Best Electric Toothbrush Choices

Good oral hygiene matters!

Why?

Because neglecting your teeth and gums is to put your ability to chew food, smile and swallow at risk. And poor oral hygiene has been linked to a number of other health conditions, making it all the more important to brush with a high quality electric toothbrush, every day, twice a day!

In this guide we’ll be teaching you the what, why and how of electric toothbrushes.

Guide Contents

How Effective are Electric Toothbrushes

Manual Brushing Vs. Electric

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

What Makes a Good Electric Toothbrush?

How We Pick the Best from the Bunch

Best Electric Toothbrush Overall

Best Budget Electric Toothbrush

How Effective are Electric Toothbrushes

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Though a manual toothbrush will certainly clean your teeth, the science has spoken: a summarization of health research clearly shows that electric toothbrushes, as compared to their manual counterparts, significantly reduce the chance of developing gingivitis and removes more plaque.

How do Electric and Manual Toothbrushes Differ?

An electric toothbrush is powered by a battery-driven motor; a manual toothbrush is powered by hand. In either case, the end-goal—clean teeth and gums—is the same. However, that’s where similarities end.

Electric toothbrushes are capable of speeds that could never be achieved with a manual brush. And advancements in electric motor technology allow electric toothbrushes to vibrate, rotate, pulsate and oscillate, dramatically increasing their ability to power away plaque from teeth and around the gum line.

Furthermore, most decent electric toothbrushes feature 2-minute timers (the standard recommended brushing time) to help you keep your brushing on track. And as compared to a manual brush, its electric counterpart generates less waste over the long-term; all that gets replaced regularly are the brush heads.

An electric toothbrush is a superior choice for those with arthritis and mobility issues; the electric motor does most of the work, reducing strain and pain caused by brushing. And for those who tend to “over-brush”—that is, apply too much pressure—some electric toothbrushes feature sensors that alert you when you’re pushing too hard.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

There exist two primary types of electric toothbrush: Oscillating and Sonic. We’ll be discussing those in more detail just shortly, as well as two excellent, leading brands: Philips and Braun.

Oscillating Electric Toothbrushes

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An oscillating electric toothbrush features small, round-shaped toothbrush heads which oscillate—turn rapidly—from one direction to the other. The small size of the brush head looks quite unlike that of a regular toothbrush, and typically allows for only one tooth to be cleaned—albeit very thoroughly—at a time.

Oscillating brushes clean with a scrubbing action, though some such brushes, which rotate at thousands to tens of thousands of times per minute, also create a pulsing motion, whose high frequencies remove deep-set plaque through a “non-contact” cleaning action, dramatically eliminating tartar formation and reducing tooth decay.

Sonic Electric Toothbrushes

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Sonic electric toothbrushes differ somewhat from the oscillating mechanism of action. Not only does a sonic toothbrush scrub teeth, but it’s rapid speed—up to 40,000 movements per minute—creates a sonic, and in some cases, ultrasonic, vibrating wave which breaks apart plaque beyond the physical reach of the bristles.

Let’s look a bit more closely at the two mechanisms of action.

How effective the mechanical scrubbing component is depends upon the vertical distance travelled by the brush head with every stroke, and how quickly the brush head moves. The second way in which a sonic toothbrush cleans involves what’s called “fluid dynamics”—an effect related to the extreme rapidity of the brush head’s movement. When bristles move tens of thousands of times per minute, the liquids that surround the teeth become so agitated that nearby plaque gets broken up.

Philips and Braun

Philips and Braun are, for many people, household names. Both companies design and manufacture high-quality electronic and personal health care products. Philips has existed since 1912—providing consumers with innovation for over a century, and is the market leader in sonic electric toothbrush technology.

Braun officially formed as a company in 1921, and produces a wide range of electronic products and appliances, included the highly-renowned Oral-B brand of oscillating electric toothbrushes.

What Makes a Good Electric Toothbrush?

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At its core, an electric toothbrush is nothing more than a brush head attached to a handle, which houses a motor. However, a number of factors determine whether or not an electric toothbrush is actually good. Continue reading to learn more about the features to look for!

Built in Timer

A timer ensures that you’ll brush your teeth for a full, dentist-recommended two minutes, maximizing plaque reduction. For further benefit, look for a toothbrush that features a quadrant timer, breaking up those two minutes into 30-second segments, for a perfectly even cleaning throughout all four quadrants of your mouth.

Motor Power

Adequate power means your electric toothbrush is capable of powering all its extra features, as well as moving with the speed and intensity necessary to break apart plaque.

Battery Life

Good battery life will allow an electric toothbrush to run for multiple brushings without any drop in performance—even if you forget to place the brush back on its charger for a few consecutive days.

Brush Heads

Interchangeable brush heads are an important feature. Look for an electric toothbrush that’s compatible with a wide range of brush heads, from general purpose, to floss-action, to sensitive and more—making it possible to select the right head, or heads, for your needs.

Bluetooth and Smartphone Connectivity

Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity will become evermore commonplace, as the ubiquity of smartphones and other connected devices increases. Some electric toothbrushes already feature wireless connectivity, allowing them to interface directly with phones and tablets. As such, you can use apps to monitor and record your brushing time and progress, and as a motivator to stay on track.

Built in Pressure Sensors

Pressure sensors help prevent over-brushing—a name given to some people’s tendency to apply excessive pressure when brushing (to do so is particularly common when one is accustomed to using a manual toothbrush). Over-brushing not only causes premature bristle wear, but can damage gums. A pressure sensor provides an audible and/or visual warning when too much pressure is applied.

Travel Care and Storage

A travel case is an often overlooked, but important accessory, allowing you to take your electric toothbrush with you, while protecting it from damage, and keeping it and any extra parts, such as brush heads, organized.

Brushing Modes and Setting

Multiple brushing modes are as important as a wide range of brush head compatibility. For example, one person may need a mode for whitening their teeth, while another may require a setting for sensitive teeth.

Dental Professional Rating

A Professional Dental Association recommendation means that an electric toothbrush has undergone rigorous testing to ensure performance, effective cleaning, and safety. Oral-B toothbrushes carry the recommendation of the British Dental Health Foundation.

How We Pick the Best from the Bunch

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There are myriad electric toothbrushes from which to choose. How did we narrow down the list to find the best choices? By poring over customer reviews, and extensively researching and analysing a number of metrics, including how well and easily each toothbrush removes plaque, the manufacturer’s reputation, build quality and reliability… and more.

  • Customer reviews—found on the websites of reputable online merchants, such as Amazon, Boots, Argos and Tesco—play an important role in our selection and recommendation of products. When the majority of reviews for a particular toothbrush align with a manufacturer’s claims, we know we’re onto something good.
  • How effectively an electric toothbrush removes plaque is another key determinant in our recommendation process. Plaque, if left unchecked, leads to tooth decay and gum disease—the latter of which is linked to a number of additional health problems.
  • Ease of use cannot be understated. An electric toothbrush should not complicate, whether by unnecessary features or design flaws, an inherently simple activity.
  • A manufacturer’s reputation isn’t quite the same as the general consensus formed by hundreds of customer reviews, but is no less important. The widely-held high regard of an established manufacturer—such as Braun Oral-B or Philips—is indicative that a company can be trusted to produce a good product.
  • Build quality and reliability mean that an electric toothbrush is well-made, using good materials, constructed to tight tolerances and a high aesthetic standard, and is built to last, providing years of service.
  • Value for money is another way of saying that any electric toothbrush we recommend provides excellent quality and performance for the price you pay.
  • The recommendation of professional dentists—as well as the British Dental Health Foundation (an independent dental charity that works toward improving oral health and hygiene standards in the UK and beyond) provides further assurance that an electric toothbrush has met rigorous safety and performance standards.

Best Electric Toothbrush Overall

Oral-B Genius 9000

Based on our metrics, our recommendation for the best electric toothbrush overall in 2016 is the Oral-B Genius 9000. A brilliant—some might even say genius—product from the great minds at Braun Oral-B, the Genius 9000 ticks all the right boxes. Keep reading to learn more!

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Key Features

  1. One-of-a-kind Position Detection technology guides as you brush.
  2. Professionally-inspired round head provides superior cleaning action and whiter teeth from the very first brushing, by removing surface stains.
  3. Easy on gums—automatic speed reduction prevents irritation.
  4. Ultra high-quality battery and advanced Smart Travel Case that charges your toothbrush and phone
  5. Cleans teeth better than any manual toothbrush.

 

Keeps Your Brushing on Target

The Genius 9000 features an advanced Position Detection system that shows you exactly where you’re brushing, ensuring that the highly effective CrossAction bristles stay in the zone, cleaning each tooth evenly. And the integrated, dentist-recommended, two-minute timer helps you brush for the perfect length of time: 30 seconds per quadrant, for a total of 120 seconds of cleaning.

Pressure Sensor Protects Sensitive Gum Tissue

If you’ve ever “overbrushed”—the term used to describe an overzealous application of pressure when brushing one’s teeth—and something I know I’m guilty of!—you know how quickly doing so can wear down your brush bristles, and irritate your gums. Fortunately, the Genius 9000 utilizes triple pressure-sensing technology. If you brush too hard, Oral-B’s SmartRing feature illuminates, and the brush’s pulsations reduce in speed. If your gums are particularly irritation-prone, the Sensitive cleaning mode can be conveniently activated on the handle.

Instant Feedback While You Brush!

As the ubiquity of Bluetooth technology grows, the short-range wireless communication standard is being integrated into increasingly many products, including Oral-B’s Genius 9000. It’s easy to pair the Genius with a smartphone—simply install the Oral-B app, and connect the brush to your phone. Realtime feedback is provided, as well as a log of your brushing progress.

SmartRing Provides Information from Every Angle

Putting a new twist on the old ways of displaying information, the Genius 9000’s multicoloured SmartRing provides you with quick feedback about brushing pressure, Bluetooth connection, and brushing time, in a veritable rainbow of colours—twelve, in fact, which can be programmed through the Oral-B app.

Round Brush Head Provides Superior Clean Action

You’ve probably noticed that many professional dental tools feature round-shaped heads. Oral-B has taken its cue from those who know oral health best—every Oral-B replacement brush head is round, with carefully arranged bristle clusters that rotate, oscillate and pulsate around each tooth, removing up to one hundred percent more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush.

Advanced Battery Technology and Travel Case For Power on the Go

Portable technology is great—it largely does away with tangly wires, at least when a device is in operation. However, there’s no escaping the fact that those otherwise portable devices still need to be charged. Luckily, the Oral-B Genius 9000’s high-capacity lithium-ion battery provides plenty of full-power runtime, and the unique Smart Travel Case lets you charge your toothbrush and phone at the same time, using only one outlet—a commodity often in short supply when away from home!

New Brush, New Day—New Smile!

I’m a big fan of useful extras—like the included 3D White brush head. It’s special rubber polishing cup helps scrub away surface stains, giving you a whiter, cleaner-looking smile from day one. Of course, the Oral-B Genius 9000 is compatible with a wide variety of brush heads, allowing you to tailor your brushing experience to your needs.

A Trusted Brand, Recommended by Dentists…

Braun Oral-B is a leading, international oral health care brand, reputed for its high standards of quality and performance. Not only do Oral-B electric toothbrushes outperform regular, manual toothbrushes—they’re the number-one brand used and recommended by dentists.

…And Recommended by Us!

Feature-rich, high quality, and built to last, the Oral-B Genius 9000 is our most-recommended, best electric toothbrush overall. It outperforms the competition, is highly-regarded, and provides ample power, giving you clean teeth, day after day. Consider it an investment in the future of your oral health.

Best Electric Toothbrush on a Budget

Oral-B Pro 2500

Unquestionably, some electric toothbrushes are costly. However, one needn’t spend a princely sum to acquire a quality product. In fact, the Oral-B Pro 2500 falls very nicely into the great-value-for-your-money category, and makes the grade as our best budget electric toothbrush.best-budget-toothbrush-2500-braun

 

Inspired by Professionals

As with all Oral-B products, the Pro 2500 was clearly modelled after professional grade dental tools. Not only does the small, easy-to-move, round brush head fit perfectly over each tooth—it rotates, oscillates and pulsates, providing a triple-threat cleaning action that obliterates significantly more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

Affordable—and Advanced!

Though OralB’s Pro 2500 is a “budget” electric toothbrush that packs a powerful punch, it doesn’t skimp on important features—like Daily Clean and Gum Care cleaning modes, as well as a visible pressure sensor, which illuminates to alert you if you’re brushing too hard, that is, applying too much pressure, which can not only wear out bristles prematurely, but damage or irritate gum tissue. Daily Clean utilizes a 3D brushing action, perfectly suited to regular use, while Gum Care mode gently massages and stimulates your gums.

Helps You Brush for the Perfect Length of Time, Every Time

Most electric toothbrushes feature a 2-minute timer—and that’s great news. After all, dental professionals recommend brushing for a full two minutes. But it’s a pleasant surprise to discover that the Pro 2500’s timer is designed to buzz every thirty seconds, reminding you to move to the next quadrant of your mouth, ensuring a perfectly even brushing, every time.

Sixteen Degrees of Clean!

Taking another cue from professional dental tools, the Pro 2500 CrissCross bristles are arranged at a 16-degree angle—perfect for reaching far between teeth and to the gum line, removing plaque that an ordinary toothbrush would miss.

Enough Power to Brush For a Full Week

The built-in rechargeable battery, when charged to maximum capacity, stores enough power to provide up to seven days of cleanings. Though it’s easy to place the toothbrush on its included charging stand when not in use, it’s reassuring to know that even if you occasionally forget to do so, the Pro 2500 will be ready when you need it.

Accommodates a Wide Range of Brush Heads

In order to ensure that your needs are met, Oral-B electric toothbrushes are compatible with a wide variety of replaceable brush heads, suitable for deep cleaning, whitening, sensitive teeth, gum health, and more. An Oral-B toothbrush head lasts for three to four months of average use—but always replace a brush head when it’s bristles look worn or faded, to ensure maximum cleaning performance.

Looks Good, Travels Well!

Though not a top-of-the-line product, the Oral-B Pro 2500 shares the good looks of higher-end toothbrushes. It’s white handle, black, rubberized coating, and subtle, red and blue accents make it look great on any bathroom counter. And the free limited edition travel case makes it easy to take the Pro 2500 with you, and keep your teeth healthy and clean wherever you go.

A Perfect Budget-Friendly Brush

The Pro 2500 is excellent as both a fist-time buyer’s electric toothbrush, and for anyone on a budget. It’s affordable, but doesn’t forego important features, nor suffer from the poor build quality that plagues many lower-cost products. We highly recommend it!

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