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 using 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.
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?
- 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 something more budget-friendly, you’ll probably be happier with a battery-powered electric toothbrush.
Philips Sonicare HX6817/01 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
This electric toothbrush has a long-lasting charge and a powerful brush head with a timer.
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. These are all reasons why it’s such a popular, reliable pick for most people.
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 nearly any user will find useful. Unless you have particularly sensitive teeth or gums, you really can’t go wrong with this model.
Quip Adult Electric Toothbrush
This sleek and functional design keeps the focus on cleaning your teeth.
Pros: Your electric toothbrush doesn’t have to be bulky or cost a fortune. This ADA-accepted, low-profile toothbrush is slim for comfort, travel, and an aesthetic bathroom. The electric toothbrush features sonic vibrations that can help break up food particles and remove plaque while preventing gingivitis. It features a 2-minute timer as well as 30 seconds of pulsing. It comes with a versatile cover that can be used during travel or can mount on the mirror for convenient storage. The toothbrush head is replaceable, so you won’t have to buy a new toothbrush often. Upon receiving the toothbrush, there is an option to conveniently subscribe for a new toothbrush head and battery.
Cons: Since it is powered by batteries, you will want to keep some on hand if you don’t use the subscription service. It’s not as powerful as other electric toothbrushes.
Bottom Line: This no-fuss electric toothbrush is easy to travel with and comfortable to use. Sonic vibrations provide ADA-approved cleaning, while the timers are user-friendly. The versatile design of the toothbrush cover for travel or the mirror-mounted holder while at home is an innovative approach that other electric toothbrushes don’t offer. The subscription option can keep the toothbrush head and battery replacement super easy.
AquaSonic Black Series Electric Toothbrush
This high-quality, high-value electric toothbrush comes with extra heads and a travel case.
Pros: You get a 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 time. 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 travel 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.
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 might be better off going with another model.
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 is 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 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 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.
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.