The Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists and Dental Hygienists
Dentists recommend these electric toothbrushes to keep gums healthy and teeth clean and pearly white.
While your dentist is probably most concerned with whether you brush and floss twice a day, they might also ask you what kind of toothbrush you use. If you're stuck in the dark ages using a manual toothbrush, you may want to consider upgrading your oral hygiene game and investing in a powered one.
With a traditional toothbrush, you're in control of the back and forth movement, which can leave room for user error. Meanwhile, an electric toothbrush does most of the work for you, so your only job is to guide it along the surface of your teeth, says Shawn Sadri, D.M.D., cosmetic and general dentist and founder of Zeeba White Teeth Whitening. (Related: The Ultimate Guide to Teeth Whitening)
They may be more expensive than manual toothbrushes, but studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective in removing plaque and reducing the risk of gingivitis. Plus, many of them can notify you if you're using too much pressure, and have a built-in, two-minute timer and different cleaning modes, notes Daniel Naysan, D.D.S., a Beverly Hills-based dentist and Pronamel consultant. Electric toothbrushes are also a good option for people with developmental disabilities or medical conditions (such as arthritis or carpal tunnel) since they're easier to operate, says Sadri. (Just an FYI: An Ob-Gyn Has a Warning for People Who Use Electric Toothbrushes As Vibrators)
Ready to elevate your brushing routine? Between targeted Instagram ads for Quip, the Kardashians raving about Burst, and cult-favorite brands like Oral B and Philips, there are more electric toothbrushes available than ever before—which can also be a little overwhelming for those shopping for one for the first time. (Related: 5 Ways Your Teeth Can Impact Your Health)
Ahead, your guide to the best electric toothbrush options, according to dentists and dental hygienists.
Oral B Pro 1000 Electric Power Rechargeable Toothbrush, Powered by Braun
A classic for a reason, the Braun-powered Oral B electric toothbrush uses cross action bristles with rotation-oscillation (the brush head alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise circles) to sweep away plaque. Compatible with eight brush head options—including whitening, sensitive, deep clean, and floss action—there's an option for every mouth.
"I'm an experienced dental hygienist with the best manual tooth brushing technique, but feel that the Oral B Power toothbrushes are superior in cleaning my teeth," says Amy Hazlewood, R.D.H., a registered dental hygienist from the Smile Council. "I tell patients that if they want the best clean, this toothbrush polishes each tooth with 40,000 rotations per minute, leaving a similar slick feeling left by a dental office cleaning."
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Toothbrush
It's pricey, but this new version of the Sonicare electric toothbrush is like the Tesla of toothbrushes (yes, really). The DiamondClean syncs to a phone app, which can sense and adjust the cleaning mode and pressure mid-brush. Plus, it provides post-cycle feedback (for example, if you neglected the back, left side of your mouth), turning your twice-daily chore into a high-tech experience. And think of it this way—the cost is cheaper than reparative dental work.
According to Naysan, consumers should look for electric toothbrushes that have sensors to detect if you're applying too much pressure, different modes that can be selected according to your needs (whitening, sensitivity, deep clean, tongue cleaning, etc.), and a built-in timer to ensure you're brushing for at least two minutes.
Shyn Sonic Rechargable Electric Toothbrush
Interested in a brighter, whiter smile without splurging on a professional treatment? Some brushes, like the Shyn electric toothbrush, even have speciality brush heads designed for whitening. This whitening brush head has diamond shaped bristles which polish the surface of the teeth to remove stains. (Related: The Best Whitening Toothpastes for a Brighter Smile, According to Dentists.)
Even if your oral hygiene is solid, you may want switch to an electric toothbrush for the whitening capabilities. Since the brush makes more and faster rotations, it is better able to remove surface stains. "The more effective the clean, the better brightening, especially in trying to combat the daily stains we can acquire from coffee, tea, wine and sodas, as well as smoking, says Sheila Samaddar, D.D.S., and president of the District of Columbia Academy of General Dentistry.
Burst Sonic Toothbrush
The Kardashian crew and Chrissy Teigen rave about Burst, but is it worth the hype? Burst uses 33,000 sonic vibrations to power the brush and claims to give the deepest clean without causing bleeding gums. The nylon bristles are also infused with a soft charcoal, which has antimicrobial properties to keep bristles clean between head replacements and helps remove surface stains to whiten teeth.
The slim head design and soft bristles are also important if you have sensitive teeth, points out Naysan. "Sensitive brush heads are usually narrow so it can easily wrap around the back of the last molars to ensure all surfaces of the teeth are cleaned," he adds.
Gleem Electric Toothbrush
One of the more affordable brushes on the market is Gleem: The starter kit comes with handle, first brush head, travel case, and three AAA batteries. Replacement brush heads cost $10 for two and should be swapped every three months.
Besides oscillation, this electric toothbrush also uses sonic vibrations—substantial vibrations (30,000-40,000 strokes per minute) that help clean the surface area of teeth, rev saliva production (which is a good thing!), and get toothpaste between teeth and along the gum line where a manual toothbrush might not reach.
Choosing between oscillation and sonic is personal preference, but both clean teeth better than a manual toothbrush, says Naysan. The only cons of electric toothbrushes lie in their cost, bulkiness, durability, and maintenance (i.e. replacing batteries and recharging), he adds. Fortunately, Gleem features a sleek, minimal design that looks great on any bathroom counter and won't break the bank.
Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Power Electric Toothbrush
Like all Oral-B electric toothbrushes, this SmartSeries model uses cross-action, rotating-oscillating bristles which move in different directions to clean. The brush syncs to an app which helps you focus on brushing the most important areas, tracks habits over time, motivates with oral care tips, and senses when you brush too hard through real time feedback. And you don't have to worry about plugging it in every night; a full charge lasts for two weeks of brushes. (Related: 10 Oral Hygiene Habits to Break and 10 Secrets to Clean Teeth)
"I really love Oral-B because of the shape of the brush head," says Samaddar. "It can go all the way up to the gum line and work between the teeth over to the next tooth, hugging the gum line all the way around. The shape allows to get more into the crevices between the teeth."
Even though it's smarter than your average brush, don't just let the toothbrush ~do its thing~. "A little direction with your wrist movements and the bristles into certain areas can help establish a really superior result," she adds.
Buy It: Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Power Electric Toothbrush, $105
Quip Electric Toothbrush
Quip revolutionized the oral health care industry by making their electric toothbrush simple and affordable. (It's one of the many new delivery companies changing the health world.) You can buy a brush for $40, then opt in to automatic refills every 3 months, which cost $15 for a new brush head, battery, tube of toothpaste, and floss.
The brush runs on three AAA batteries and has soft, nylon bristles that vibrate at 15,000 strokes per minute. It pulses every 30 seconds to indicate you should move to a different area of your mouth and automatically shuts off after two minutes. It's truly a budget-friendly electric toothbrush option and they even sell a kids' electric toothbrush which you can use if the full-size brush head feels too big for your mouth. Bonus: The metal version comes in four sleek finishes and also cuts down on plastic waste.
"I recommend quip because of the way the subscription is structured, so users are more apt to switch out their brush heads and become compliant with visits to the dentist," says Rubbiya Charania, D.M.D., a dentist in New Jersey.