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Best Electric Toothbrush Review

electric toothbrush

If your dentist is anything like ours, his final advice at the end of every appointment sounds like it’s been recorded: “You really need to floss more and start using an electric toothbrush.”

Electric Toothbrushes are More Effective than Manual Brushing

He (or she) is right. We all know that flossing is important – it’s just a pain until you get used to it and it becomes a routine. (You could also use an oral irrigator, see the review here –  Best Water Flosser Reviews.) But it’s also been proven in study after study that people who use electric toothbrushes have less plaque buildup and are less likely to develop gum disease.

Electric models cover more space in less time because they move so much faster than a manual brush. And there’s a hidden benefit: research shows that the average person only brushes for about 45 seconds with a manual toothbrush but most electric models run for two minutes before shutting off, and some even tell you when it’s time to switch to a different quadrant of the mouth. “By default,” you’ll brush for the correct amount of time by choosing electric.

It’s a bit more work to own and use an electric toothbrush than it is to stick with a tried-and-true manual brush. You have to find a place in an often-crowded bathroom to plug in the charger base. You have to remember to put the toothbrush back correctly into the base, instead of just tossing it onto the sink after you’ve brushed. When the bristles on an electric model get worn out you have to shop for and find the proper replacement head, instead of just going to the drugstore to buy a new manual toothbrush.

It’s also more expensive to go electric, of course. You can grab an old-school manual toothbrush for a couple of bucks, while you may spend a couple of hundred bucks for a high-end electric one. Time for a replacement brush head? You’d just have to shell out another couple of bucks for a manual one, but quite a bit more for a new electric toothbrush head.

It’s worth the cost, though. The American Dental Association will slap a seal of acceptance on almost anything with a brush on the end – but almost all dentists, hygienists and orthodontists will tell you that you’re far better off with an electric toothbrush than a manual one. That’s not because electrics are so far superior, but because they have fail-safes built in to help you brush properly.

Image Product Features
  • Sonic
  • Three Brush Heads and Four Modes
  • Fast and Powerful
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  • Powerful Strokes
  • Round Head Can Get into Difficult Areas
  • Two Brush Heads and Six Modes
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  • Water Flosser and Toothbrush in One Unit
  • Can Use Both at Once
  • Good Sonic Performance
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  • Sonic Technology
  • Great Performance
  • Lower Price than Top-of-the-Line Sonicares
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  • Very Good Performance
  • Lower Price Than More Full-Featured Oral-B's
  • Compatible with Other Oral-B Heads
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  • Performs Well
  • Three Modes and Four Heads
  • Only Charges via USB Connection
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  • 5 Heads and 5 Brushing Modes including Feather-Soft
  • AC/USB Charging
  • Excellent Bristles
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  • Great for Travel
  • Decent Performance
  • Extremely Low Price
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  • Sonic Technology
  • Quadrant Timers
  • Bluetooth Connectivity with Fun App for Kids
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There are several different categories of electric models. Older-style electronic toothbrushes relies on brush heads which either move from side to side, or rotate in a circle. Some newer brushes use either sonic or ultrasonic vibrations which theoretically dislodge plaque and food from areas that bristles can’t reach.

The Groom+Style review team has checked them all out, and we can tell you two things. One is that our teeth are now really, really, really clean. The other is that all of the electric toothbrushes we’ve ranked do a better job (in our humble opinion) than any manual toothbrush could do.

Let’s polish off this section, and get to work on those reviews.

Best Electric Toothbrushes

1. Philips Sonicare DiamondCleanSmart 9300 Rechargeable Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, White, HX9903/01

The Groom+Style review team doesn’t think a ton of extra features are necessary when buying an electric toothrbush, but many people love them. That’s why we’ve selected the DiamondClean sonic model as the top-ranked electric toothbrush on our list; it does an exceptional job of cleaning teeth while providing most of the extra goodies you might want (minus a UV cleaning function). The price you’ll pay reflects the fact that this Sonicare is at the upper end of the spectrum.

Every manufacturer claims that its brushing technology is the best, and Philips is no different. Its brushes are designed to reach between teeth as they rotate, oscillate and pulse at up to a whopping 62,000 strokes per minute. The company claims that their technology removes ten times more plaque than manual brushing and improves gum health in two weeks; we have no way to judge those claims, of course, but it definitely sounds plausible.

The 9300 comes with three interchangeable brush heads designed for general use, plaque control and whitening. And there are also four cleaning modes: cleaning, whitening, deep clean and gum health. Who knew brushing could be so complicated?  But as an end user, the flexibility is great; you can tell that this toothbrush does a terrific job and leaves your teeth feeling as clean as you could want. (If you have sensitive teeth, the DiamondClean 9500, 9700 and 9750 models all add a sensitive mode and a few other goodies like USB charging, but at higher prices.)           

Like all of the models in our top 5 best electric toothbrush reviews, this Sonicare has a two-minute timer with automatic shutoff and also has a 30-second quadrant timer. Its smart function lets you connect to a phone or tablet with Bluetooth so you can be warned when you’re brushing too hard or too fast, and be shown what spots you missed and which ones need extra attention. One connected feature (which is kind of spooky) that the review team did like: your toothbrush can connect to Amazon Dash to set up automatic delivery of new brush heads.

This electric toothbrush is lightweight and comfortable in the hand, one battery charge lasts for weeks of normal use, and the included charger is kind of neat – it looks like a cup so it blends right into your bathroom

There are tons of extra features, but G+S believes the DiamondClean does the best job brushing teeth, and that’s what we’re after when buying a toothbrush.

Facts and figures for the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9300 Rechargeable Toothbrush:

  • Type: Sonic
  • Speed: Up to 62,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: Lithium-ion, rechargeable
  • Charging methods: Included charging base
  • Included brush heads: 3
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 4 including deep clean, sensitive and whitening
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Warranty: 2 years, limited

Check​ Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9300 Price on Amazon

2. Oral B 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush, Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity Powered by Braun , 8 Piece Set

Oral-B and Philips have been fighting each other for market share for a long time, particularly once Philips came out with its Sonicare line. So it only makes sense that they have the top two electric toothbrushes in the Groom+Style rankings. This Oral-B sonic model is designed like the company’s brushes have been designed for years, with a round head that’s smaller than most competitors. The bristles are supposedly set at the optimal angle for brushing (16°) and Oral-B’s proprietary technology is called “Cross Action,” but like the Sonicare, this model does a great job of cleaning teeth as it rotates, pulses and oscillates at speeds up to 48,000 pulses per minute.

The small bristles on the 7000 Smart Series do an effective job of reaching nooks and crannies that are harder to get at with the larger bristles on some electric toothbrushes, and the bristles’ movements break up plaque just like the DiamondClean. How effective is it? Well, we’ve already told you that Philips says its toothbrush is ten times better than manual brushing, and Oral-B says its brush is up to 100 times better – those numbers remind of us an old saying about lies and statistics, but the bottom line is that both toothbrushes do an excellent job. The review team liked the DiamondClean a tiny bit better, but we do mean a tiny bit.

The Oral-B 7000 has six cleaning modes, adding “tongue cleaner” (if that’s important to you) to the more standard modes of daily clean, deep clean, sensitive, whitening and massage. It comes with two replaceable heads, there are two-minute and 30-second quadrant timers just like the Sonicare and the Bluetooth connectivity lets you track how your brushing is going for six months. (It also lets you order automatic brush head delivery, just like the Sonicare does.)

There are some differences, though. The 7000’s charging station is more standard-looking than on the Sonicare, a normal charge lasts for 10 days instead of 21, and the NiMH battery doesn’t last as long as the lithium-ion battery on the Sonicare. (You can also spend more for the Oral-B models Genius 8000 or 9600 and get a lithium-ion battery as well as USB charging capability.)

The review team could easily have placed the Oral-B toothbrush at #1, but those slight differences, plus the greater speed of the Sonicare, pushed the 7000 down to #2. It comes in white or black; the white is easier to clean.

Even though the Oral-B 7000 isn’t quite as powerful as the Sonicare, some users prefer the brushing action of the Oral-B brush – and it does do a terrific job.

More info on the Oral-B 7000 Smart Series Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: Rotating/oscillating
  • Speed: Up to 48,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: NiMH, rechargeable
  • Charging method: Included charger base
  • Included brush heads: 2
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 6 including deep clean, sensitive and whitening
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Warranty: 2 years, limited

Check Oral B 7000 SmartSeries​ Price on Amazon

3. Waterpik SF-02 Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser Combo-In-One

Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Professional Flossing, Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser Combo in One, SF-02, White

The review team hasn’t included this option because it’s the best electric toothbrush – it isn’t. (And we’ll have more standard choices after this review.) But the sonic toothbrush in this set is a very good one, and it comes complete in a single unit with the water flosser that Waterpik became famous for (in fact, they were just called “Waterpiks” long before anyone ever heard of the term “water flossers”). Those who feel they need more than just a toothbrush to get their teeth really clean, but hate struggling with regular floss, will love this very expensive model.

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The toothbrush is made by Sensonic and is a bare-bones sonic brush supplied with two heads, and it has two-minute and quadrant timers. But it does the job just fine and you’re not paying for lots of extra features. The star of this combo is the water flosser, which requires some extra work (like filling the reservoir every time you want to use it), but it has ten speeds to remove all kinds of stuff from your teeth that no toothbrush could ever reach. The two simple control buttons give you have the choice of brushing, flossing, or doing both at once,

People who’ve tried water flossers either love them or hate them. This package combines a very good, simple sonic toothbrush with a great Waterpik, and it’s perfect for water flossing fans.

Digging deeper into the Waterpik SF-02 Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser Combo-In-One:

  • Type: Sonic (plus water flosser)
  • Speed: Up to 30,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: NiMH, rechargeable
  • Charging method: Charging base has included water reservoir for flossing
  • Included brush heads: 2
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Pressure settings: 10
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Weight: 1.75 pounds (including base)
  • Warranty: 3 years, limited

Check Waterpik SF-02​ Price on Amazon

4. Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 4100 Electric Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush Packaging May Vary, White, 1 Count

The G+S team believes in being honest. And quite honestly, the next two electric toothbrushes are better than any that follow in our rankings – even though they’re also made by Philips Sonicare and Oral-B. After all, those are the two best manufacturers of these appliances in the world, so it just makes sense that their more reasonably-priced models still warrant your attention.

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The Protective Clean 4100 from Sonicare is basically a stripped-down version of the company’s DiamondClean models. It uses sonic technology, delivers up to 62,000 strokes per minute, and has a smart timer, a quadrant timer and a pressure alert. However, it comes with only one head and one mode, making it more of a toothbrush than a technological breakthrough – at a price that’s about 2/3 lower than the Diamond Clean we ranked at #1. (If you want more modes, particularly one that’s designed for sensitive teeth, G+S recommends the higher-level Protective Clean 5100 or 6100.)

With fewer bells and whistles, this is an excellent Sonicare toothbrush at a reasonable price; the Protective Clean is made for those who simply want their electric toothbrush to do a great job, not to be smarter than they are.

Details for the Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 4100 Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: Sonic
  • Speed: Up to 62,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: Lithium-ion, rechargeable
  • Charging methods: Included charging base
  • Included brush heads: 1
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 1
  • Bluetooth connectivity: No
  • Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Warranty: 2 years, limited

Check Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 4100​ Price on Amazon

5. Oral-B Black Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, White

Just like the Sonicare Protective Clean, the Oral-B Pro 1000 is a lower-level toothbrush from a great manufacturer at a lower price than the high-end Smart Series units. The team thinks it’s a better buy than most of the no-name models out there.

There’s just one standard head and one mode, Daily Clean. But it uses the same a 3D Oscillating action and delivers great performance, with the same 16 degree angled bristles as the Oral-B 7000, there are regular and quadrant timers, plus a pressure sensor to tell you when you’re brushing too hard. The Pro 1000 is compatible with other Oral-B heads, so if you want a head and brush designed for sensitive teeth, you can purchase one of those separately.

This Oral-B electric toothbrush does a very good job, with fewer features but at about half the cost of the 7000 model.

Specifications for the Oral-B Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: 3D Oscillating Action
  • Speed: Up to 20,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: NiMH, rechargeable
  • Charging method: Included charger base
  • Included brush heads: 1
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 1
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Warranty: 2 years, limited

Check Oral-B Pro 1000 Power Price on Amazon

6. Sonicool 48000 Sonic Electric Toothbrush

MOCEMTRY Sonic Electric Toothbrush with 10 Duponts Brush Heads, 33000 VPM, 4 Cleaning Mode, IPX7 Waterproof Electric Tooth Brush

We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about Philips and Oral-B, the top two manufacturers in our Groom+Style electric toothbrush rankings. Sonicool is undoubtedly a brand you’ve never heard of, but this toothbrush is worth a closer look.

The sonic technology which powers the Sonicool’s cleaning action vibrates 48,000 times per minute in whitening and polishing mode, 41,000 times per minute in cleaning/plaque removal mode, and 31,000 times per minute in sensitive mode (which is also the right choice for brushing gums). That makes this brush one of the most powerful on the market, and when combined with its “3D” rotation and oscillation, we believe the Sonicool does almost as good a job cleaning and removing plaque as its brand-name competitors. It also comes with four brush heads for different cleaning modes.

Other nice features include a built-in pause every 30 seconds to remind you to shift to the next quadrant of your mouth, full waterproof construction, a trio of replacement brushes – and the best feature of all, a price that’s far lower than our Philips and Oral-B recommendations.

Then why does the Sonicool only rank at #6? Two reasons: the construction is good but not as solid as the better-known products the review team has placed higher, and this model does not come with its own charger base or an AC charging option. You have to connect it to a computer or other piece of electronics via USB for a 15-hour charge (which gives you 240 minutes of cleaning time). That inconvenience may make the low price seem like less of a bargain to many shoppers.

The Sonicool Sonic Toothbrush is priced nicely and is great for travelers who can charge it with the USB port on their laptop, but may be too much of a hassle to be used as a regular bathroom model.

Looking further at the Sonicool Sonic Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: Sonic
  • Speed: Up to 48,000 vibrations per minute
  • Charging method: USB
  • Included brush heads: 4
  • Smart timer/quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 3, whitening, cleaning and sensitive
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 15 months

Check Sonicool 48000 Sonic​ Price on Amazon

7. Pro-Sys VarioSonic Electric Toothbrush

PRO-SYS VarioSonic Rechargeable Power Electric Toothbrush, ADA Accepted Smart Sonic Toothbrush, 25 Cleaning Modes with Timer - 5 Replacement Dupont Brush Heads, 5 Brushing Speed - with Travel Case

We’re sure you haven’t come across this toothbrush before, either. That’s primarily because the company, which has been around since 1930, focuses primarily on sales direct to dentists, who then resell it to their patients. You can buy it at the retail level as well, though, and it’s a very good choice.

The Pro-Sys has the most brush head/settings combinations of any toothbrush we’ve reviewed. It comes with with five different brush heads and has five selectable speeds (25,000 to 33,000 strokes per minute). That gives you a total of 25 possible brushing experiences from strong (for healthy teeth) to feather-soft (for very sensitive teeth). We also like the high-quality DuPont Tynex bristles.

There aren’t many other extra features other than a two-minute timer, but as we’ve said before, some people just want a high-performing electric toothbrush which doesn’t require a lengthy session of reading the owner’s manual first.

Pro-Sys makes an excellent product that’s good enough for dentists to recommend and sell, and while it isn’t as powerful as top-end Philips or Oral-B models, it’s still darned good and accommodates those with sensitive teeth, although it’s in a higher price range than those company’s lower-level models.

More info on the Pro-Sys VarioSonic Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: Sonic
  • Speed: Up to 30,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: NiMH, rechargeable
  • Charging method: Included charger base or USB
  • Included brush heads: 5
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/no
  • Brushing modes: 5
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Warranty: 1 year, limited

Check​ Pro-Sys VarioSonic Price on Amazon

8. Arm & Hammer Spinbrush PRO+ Toothbrush

Spinbrush Pro+ Deep Clean, Battery Toothbrush for Adults, Soft Bristles, Batteries Included

Most of us have had to take a last-minute trip. The usual drill is to toss a change of clothes and some toiletries into a carry-on bag and head out – naturally, one of the things you grab before leaving is a toothbrush. But if you’re accustomed to the deeper clean you get from an electric toothbrush, why settle for a manual one in your “go bag” when you can have a decent electric model ready to go, for less than ten bucks?

The Spinbrush PRO+ is nothing special, but it does the job. It has a small rotating and oscillating head, made in the same style as an Oral-B. Its brush head definitely gets into more spots and brushes better than a manual brush. And it runs on two replaceable AA batteries, so there’s no need for a charging base or USB cable; it really does make traveling with an electric toothbrush easy.

For this budget price you don’t get alarms or any other special features, but the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush is ADA approved, and perfect for a quick trip or vacation.

What you need to know about the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush PRO+ Toothbrush:

  • Type: Rotating/oscillating
  • Speed: Not specified
  • Battery: Two AA batteries
  • Charging method: n/a
  • Included brush heads: 1
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: No/no
  • Brushing modes: 1
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Warranty: None specified

Check​ Arm & Hammer Spinbrush PRO+ Price on Amazon

9. Philips Sonicare For Kids Bluetooth Electric Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare for Kids 3+ Bluetooth Connected Rechargeable Electric Power Toothbrush, Interactive for Better Brushing, Turquoise, HX6321/02

The G+S review team thinks that Bluetooth is nice, but not necessary, feature for electric toothbrushes. Here’s one exception we’d make, though, because when you’re buying the first electric brush for your young children, it’s great to be able to track their brushing. The fact that they can also watch the kid-friendly app, and get on-screen “rewards” for doing a good job,” makes a connected kids’ toothbrush a terrific idea.

The Sonicare for Kids has just about all of the advantages of any Sonicare model, including sonic technology, 30,000 strokes per minute, two-minute and quadrant timers, and solid construction. It even has a set of stickers they can put onto their brush to customize it and make it their “very own.” Better brushing made fun for kids – that’s a hard combination to beat.

Sonicare claims that 92% of dentists buy the Sonicare for Kids model for their own children. It’s impossible to know whether that’s true, but we believe it.

Specs for the Philips Sonicare For Kids Bluetooth Electric Toothbrush:

  • Type: Sonic
  • Speed: Up to 30,000 strokes per minute
  • Battery: Lithium-ion, rechargeable
  • Charging methods: Included charging base
  • Included brush heads: 1
  • Smart timer and quadrant timer: Yes/yes
  • Brushing modes: 1
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Warranty: Two years, limited

Check​ Philips Sonicare For Kids Price on Amazon

Best Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide

The first mass-market electric toothbrush was introduced in the early 1960s by General Electric. For many years after that, the choice between electric toothbrushes came down to one basic question: do you prefer a brush whose bristles move back-and-forth, or spin in a circle?

That’s pretty much the only choice you had, until the late 1990s. Two companies dominated the market (as they still do); Oral B’s brushes rotated in a circle, while the brushes on Philips brushes vibrated from side to side. In the 90s, however, sonic technology greatly increased the speed at which the bristles move. That gave birth to new types of electric toothbrushes, many of which are more effective than the older models – and also more expensive.

Three Basic Types of Electric Toothbrushes

Even though the number of electric toothbrushes on the market has exploded over the last two decades, there are only three basic types.

The most common models have heads that rotate or oscillate side-to-side or up-and-down, to scrub teeth just as a manual brush would but more effectively.

Sonic brushes make use of intense high-frequency vibrations to reach areas that other toothbrushes can’t while also buffing teeth.

We’re also starting to see more “ultrasonic” electric toothbrushes, which use ultrasonic waves a million times faster than those used by sonic brushes, to break up plaque and kill bacteria.

Even the non-sonic models have been improved over the years. Oscillating/rotating brushes were called “2D” by manufacturers, but most later added a vibrating function known as “pulsations,” which were better at removing plaque and hard-to-get dirt and food. That change turned 2D electric toothbrushes into more-effective “3D” ones.

You can actually quantify the difference between the three styles of toothbrushes.

  • Someone using a manual toothbrush can usually manage about 300 strokes per minute.
  • An oscillating or rotating electric toothbrush delivers anywhere between 3,000 and 7,500 strokes or rotations per minute.
  • A sonic toothbrush can average anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 strokes per minute.
  • An ultrasonic electric toothbrush delivers an ultrasonic wave equivalent to about 2,500,000 strokes per minute.

As you can see, there’s an enormous difference. However, the numbers don’t automatically mean that an ultrasonic model is 100 times better than a sonic one, since they use very different approaches to cleaning teeth.

A sonic brush still relies on contact with the teeth as the primary method of cleaning them, but also uses high-frequency waves to loosen and remove plaque the toothbrush can’t reach. An ultrasonic one relies more on its very high-frequency waves than contact with the teeth; it’s particularly effective at breaking up plaque caused by bacterial chains, and it can get further below the gums than any other type of brush, since it doesn’t have to actually contact the gums to scrub them.

Generally speaking, the Groom+Style team finds sonic and ultrasonic models more effective, but ultrasonic toothbrushes are predominantly sold in Europe and are, unfortunately, frequently out of stock. That’s why you’ll see sonic toothbrushes listed most often in our reviews. However, the tech that Oral B uses for its non-sonic toothbrushes can give some of the sonic and ultrasonic brushes a run for their money, so you’ll see those models reviewed as well.

Best Electric Toothbrush – Most Important Features of Electric Toothbrushes

As you’d guess, sonic and ultrasonic models are more expensive than traditional rotating or oscillating brushes, so choosing between the types of electric toothbrushes is often a matter of balancing price with the type of brushing action you prefer. Even the less-expensive oscillating or rotating models will cost a lot more than a manual brush, so it’s just a matter of how much you’re willing to spend for an appliance you’ll ideally own for years.

There are a number of other features that distinguish the best electric toothbrushes; perhaps the most useful is a “sensitive mode” for people with gum problems or sensitive teeth. Others find “deep clean” or “whitening” modes a distinct benefit; some electrics have as many as six different modes. Some electric toothbrushes have two or three power settings as well, which can let you adjust the speed of the brush to go more slowly in particularly sensitive areas of the mouth, or slow it down when brushing the gums.

Almost all electrics have an alarm that sounds at two minutes, to tell you when you’ve brushed for the optimal amount of time recommended by dentists. Another great add-on is a quadrant alarm which sounds every 30 seconds, so you know when to move to the next part of your mouth. A third alarm feature that also be helpful tells you when you’re brushing too hard; applying too much pressure when brushing can eventually cause damage to tooth enamel or sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures.

Less Important Features of Electric Toothbrushes

Features that the review team feel are less important include an ultra-violet light sanitizer to clean the toothbrush between uses (UV effectiveness has never been proven), ergonomically-designed handles (you’re only using the brush for two minutes, how much difference can the handle make?) and extended run times (see our previous comment about two minutes). Some even connect to your phone via Bluetooth to give you a live report card on how well you’re brushing, believe it or not.

You’ll obviously consider the cost of the electric toothbrushes you’re considering, but don’t forget the hidden cost of replacement brush heads, which you might need every 3-6 months (it should really be three months, if you’re brushing twice every day like your mom always told you to do). You can pay as much as $10 per brush head if you’re not buying them in bulk packages, but the cost varies greatly by manufacturer and model. Some electrics are also compatible with third-party brush heads that sell for much less, so that’s a good option to consider.

Finally, there are the bells and whistles like LED displays on the charger base, additional cleaning modes, and reminders that tell you when you should replace the brush head. All are nice, none are essential.

Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Toothbrushes

Q: Do the bristles on the toothbrush matter?
A: Yes, but almost all good electric toothbrushes come with soft bristles, the type that dentists recommend. Harder bristles can chew up your gums in a hurry.

Q: How about the size of the head?
A: It really shouldn’t matter unless you have a particularly small mouth, in which case an Oral B round head might be a bit more comfortable than the larger head on a sonic toothbrush.

Q: Isn’t a UV cleaning function the healthiest way to go? I mean, the brush comes in contact with the inside of my mouth every day.
A: Ultraviolet light hasn’t been proven to kill the germs in a toothbrush, so it’s really just a fancy gimmick. All you have to do is rinse the bristles under hot water every day, or if you’re really worried, soak the head in an antibacterial mouthwash every so often. And let the brush dry in the open air, without putting the protective cover back on.

Q: Is an electric toothbrush safe for kids?
A: Yes, as long as they’re older than 3 or 4. In fact, studies have found that young children brush more often and more completely when using electrics, probably because of the novelty or the feeling that they’re “more grown up.” Just don’t set them loose with a top-of-the-line ultrasonic model at age 3; there are electric toothbrushes for kids (many in bright colors or decorated with favorite cartoon characters) that run for just one minute at a time and have ultra-soft bristles, both recommended for younger children.

Q: How long will the battery last?
A: It varies depending on the toothbrush and type of battery, but typically 3-5 years.

Q: Does the whitening mode on an electric toothbrush really help whiten teeth?
A: Yes, but you can help it along by using a whitening toothpaste as well. It won’t do as good a job as bleaching or dental office treatments, but it’s a good alternative if your teeth are already in good shape.


  • Franz Rivoira

    Franz has extensive knowledge of mechanical watches and loves exploring the details that make each one unique. He's also passionate about helping men look their best and shares tips about perfect shave or maintaining a healthy beard. Franz is a go-to source for anyone looking to elevate their style game. Linkedin: