The Best Electric Toothbrushes for Better, Brighter Smiles

Most are on sale for Black Friday, too

November 22, 2023 11:08 am
a collage of the best electric toothbrushes on a water background
The best electric toothbrushes make your smile better than ever.
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While taking care of your teeth is one of the most valuable things that you can do, many people take it for granted and are, quite frankly, not very good at it. Bearing this in mind, the best electric toothbrushes can be excellent tools to help because it is able to account for a lot of human error. “If patients can afford one, I recommend it because it can help using the proper technique easier,” says Dr. Alice Hoang of Brooklyn Mint Dental. She adds that “Using an electric toothbrush can help you reach hard-to-reach places when brushing your teeth. The electronic movement makes sure you’re not missing any spots on your teeth or gums.”

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In addition to speaking with Dr. Hoang, we also spoke with Dr. Karin Grinbaum of Smiles & Grins, Dr. Sheri Doniger of Doniger Dental, and Dr. Lisa Creaven, the co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care and co-owner of Made by Dentists. Using insights and even some recommendations from these four dentistry experts, we were able to identify what people should seek out and expect from the best electric toothbrushes. Below are our picks.

Things to Consider When Buying Electric Toothbrushes

Features

The beauty of an electric toothbrush is that they can offer a slew of benefits that a standard manual option won’t. Dr. Hoang recommends that people “Look for a toothbrush that has different vibration or pressure options. You’ll also want to make sure the heads are soft (or extra soft) and easy to change.” Dr. Grinbaum echoes this recommendation, noting that different speeds and modes can be helpful for people with sensitive teeth. 

Another feature that you can expect with many options is a timer. According to Dr. Doniger, “Timers are very important to know that you are brushing the proper amount of time. Everyone thinks they are brushing for the right amount of time, but when you add the timer to the brush, you realize that you may not have been paying as much attention to your gums as you should have been.” She adds that she recommends her patients brush for two minutes, twice a day. Many of the options on our list adhere to these recommendations with two minute timers built in.

Vibrations/Rotations Per Minute

Some electric toothbrushes may focus more on vibration, and others will utilize rotations of the head. For Dr. Creaven, an important detail to consider is just how quickly this is occurring. She tells us that in her opinion, it’s about the “vibrations per minute. Some are 10,000 per minute, and others like Made By Dentist’s Adult Sonic Toothbrush has up to 44,000 vibrations per minute.”

Exisiting Conditions

Electric toothbrushes can be a great tool for people who are dealing with something already. For example, Dr. Grinbaum tells us that “Sonic and oscillating toothbrushes are typically best for when you have braces or other wires in your mouth.” 

If you’re someone who may physically struggle to properly use a manual toothbrush, Dr. Hoang recommends an electric option, telling us that she recommends them to “patients who have difficulty brushing their teeth due to dexterity/hand coordination issues.” Furthermore, she recommends ultrasonic options for people with gum recession, as she, Dr. Grinbaum and Dr. Creaven all note electric options as being more sensitive on the gums. Specifically, Dr. Creaven tells us that there is “less gum trauma from electric toothbrushes. Some people think it’s tougher if you have weaker gums, but it’s actually more gentle.”

Lastly, Dr. Creaven tells us that “if you have crowns and bridges, having a more thorough cleaning is really important. It’s not that you can’t get a gentle brush with a manual toothbrush, it’s just not as easy to use.”

Replacable Heads

Dr. Grinbaum recommends that you “Always make sure heads can be changed and that you’re using soft bristles.” Replaceable heads create less waste and will also save you money over time, and most great options out there will include this feature.


Pros: App shows where you missed, four modes and three intensity settings, six colors
Cons: Very pricey

If you’re looking for a top of the line electric toothbrush, Dr. Doniger likes this option from Philips. It features an app that not only offers coaching on how to properly brush, but it is also able to show where patients have missed effectively cleaning their teeth so they can go back and finish the job. Additionally, this toothbrush offers four modes and three intensity settings, which Dr. Doniger tells us covers your needs from polishing to whitening to gum care. It’s also available in six colors to compliment your space.

Pros: App connectivity for AI info on cleaning, seven brushing modes, pressure sensor
Cons: Exorbitant price

Oral-B as a brand comes recommended by Dr. Creaven and Dr. Grinbaum, with Dr. Grinbaum acknowledging that the brand’s products come backed with a lot of research. If money isn’t a factor, Oral-B’s iO Series 9 is a great choice. It uses the brand’s iO Magnetic technology that works to mix the powerful head’s micro-vibrations with the brand’s rounder brush head. The Smart Pressure Sensor displays the color red when pressing too hard, white when pressing too lightly, and green when you are at the perfect level. Seven brushing modes of daily clean, whiten, gum care, sensitive, super sensitive, intense, and tongue clean offers the most versatility on our list. Lastly, connection with the Oral-B app enables users to experience AI brushing recognition and 3-D teeth tracking for a fully optimized clean.

Pros: Built-in timer, 31,000 brush strokes per minute, head replacement reminder
Cons: No app connectivity, two intensity settings

If you want the research-backed support of a Philips product, you don’t actually need to break the bank. The Sonicare 4100 costs a fraction of the price of other models, and it still boasts excellent features like 31,000 brush strokes per minute, a two-minute smart timer, and a 30-second quad pacer that lets you know when it’s time to move onto another quadrant of your mouth. Plus, BrushSync technology keeps tabs on how long you’ve been using a head and how hard you’ve been pressing, and a replacement reminder lets you know that it’s time to change heads. Just be aware that this option doesn’t feature things like app connectivity, and it has only two intensity settings.

Pros: Comes with replacement head, round head design is designed to go where others can’t, app compatible
Cons: Head is too thick for some

The iO Series 4 is a great pick as it is more affordable than other models made by Oral-B, but it is still packed with high quality features. App connectivity lets you track progress, while the iO pressure sensor lets you know when you’re applying the perfect amount of pressure. Four cleaning modes of daily clean, sensitive, super-sensitive, and whitening help to specialize the brushing experience further. A two minute timer is also included with this model. Lastly, Oral-B brushes use a round head, as opposed to the rectangular head of competitors, which the company claims enables it to reach where rectangular ones cannot. Despite the claims of the round head being ideal, some people did find the head to be too thick for them, so it will be more of a personal preference.

Pros: 48,000 brush strokes per minute, three replacement heads in purchase, three unique modes
Cons: Can take some getting used to the power

Dr. Creaven recommends this option from her brand, Made By Dentists. As the name implies, this is an enticing option as it’s made by the people who know what mouths need most. This sonic option offers up to 48,000 brush strokes per minute, and the rechargeable battery has a life of up to 70 hours. We also appreciate that it not only includes a two minute timer and three modes for sensitive teeth, cleaning teeth, and whitening teeth, but that it also includes three replacement heads and three toothbrush head caps, making it a great bang for your buck. Just be aware that the sensation of that many strokes per minute may also have a bit of a learning curve for some people to adjust to it.

Pros: Smaller head for children, designed for dexterity level of children, fun designs, two-minute timer
Cons: Can be hard to find replacement heads

Designed with kids in mind, this rechargeable electric toothbrush from Made by Dentists features a smaller head and a grip that is better designed to accommodate the hands of smaller children, while also accounting for their lack of developed motor skills. This option features a two minute timer to help make sure that the kids are brushing their teeth enough, and fun designs like a cartoon shark on the toothbrush certainly ups its appeal. At $15, this option is a steal, especially because it also includes two replacement heads with purchase. Just be aware that some people have found it difficult to find replacement heads for this option, after the two that are provided have worn out.

Pros: Convenient travel case, 32,000 brush strokes per minute, indicator for head change
Cons: Can take getting used to

A removable head and convenient storage case that has space for both the base and head of the toothbrush make the Waterpik Sensonic Electric Toothbrush a great pick for taking on the go. Beyond the travelability, it features three different brushing modes: clean, stain removal, and gum care, while the brush head uses a contoured bristle pattern specifically designed to accommodate the shape of your teeth. In terms of power, the sonic brushing technology powers 32,000 brush strokes per minute for a powerful plaque removal. Lastly, an indicator will let you know when the head needs to be changed. Just be aware that the power of this option can take some getting used to, though it’s worth it for the clean that it provides.

Pros: Sleek design with color choices, subscription model, timer built in
Cons: No mode options

If you don’t particularly like the overly bulky nature of a traditional looking electric toothbrush, Quip’s Adult Electric Toothbrush is designed with you in mind. The sleek design with a thinner handle and head is available in copper, slate, silver, gold, multicolor and mint green, so you can enjoy having something on your sink that actually looks great. In terms of features, it offers timed sonic vibrations and a three month battery life. Affordably priced, we like that Quip also offers a subscription model that sends you fresh brush heads, toothpaste, floss, and other things every three months. It also uses AAA batteries for a three month charge. Just be aware that this option is more simple than other ones on our list, and it doesn’t include different modes. However, it does include a timer and 30 second pulse features to let you know to switch quadrants.

Pros: Affordably priced, dual-action head, replaceable heads
Cons: Not as powerful as more expensive options

At under $10, it would be easy to assume the Spinbrush Pro Clean is too good to be true. Fortunately, this affordable option comes with a handful of features that we love. For starters, the head features dual action spinning and scrubbing, with 3,900 sweeps per minute. The bristles also fade to let you know it’s time to change your heads every three months, and we appreciate that the heads are replaceable as well. Just be aware that it is less powerful than other options on our list.

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