and quadpacer allow you to monitor your brushing in 2-minute and 30-second intervals respectively.
There are travel caps, a case and head storage also provided so that you can be confident when traveling. Recharging the battery does take 24 hours (the norm in the industry), but this model is rated to last up to 3 weeks on a single charge. A recharge indicator right on the unit will alert you when it’s time to recharge the battery.
The Platinum may be lacking the additional cleaning modes of our previous two picks, but the customization through intensity is perfect for users with sensitive teeth and gums as well as kids.
If you’re looking for an electric toothbrush that is customizable, this is the best option on our list.
4. OralB 5000
Think as the 5000 as the little brother to the 7000. Cheaper and less powerful, this model has almost the same features as the 7000, but it’s slightly less powerful and robust. But it’s also priced lower, which may be ideal for you if you’re on a tighter budget and prefer the cleaning action of Oral-B.
Providing a floss-like clean, this model gets deep between teeth and also offers the same great app functionality as the 7000 listed above.
- 5 Cleaning Modes: The modes included are: daily clean, deep clean, sensitive, whitening and gum care.
- Pressure Sensor: A visible pressure sensor illuminates when you’re brushing too hard.
- Real-time Feedback: The Bluetooth-connected app allows for real-time feedback of your brushing habits via the free app by Oral-B.
The real difference between the 7000 and 5000 is that the 5000 lacks:
- Travel accessories
- Tongue cleaner
- Automatic stopping when pressure levels are too high
The battery life is sufficient and lasts up to 10 days, but it only is rated for 2, 2 minute cleanings per day. If you brush 3 times a day, you’ll need to recharge this model weekly for best results. A battery indicator does warn you when the battery is low, so you won’t wake up to a dead toothbrush in the morning.
If you can live without all of the extras provided with the 7000, the 5000 is a great option and is nearly as powerful.
5. OralB 1000
We know everyone doesn’t have much to spend on an electric toothbrush, and the Oral-B 1000 is the cheapest model on our list. While this is an older model, it does remove up to 300% more plaque than a manual toothbrush and offers Oral-B cleaning power.
The Oral-B 1000 is rechargable, so you won’t need to buy batteries or plug this unit into the wall during use.
But there is only one cleaning mode. You won’t get a whitening mode or a polishing mode, but you will be able to use a daily cleaning mode, which is far better than what a manual toothbrush offers. And a lot of people only use one or two modes anyway when brushing.
A timer is included that allows you to monitor your brushing duration to reach the recommended two-minute time.
While not as robust, you’ll still benefit from:
- Plaque Removal: Up to 300% more plaque removal than a manual toothbrush.
- Pressure Sensor: A pressure sensor illuminates to warn you when you’re brushing too hard.
- Timer: A two-minute timer alerts you when you’ve reached the proper brushing duration. A buzzer alerts you every 30 seconds to move to a new quadrant of your mouth to begin brushing.
This brush is the right choice for anyone on a tight budget, or for first-time users. For beginners, this is a great option that provides a thorough cleaning every day.
6. Philips Sonicare Flexcare Premium Edition 2
When you see toothbrush bundles like this one, you probably assume that the brush probably isn’t that great. After all, why would they offer two brushes for such a great price? We had the same impression until we unboxed these brushes and took them for a test run.
We’ve used Sonicare brushes in the past – including the DiamondClean, which is the most expensive brush in the lineup. We were really impressed with the Flexcare’s cleaning quality. It’s on par with high-end Sonicare brushes, and you get a lot for your money with this set.
- 7x more plaque removal
- Whiter teeth in just one week; better gum health in two weeks
- Three cleaning modes: clean, massage and sensitive
- Delivers 31,000 strokes per minute
- Includes a UV sanitizer for brush heads
- 3-week battery life
- Includes two travel caps and travel cases
- Easy-start increases intensity over 12 brushings
The cleaning power and variety of modes puts these brushes on par with Sonicare’s more advanced brushes. The UV sanitizer is a nice added bonus to keep your brush heads clean in between uses.
One thing I do have to note about the sanitizer and charging dock – it may leave a mark on your counter. I didn’t have this issue, but some other users did. The mark is easy to wipe away, but may be inconvenient to some. The value of these brushes is hard to beat.
With advanced cleaning action and excellent value for the money, we highly recommend the Flexcare Premium Edition.
How to Take Care of Your Electric Toothbrush
Worried about caring for your electric toothbrush? It’s simple and not much different than your regular toothbrush. A few of the care techniques and requirements you’ll need to follow include:
- Clean the Base: Toothpaste and grime can leave your toothbrush’s handle looking worn and dirty. A damp cloth is all that’s needed to clean the base. I recommend removing the brush head and cleaning the unit. Don’t use any harsh chemicals – the toothbrush is too close to your mouth.
- Clean the Brush Head: A regular cleaning is recommended for the brush head. You can simply run the unit under hot water to remove any debris or residue on the brush itself.
- Replace the Brush Head: Just like your normal toothbrush, you’ll need to replace the brush head every 3 months, or when the indicator alerts you it’s time to change the head. Proper replacement reduces your risk of bacteria growth on the brush head.
- Charging Properly: You want your toothbrush’s battery life to last a long time. Oral-B recommends depleting the battery fully before recharging. Do not charge in between brushings as this can reduce the lifespan of your battery.
- Storage: If present, store your toothbrush upright in its’ holder or container. Always let the brush air dry for best results.
This is the basic care routine you’ll want to follow to keep your unit in proper operating condition. It should be noted that there are toothbrush sanitizers that can be used on the bristles of your toothbrush, but these sanitizers can harm your bristles in some cases.
FAQ: 3 Common Questions to Consider Before Buying
Care is easy, pros have been discussed and you just have a few questions before making your purchase. The most common questions asked prior to making your purchase include:
1. Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces?
Dentists affirm that you can use an electric model with braces, but you want to remain cautious. You can break or loosen brackets, so you want to:
- Avoid hitting brace brackets with the head of the toothbrush
- Turn the toothbrush to a low setting
2. What If I Have Sensitive Teeth: Is an Electric Toothbrush Good for Me?
Yes, most models will suffice. Sensitive modes are available with most models that will be gentle and made specifically for your sensitive teeth. A low setting may also suffice if there is not a sensitive mode available.
3. I Have Receding Gums. Should I Still Get an Electric Toothbrush?
Receding gums are often a result of bacteria along the gum line. When you brush with an electric toothbrush, you’ll be removing more of this bad bacteria and plaque than with a manual toothbrush.
Small brush heads and sensitive modes work best for receding gums that are sensitive.
Most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes to help combat receding gums – so yes, it’s great to use an electric toothbrush if you have receding gums.
Conclusion: Make Your Choice!
Electric toothbrushes provide a better cleaning than a manual toothbrush, and they’re the closest thing to a professional dental cleaning. Several models can remove stains from your teeth, are designed with sensitive modes and offer features that manual toothbrushes can never offer. By design, even the cheapest electric toothbrush will be able to provide a better overall brushing than even the best manual toothbrush can offer. If you want the best dental hygiene, it’s time to make a switch to an electric toothbrush.