When used twice daily, the best electric toothbrushes can remove higher levels of plaque than a manual toothbrush and tease 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.
Brush and floss together
The Waterpik Sonic-Fusion both brushes and flosses your teeth to remove twice the amount of plaque. It moves water between teeth and below the gumline where bristles can’t reach.
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.
- Accepted by ADA
- Water pressure control system
- Cleans between teeth, too
- A little messy at first
Your whole mouth gets a really thorough cleaning because the CrossAction brush of the Oral-B Pro head removes plaque by rotating, oscillating, and pulsating.
- 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. But its pressure sensor will stop the pulsation feature if you press too hard. 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’.
The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 smart features include a QuadPacer that keeps tabs on how long and consistent you're brushing.
- Excellent cleaning
- Three cleaning modes
- Flimsy travel case
- No automatic mode selection
This electric toothbrush also has a sensor with an alert to let you know if you're brushing too aggressively. 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 a charging function.
Plenty of pizzazz for kids
This Oral-B electric toothbrush is designed to make brushing fun and more effective for kids. The extra-soft brush head is 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.
This smart and simple electric toothbrush gives you what you need for healthy teeth and gums. The action of the brush is smooth and quiet with 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.
Super smart, thorough cleaning
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean delivers an impressively thorough clean. It has sensors and a dedicated app to help you perfect your brushing technique.
- Pressure and scrubbing sensors
- Smart charging glass
- Not suited for sensitive teeth
The experience of using this sonic brush is undeniably smooth, and the ability to control the intensity of the brush. 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.
The Oral-B 10000 Genius X rotating-oscillating electric toothbrush has six brushing modes plus a sensor to protect your gums if you apply too much pressure.
- Excellent all-round cleaning
- Plenty of cleaning modes
- App is overkill for some
The toothbrush connects, via Bluetooth, to the Oral-B app to analyze your brushing habits and give you feedback on how to improve your oral care. 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
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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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