When used twice daily, the best electric toothbrushes can remove higher levels of plaque than a manual toothbrush, as well as teasing out any food or debris that might be trapped between your teeth and gums. This can help them to stay healthier while you’re in-between visits to the dentist.
Modern electric toothbrushes also have multiple cleaning modes that range from a deep clean to tongue cleansing. In addition to removing plaque, the best electric toothbrushes clean between your teeth and under the gumline. Whitening modes are common, too.
Oral-B Pro 1000 electric toothbrush (opens in new tab)
The Oral-B Pro 1000 electric toothbrush is a great option when it comes to providing a really thorough clean. Included is a CrossAction brush head that not only rotates but oscillates and pulsates to remove plaque and keep your teeth shining. A pressure sensor will cut out the pulsation feature if you press too hard.
- Built-in pressure sensor
- Recommended by dentists
- Rotating-oscillating brush
- Just one mode
- No travel case
This brush only has one mode which, provides a straightforward, no-nonsense action. There is also a timer for the standard recommended two minutes. One plus of this toothbrush though is its ability to fit a wide range of Oral-B replacement brush heads, so you can use heads with different functions such as ‘Floss Action’ and ‘3D White’.
Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 flossing toothbrush (opens in new tab)
Brush and floss together
This particular electric toothbrush is designed to be used to both brush and floss your teeth and could help to remove up to twice the amount of plaque compared to normal brushing and flossing alone. When flossing, it moves water between your teeth and below the gumline where the bristles on the toothbrush can’t reach.
- Accepted by ADA
- Water pressure control system
- Cleans between teeth, too
- A little messy at first
Waterpik has designed it with three cleaning modes. The water pressure can be controlled via ten different settings, depending on the level of cleaning you need. It comes with one patented flossing brush head, plus a luxury toothbrush case for travel use. Oh, and the American Dental Association (ADA) like it too. There is a bit of a learning curve, so be prepared for a few messy teeth cleaning sessions before you get the hang of it.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 (opens in new tab)
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 is an electric toothbrush capable of cleaning your teeth and gums effectively without aggravating them. It has plenty of smart features, including a pressure sensor that alerts you if you're brushing too hard, and its QuadPacer that keeps tabs on how long and consistent you're brushing.
- Excellent cleaning
- Three cleaning modes
- Flimsy travel case
- No automatic mode selection
One impressive feature is the notification that tells you when it's time to change your brush head so that it's more effective at cleaning. The number of accessories in the box is a little stingy compared to some of the more luxury models in our best electric toothbrushes line-up, and we particularly don't like the lack of a decent travel case with charging function.
Oral-B Kids electric toothbrush (opens in new tab)
Plenty of pizzazz for kids
Because not all children have the manual dexterity (or patience) to thoroughly brush their teeth, this Oral-B electric toothbrush is designed to make brushing fun and more effective. The extra-soft brush head has a gentle mode ideal for super-sensitive gums or wobbly teeth.
- Grippy Handle
- Fun stickers and app
- Other Disney designs too
- Perhaps too noisy for small kids
The handle is nice and grippy and includes an interactive Disney Magic Timer app so kids can brush along with their favorite characters. In addition to the fun stuff, there is a charger and brush head included, as well as a two-minute timer. The small rotating brush head provides a thorough clean, but very young kids might find the handle a little bit too noisy.
Gleem electric toothbrush (opens in new tab)
This smart and simple electric toothbrush gives you what you need for healthy teeth and gums and doesn’t bother with any unnecessary frills. The action of the brush is smooth and quiet with only two brushing modes.
- Affordable replace heads
- Quiet use
- Very basic design
- Flimsy fabric travel case
It has a built-in timer with two settings and has a memory function. The toothbrush will pick up where you left off in the brushing cycle if you need to pause mid-cleaning. The Gleem rechargeable electric toothbrush comes with one brush head, one charging base, and a basic travel case. The compact nylon brush replacements are inexpensive, so combined with the initial spend, this makes the Gleem a smart choice.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 electric toothbrush (opens in new tab)
Super smart, thorough cleaning
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is an electric toothbrush that delivers an impressively thorough clean. It has sensors and a dedicated app to help you perfect your brushing technique. The experience of using this sonic brush is undeniably smooth, and the ability to control the intensity of the brush.
- Pressure and scrubbing sensors
- Smart charging glass
- Not suited for sensitive teeth
It has cleaning modes that range from 'Clean' to 'Deep Clean' with options for 'White' and 'Gum Health.' This toothbrush comes with three premium brush heads, a stylish charging glass, as well as a deluxe travel case to keep your electric toothbrush fully protected.
Oral-B Genius X electric toothbrush (opens in new tab)
The Oral-B 10000 Genius X goes above and beyond to provide you with the best possible experience you can get from a rotating-oscillating electric toothbrush. There are six brushing modes plus a sensor to protect your gums if you apply too much pressure. It connects, via Bluetooth, to the Oral-B app to analyze your brushing habits and give you feedback on how to improve your oral care.
- Excellent all-round cleaning
- Plenty of cleaning modes
- App is overkill for some
While the added features mean the Oral-B 10000 Genius X comes at a premium price, the included USB charging case and three brush heads help seal the deal, especially when you consider each brush head lasts up to three months. The toothbrush’s handle can also be used with a wider range of brush heads beyond the three provided.
The benefits of using an electric toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are much better at keeping control of plaque build-up, whitening teeth, and freshening breath compared to a quick scrub with a traditional toothbrush. Not only that, but by improving your oral hygiene, not only do you feel, smell and look better, but it can also have a profound effect on your general health. Research has revealed that it can lower the risk of a heart attack and cancer, as well as reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Toothbrushes with rotary movements clean your teeth as a motor-driven toothbrush head oscillates, rotates, and pulsates. Sonic wave toothbrushes, by contrast, use a brushing mechanism powered by high-frequency vibrations to clean your teeth. A resulting fluid dynamics process drives liquid between your teeth to clean beyond where the toothbrush heads’ bristles actually touch.
The American Dental Association has given specific toothbrushes using either technology its seal of acceptance. This designation means a product has passed lab tests and met standards to demonstrate that, based on the ADA’s guidelines, it "is safe and has shown efficacy in removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed."
What our research and testing shows
Because electric toothbrushes range widely in price and features, we evaluated basic, mid-range, and higher-end units. We chose models using either sonic wave technology or rotating, oscillating and pulsing movements to clean your teeth. We tested a total of twelve models.
Beyond the research and testing we conducted in our lab, we reached out to dentists and dental hygienists to learn what’s important to consider when you’re looking for an electric toothbrush. Dr. James Doll of Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health advised the following...
"Talk to your dentist about your particular situation," he said. "If you’re more prone to gum recession, I’d suggest something that cleans well but is ultra-gentle to the gums. At the same time, some people may build up plaque or debris that is thicker or more difficult to remove, and a different brush may work better to get between the teeth or to remove difficult types of build-up.
"There are a number of excellent choices out there and a number of excellent brush heads. Asking your dentist or hygienist is always an excellent way to go."
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