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The Best Electric Toothbrushes for Great Dental Health

Alliance Images/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated August 2021

Electric toothbrushes have become nearly as (if not more) popular than classic ones, and for a good reason. Choosing the right electric toothbrush can do more for you than give you a bright smile.

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  Top Choice Best for Travel Best for Kids Best for Sensitive Gums Best with Water Flosser
 
  Philips Sonicare
HX6817/01 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
AquaSonic
Black Series Electric Toothbrush
Oral-B
Electric Toothbrush for Kids 3+
Philips Sonicare
ProtectiveClean 6100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Waterpik
Complete Care Electric Toothbrush with Water Flosser
 
Our SummaryThis electric toothbrush has a long-lasting charge and a powerful brush head with a timer.This high-quality, high-value electric toothbrush comes with extra heads and a travel case.This little electric toothbrush is the ideal tool to help instill healthy teeth cleaning habits in your little one.This toothbrush has three modes to customize your clean without irritating your teeth or gums.This modern water flosser toothbrush is a convenient and effective way to keep your mouth healthy.
ProsSensor and timer equipped, long-lasting charge, tells you when brush needs replacing.Great value, useful features, can be used in the shower.Gentle and soft, fully rotating head, less expensive.Gum care mode, three intensity levels, travel case included.Multiple modes, flosser can reach tight areas, water reservoir is dishwasher safe.
ConsNo spare brush heads included, bristles hard on sensitive teeth.Too powerful for some, not as long-lasting.Only compatible with Oral-B brush heads, shorter charge.Expensive, can't be used in shower, harder to grip.Takes up more space, pricey, not easily portable.
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The Best Electric Toothbrushes for Great Dental Health

A woman brushes her teeth with an electric toothbrush.
Alliance Images/Shutterstock.com

Research shows that good oral hygiene not only boosts your self-esteem, but can also lower your risk of heart disease and reduce infection and inflammation throughout your body. Good toothbrushing habits might even help to keep your cognitive skills in top form. The American Dental Association recommends that we brush our teeth for two minutes, twice a day, using a soft-bristle brush with gentle pressure. Along with a good mouthwash, floss, and fluoride toothpaste, this daily habit will decrease your risk of gum disease and cavities and contribute to the remineralization of your teeth.

How and when you actually do the brushing is important. A powered toothbrush can correct bad brushing habits and ensure that you brush for the recommended time, get under the gum line to remove plaque, and get to those hard-to-reach places for the all-over clean that you need.

Your pearly whites will thank you for making a well-considered choice in powered toothbrushes!

Buying Guide for Electric Toothbrushes

A modern rechargeable electric toothbrush set rests on a counter to charge in a bathroom.
Damian Lugowski/Shutterstock.com

Why buy an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes offer several advantages over classic ones. Studies have shown that on average, they remove more plaque, so they tend to be more effective at their assigned task. This is especially true if the electric toothbrush actually rotates instead of just vibrating. Some high-tech models have useful features like timers or sensors that help develop better daily brushing habits. And electric toothbrushes are great for people with disabilities, wrist or hand injuries, or other limited mobility scenarios ranging from carpal tunnel to arthritis and more.

It’s true that electric toothbrushes come with a higher price tag, but many people find them to be worth the cost.

What should you look for in an electric toothbrush?

When looking for an electric toothbrush to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime, consider these essential factors:

  • Cost: Although electric toothbrushes might seem pricey compared to manual ones, the great thing is that an entire family can share an electric toothbrush by just switching the brush heads. Brush heads are another cost that you should consider. Like manual toothbrushes, they should be replaced at least once every three months.
  • Features: These days, electric toothbrushes come with all kinds of high-tech features, like Bluetooth connectivity and apps to track data about position and pressure in your daily brushing—all fancy features for great brushing, but those extras come with a price tag! At a minimum, your electric toothbrush should help you brush for the correct amount of time with a built-in two-minute timer. Some toothbrushes also have “quad pacers” that signal every 30 seconds so that you spend an equal amount of time on each quadrant in your mouth. For people who tend to brush too hard, potentially damaging gums and tooth enamel, the toothbrush should also include a pressure sensor.
  • Portability: If you want to take your electric toothbrush on the road, you don’t want to carry a heavy, bulky charger station along. Your toothbrush should be lightweight, have a travel case, and be able to hold a charge for the entirety of a trip or be charged by USB.

Are rechargeable or battery-operated electric toothbrushes the better choice? 

It depends. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes come with a higher price tag. However, battery-operated models need their batteries replaced every so often, so they will cost you some extra money in that vein. However, rechargeable electric toothbrushes tend to be the ones that have those fun bonus features like timers, pressure sensors, and so forth—hence their higher price tag. A battery-operated model might be more useful for traveling since you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet to charge it if it runs out of juice (although you’ll want to bring spare batteries along just in case). So it comes down to your unique needs and budget. If you have the money to spare and really want extra features, opt for a rechargeable electric toothbrush. If you want something more convenient for traveling or more budget-friendly, you’ll probably be happier with a battery-powered electric toothbrush.

Our Picks for the Most Effective Electric Toothbrushes

Top Choice

Philips Sonicare HX6817/01 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

This electric toothbrush has a long-lasting charge and a powerful brush head with a timer.

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Pros: This electric toothbrush is equipped with both a timer and a pressure sensor to provide you with an optimal and effective brushing experience. As a bonus feature, it alerts you when your brush head needs changing. And it won’t require daily charging. When fully charged, this model lasts around 14 days before you’ll need to charge it again.

Cons: Unfortunately, this electric toothbrush doesn’t come with any spare brush heads. You’ll have to find and purchase them separately. And some users with sensitive teeth or gums have found the bristles to be too firm for their liking.

Bottom Line: This is a quintessential, rechargeable electric toothbrush with features that any user will find useful. Unless you have sensitive teeth or gums, you really can’t go wrong with this model.

 

Best for Travel

AquaSonic Black Series Electric Toothbrush

This high-quality, high-value electric toothbrush comes with extra heads and a travel case.

Pros: You get great bang for your buck with this electric toothbrush set. You receive not just the brush itself, but eight spare brush heads, a travel case, a rechargeable battery, and a wireless charger. A single full charge can last for an impressive 30 days, assuming that you use the toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each. And the toothbrush is lightweight and fully waterproof, so you can brush your teeth while in the shower if you like.

Cons: This electric toothbrush operates at 40,000 vibrations per minute. While useful for cleaning teeth, some users have found this much power to be overwhelming or too much to handle. It doesn’t have quite as long of a service life as some other models.

Bottom Line: If you’re someone who travels a lot, you’ll get good mileage out of this electric toothbrush. The travel case makes it easy to bring along and even has room for a spare brush head, and the long-lasting charge means that you might not even have to pack the charger. But you might want to pass on this model if you’re in the market for a gentler electric toothbrush.

 

Best for Kids

Oral-B Electric Toothbrush for Kids 3+

This little electric toothbrush is the ideal tool to help instill healthy teeth-cleaning habits in your little one.

Pros: With this electric toothbrush, you won’t have to worry about your child over-brushing or being too hard on their teeth and gums. The brush head is designed to be soft and gentle to avoid irritating the teeth or gums while fully rotating for a more in-depth clean. The built-in timer on the handle lets your child know when they can spit. Plus, it’s less expensive than many comparable models.

Cons: Unlike some other electric toothbrushes, you can’t use just any old spare brush head when the time comes to replace this one—you’ll have to use an Oral-B brand brush head. No spares come included with your purchase. And this brush needs to be recharged more often than many other models.

Bottom Line: This electric toothbrush is a great choice for teaching your child healthy teeth-brushing habits. It’s suitable for ages 3 and up, so parents can make sure that their little ones start learning those habits sooner rather than later, and it’s low-priced enough for budget-conscious parents to appreciate. Keep in mind that its frequent need for recharging means that this isn’t a great option for traveling, though.

 

Best for Sensitive Gums

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

This toothbrush has three modes to customize your clean without irritating your teeth or gums.

Pros: This electric toothbrush was designed specifically for people with sensitive gums and teeth. Not only does the pressure sensor let you know when you’re brushing too hard, but one of the several modes available is a gum care mode. There are three different intensity levels to choose from as well. A full charge can last up to 14 days before needing a recharge, and a travel case also comes included, so you can easily take this electric toothbrush on the road.

Cons: This model is rather expensive, even by electric toothbrush standards. Some users also reported that the sleek base can be hard to grip. Since the entire body of the toothbrush isn’t waterproof, you won’t be able to use it to brush your teeth in the shower.

Bottom Line: If you have sensitive teeth or gums that make brushing your teeth an uncomfortable experience, this electric toothbrush is going to be worth the higher price tag. If you’re on a stricter budget, have wrist or hand issues, or prefer to brush your teeth in the shower to shorten your morning routine, you’re better off going with another model.

 

Best with Water Flosser

Waterpik Complete Care Electric Toothbrush with Water Flosser

This modern electric toothbrush and water flosser combo is a convenient and effective way to keep your mouth healthy.

Pros: This electric toothbrush and water flosser set are great for all of those tight and hard-to-reach places in your mouth. The flosser is specially designed to clean the extremely narrow gaps in-between your teeth. The brush charges right on the dock and comes with three modes: clean, whiten, and massage. The unit comes with replacement pieces (two brush head replacements and five water flosser tips). As a bonus, the flosser’s water reservoir is dishwasher safe (top rack only) for easy and more sanitary cleaning.

Cons: Though not the most expensive electric toothbrush on the market, this model is still higher in price. Due to the extra tool in the flosser, its water reservoir, and the mount for both tools, this electric toothbrush requires a lot more counter or sink space than the average model. This bulkiness also means that it’s not convenient for traveling, as it will take up a lot more space in your bag or suitcase.

Bottom Line: If you have braces, implants, or other specialty dental work, this electric toothbrush and water flosser are absolutely worthwhile. Both tools can reach and clean tight places that a normal toothbrush and dental floss can’t, and they’re much gentler on your teeth and gums. People with limited counter or storage space and anyone who travels frequently will want to opt for a slimmer, more portable model.

Final Thoughts

There are many good reasons to invest in a quality electric toothbrush. People of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from the in-depth cleaning and good brushing habits that they help provide. Plus, they will last longer and will need to be replaced far less often, which makes them cost-efficient in the long run on top of their other benefits.

Lisa Walenceus Lisa Walenceus
Lisa Walenceus has 20 years of research and writing experience as an educator, news reporter, and freelancer. She writes to learn and digs deep to find how things work. Read Full Bio »
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