Best electric toothbrush: Five things to consider

Replace your old toothbrush once and for all and enjoy the benefits of having a cleaner mouth than ever before.

Opting for an electric toothbrush over a traditional design provides a number of benefits to users, granting basic optimization and automation of an otherwise repetitive hygiene routine that demands diligence yet too often veers into the mundane. The brush heads are the main plus for this category, as they’re designed to automatically brush your teeth on multiple axes simultaneously all while reducing the amount of arm and wrist motion required. This translates into a deeper, more complete cleaning than one can expect from a conventional toothbrush thanks to sheer multiplication of strokes against your teeth as well as the variety of axes along which these brushes travel. Better yet, since the heads on electric toothbrushes are fully replaceable, users are more likely to get the same results time and again. Some are cleverly designed to offer a wealth of brushing modes, others excel at portability, and all of them keep your teeth and gums cleaner than ever, but the best electric toothbrush for you will be the one that makes brushing so easy that you don’t even need to think about it.

Things to consider when buying an electric toothbrush

The best electric toothbrush for you will cater to your specific needs and intended method of use. Some models allow you to receive a dental office-level cleaning regularly from the comfort of your own home, and others are refined for portability and long battery life, making them better for taking on the road. If you’re looking to improve and track your hygiene, you might want to consider a smartphone-enabled toothbrush, and if you’re still getting to know your mouth or looking for the absolute most well-rounded cleaning, you might want to choose a model that offers a number of modes and compatibility with a variety of head types.

How often do you want to charge it?

The onboard energy that’s required to rapidly push the bristles of an electric toothbrush against and across your teeth comes at a cost in weight and bulk, so these models are designed to be as light as possible while still packing enough battery power to get you through multiple brushings. Naturally, a well-designed electric toothbrush should still fit in your hand comfortably just like a traditional toothbrush would and retain maneuverability.

Electric toothbrushes come with a variety of charging systems that tend to allow users quick access to their toothbrush from a dock or other style of charging station, held in place by friction, clips, or magnets and waiting at the ready for daily use. Battery capacities in this product category can vary widely depending on the features of the brush and can hold between two days of charge to up to two weeks in some cases. Some models include an additional charging case for travel that will allow you to power up your toothbrush on the go, and still, others rely on common disposable batteries to get the job done. Everything from the frequency of use, layout, and decor of your bathroom, and whether you intend to travel with your toothbrush should be considered when comparing the designs of the charging system.

For toothbrushes that you plan on packing up and bringing with you, a battery with a longer charge life is a must since you may need to use it in situations with limited access to power. If your bathroom lacks a power outlet, this same concern applies. In these situations, a charger travel case will make a big difference in ensuring that your toothbrush doesn’t run out of power. If you’re planning on storing your toothbrush on its dock or you just want to take the guesswork out of maintaining a charge on your toothbrush, a model with a modest baseline charge capacity or that runs on traditional disposable batteries may suffice.

Best electric toothbrush for battery life: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Classiest Looking Option

Portable, modular convenience at home or away. Amazon

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The DiamondClean 9750 from Philips Sonicare operates its brushes in five modes at three speeds up to 62,000 strokes per minute and comes with three different brush heads. Users will enjoy the enhanced portability of this item afforded by its sleek dedicated travel charger, and the included charging glass offers a unique way to stay powered up when brushing at home. You have to recharge your brush every two weeks.

Do you want a WiFi-connected smart toothbrush?

Artificial intelligence and smartphone compatibility have touched many commonplace household items over recent years, augmenting once-conventional activities with the ultimate goal of making these tasks easier to accomplish and increasing the effectiveness of their results. In the world of tooth brushing, smart tech has opened doors for users to enjoy cleaner mouths while minimizing the work required to reach these new heights.

Smart technology in electric toothbrushes is used for adding a range of perks to dental cleaning, the most common of which is the ability to automatically time each two-minute brushing session and notify the user upon completion. This, when combined with the unique motorized brushing that these devices are known for, allows for a more complete and efficient cleaning process that is guaranteed to live up to the ADA’s hygiene recommendations. Some models of electric toothbrushes are able to actively sense the amount of pressure being used during brushing and can notify users when too little or too much is used, optimizing tooth health while protecting gums from rough brushing.

App-compatible brushes from some manufacturers take this augmentation to a further level, allowing users conveniences such as opting into automatic reordering of brush heads when the bristles wear down, and even logging which areas of your mouth have been cleaned during your brushing and reporting which areas could use some extra love. High-tech perks like these may be relatively new to the world of oral hygiene, but they make such a big difference that it’s hard to picture a future in which they’re not commonplace.

Best smart electric toothbrush: Oral-B iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush

Basically Does The Hard Part For You

Equipped with round brush heads inspired by medical-quality dental hygiene tools. Amazon

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A two-week battery life is the cornerstone of this Oral-B electric toothbrush, which packs four brush heads, a charging travel case, and a smart pressure sensor into a single device. The magnetic charging stand is perfect for sink-top storage and its personalized onboard color display enables an interactive and customizable brushing experience. The even, constant micro-vibrations provide a more efficient and pleasurable brushing experience. Connect it to the companion app for tracking and coaching so you can improve your overall brushing habits.

Will you be traveling with your electric toothbrush often?

Traveling with toothbrushes has long been mired in inconvenience: how do you keep your bristles off of your other toiletries, where do you put it when you’re done brushing your teeth, and how can you keep it from making everything in your bag wet? For a while, mini travel toothbrushes seemed to be a proper solution, but their small handles and easy-to-lose designs don’t inspire confidence in their longevity as a reasonable alternative.

An electric toothbrush is in many ways the convenient antithesis of the dollar store travel toothbrush because many models have specific design features that allow them to pack up easily and travel with you so you can get your familiar level of daily clean even when you’re on the go. Removable, interchangeable brush heads are a big part of their portable appeal, and many come with dedicated travel cases that can also recharge your batteries, making them all-in-one at home and travel solutions that don’t require purchasing extra bags or cases.

If you do plan on traveling with your electric toothbrush, it’s essential that you choose a model that can charge up using its case, since you may be brushing your teeth on a plane, train, in the car, or elsewhere with limited access to power. The bottom line is that an electric toothbrush simply doesn’t have to be a limiting factor that demands you remain tethered to your home bathroom to get a high-level cleaning. This should come as good news to most users since traveling and being desperate for a brushing usually go hand-in-hand.

Best travel electric toothbrush: hum by Colgate Smart Electric Toothbrush Kit

Helpful Reminders

Three cleaning modes and 10-day battery life on a single charge. Amazon

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This smart toothbrush from Colgate times out the perfect two-minute cleaning, logging your progress via the smartphone app, and offering smart reordering of brush heads using Alexa. It comes with a charger, carrying case, and an extra brush head, and it’s all finished with an ergonomic handle, making it as comfortable as it is convenient. If you ask us, it’s certainly the best travel electric toothbrush out there.

What kind of bristles do you want?

Much like conventional toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads come in a wide variety of bristle softnesses, shapes, and configurations. This array of options allows users to customize and control their tooth and gum cleaning routines for their specific sensitivity and areas of need. Some designs, like circular oscillating heads, allow users to brush in between smaller gaps and cracks, increasing the amount of tartar and plaque removed when compared with a larger brush design. Others, especially longer designs such as wedges and ovals, excel at covering a wider swath of the tooth and gum per cycle, cutting down on the time and energy required to get clean. In some cases, models of electric toothbrush heads are also enhanced with rubber construction and other combinations of materials to help them further conform to normal irregularities in the mouth and further augment the already-superior cleaning that their electric motion delivers.

Some manufacturers take head variety to the next level and combine existing dental cleaning technology with their toothbrushes, allowing users to floss and brush their teeth with one hybrid product and enjoy the maximum benefits available from a single dental maintenance device. Flossing is an oft-overlooked, but essential step in the twice-daily process of brushing, because it reaches the gaps between teeth that no amount of brushing can ever fully touch. Water flossing is a standard step in dental office cleanings, and its availability in the home market is a huge convenience not only for the thorough cleaning it provides but for eliminating the need for traditional dental floss as well.

Best electric toothbrush with flossing bristles: Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Professional Flossing Toothbrush

Why Not Take Care Of Both Jobs At Once

Its 60-second-capacity water reservoir can be used with mouthwash. Amazon

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This unique offering delivers the enhanced benefits of water flossing combined with electric brushing tech, allowing users to choose between modes or engage both simultaneously. It also offers the same perks you’d expect from a high-quality item in this category including a two-minute timer, adjustable pressure settings, and a dedicated travel case.

Do you want multiple cleaning modes?

Your ultimate goal in accomplishing a clean, comfortable mouth and your desired amount of flexibility will determine how many operating modes you need from an electric toothbrush. Models can range anywhere from basic one-and-done operation to offering a handful of different speeds and motions within a single design. Above all else, the number of operating modes dictates just how far an electric toothbrush can take your cleaning and ultimately whether the toothbrush can effectively conform to your specific needs.

The best electric toothbrushes commonly offer at minimum a variety of speeds that enable users to cycle between slower and quicker brushing cycles, which is great for tailoring your cleaning to each section of your mouth and a must if you have varying degrees of sensitivity in different areas of your mouth. Other models even offer a specific mode just for gums that can turn your toothbrush into a massager that will promote blood flow and condition sensitive gum tissue, which is a problem that’s typically hard to remediate with a normal toothbrush. If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, you may want to consider a toothbrush that includes a whitening mode for buffing out stains, or a deep-cleaning mode that stretches the toothbrush’s power to the maximum available time and oscillation for intense cleaning. Tongue cleaning is another key to good oral hygiene and mitigating the development of bad breath, and some models of electric toothbrushes offer a mode specifically for cleaning the tongue, cheeks, and other soft tissues of the mouth with a gentler cycle than normal.

Best electric toothbrush with multiple cleaning modes: Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 Electronic Power Rechargeable Battery Electric Toothbrush

Multiple Color Options

Packaged with a travel case that can charge your phone. Amazon

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The Genius Pro 8000 from Oral-B offers six modes of operation including daily care, whitening, tongue cleaning, and sensitive brushing for a wide range of oral care in a single package. It also offers smart position detection and pressure sensing to make sure you truly get the most out of its unparalleled versatility.

Brands to Know

Most of the companies and brands involved in the oral hygiene business have roots in health and household cleaning that dates back at least a few decades. Brands like Philips Sonicare, Oral-B, and Colgate use this base of experience to offer well-tuned electric toothbrushes with designs that are backed up by years of research and knowledge.

Philips Sonicare

Electrical engineer David Giuliani and doctors David Engel and Roy Martin founded their company GEMTech in 1987 to promote their new dental hygiene products that focused on cleaning teeth using piezoelectric transducers. Shortly thereafter, the Sonicare toothbrush was born. Philips, a Dutch conglomerate known for its electronic products, acquired this company and the Sonicare brand in October 2000 and subsequently renamed the product line to “Philips Sonicare” in 2003.

Oral-B

Oral-B is a brand started by Californian periodontist Dr. Robert Hutson with his patent of the “Hutson toothbrush” in 1950. Oral-B became a part of the Gillette group in 1984 and Gillette’s electric toothbrush brand Braun subsequently began using the Oral-B name for their products. In 2006, Procter & Gamble acquired the Oral-B brand.

Colgate

Colgate oral hygiene products are produced by the Colgate-Palmolive company, a multinational consumer products company that owes its roots to William Colgate’s founding of his soap and candle company in 1806. They are one of the largest distributors of toothpaste and other related products worldwide, carrying the distinction of being purchased by more than half of all households around the globe.

Best affordable electric toothbrush: What you get for under $50

Electric toothbrushes come at an introductory cost, but the leap in effectiveness over a regular toothbrush combined with the ability to reorder replacement heads mean that skimping isn’t the best idea over the long term. If you are looking for the best affordable electric toothbrush that’s under $50, like the Dnsly Sonic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, you’ll miss out on the smart, automated health tracking features that most models carry and you may have to settle for a less ergonomic design or less sensitive brushing action. Above all else, travel compatibility tends to dwindle in this price range, which means that your electric toothbrush may need to stay put.

A final word on shopping for the best electric toothbrush

If you’re looking to follow the American Dental Association’s recommended oral hygiene routine, the best electric toothbrush will get you closer to having a perfectly clean mouth than a traditional one can, thanks to its powered automatic scrubbing, consistent performance, and portability. Smart technology and artificial intelligence can take these products to an even higher level still, helping them bridge the gap between being a simple tool and an all-in-one answer to complete oral care. Since the required maintenance is no more complicated than buying new heads—which some models can do automatically—the learning curve for users switching over from regular brushes is little to none.