How to Choose the Best Electric Toothbrush
Looking for the best electric toothbrush? You’ve come to the right place. On this website you’ll find many honest reviews of the best-selling and best rated electric toothbrushes available on the market. You’ll also find detailed guides on using electric toothbrushes and tips on how to find the the best electric toothbrush for your needs.
Why should you use an electric toothbrush instead of a normal toothbrush? The answer is simple. A great deal of clinical research has proven that electric toothbrushes are simply far superior to manual toothbrushes when it comes to getting rid of dental plague and preventing gum disease.
An electric toothbrush is designed to vibrate at a high speed, producing much more brush strokes per minute than manual toothbrushes. They also come with special unique features like different cleaning modes, brush timers, whitening polishers, gum massagers and pressure sensors, amongst many other capabilities. All of these factors help you ensure that you maintain an optimum level of oral hygiene and dental health.
In short, electric toothbrushes will improve your dental health, prevent gum disease, make your teeth look whiter and help you cultivate good oral hygiene habits. They are also useful for individuals with physical disabilities and older folks who do not have the arm strength to brush their teeth thoroughly.
On the rest of this page you’ll find a detailed buyer’s guide with tips on choosing the right electric toothbrush. I highly recommend that you read the entire buying guide but if you prefer to skip it and jump straight to my personal list of the top 3 electric toothbrushes in the market now, just click on this link.
What Types of Electric Toothbrushes Are There?
If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of electric toothbrushes available, don’t worry. I’ll help you make sense of it all. While you may notice a huge variety of electric toothbrushes online or in your local store, they can all be divided into two different types. Yes, that’s right. Just two types. They are as follows:
1. Normal Power Electric Toothbrush. These are low-end electric toothbrushes which can produce 3,000 to 7,500 brush strokes in a minute. They usually have rotary brush heads which spin in a circular motion or pulsating brush heads which vibrate in a horizontal forward-and-back motion. Many power electric toothbrushes do not have additional features like pressure sensors, quadrant timers and other cleaning modes. Their price range is from $15 to $100.
2. Sonic Electric Toothbrush. The sonic toothbrush is similar to the power toothbrush except for one key difference: brush speed and power. The best sonic toothbrush produces 30,000 to 40,000 brush strokes in a minute, significantly higher than normal electric toothbrush. Essentially a super high speed device for cleaning your teeth, sonic toothbrushes can generate sound waves and vibrating water molecules which are more effective in cleaning the teeth and gums. Their prices range from $100 to $170.
Clinical comparative research has proven that sonic toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than normal electric toothbrushes. These sonic toothbrushes usually come equipped with all the latest toothbrush technology like pressure sensors, timers, self-cleaning UV sanitizers and other features.
Now let’s move on and look the points you keep in mind when looking at the different electric toothbrushes out there. Understanding these factors will help you make a better electric toothbrush comparison so you can choose the best toothbrush for your needs.
Five Factors to Consider When Buying Electric Toothbrushes
Now that you know the two main types of electric toothbrushes, let’s look at the 5 key factors to consider when you’re choosing an electric toothbrush. While there are many excellent electric toothbrushes on the market, all of them should be measured by the following criteria when making a buying decision:
- Power Levels and Brush Stroke Speed – How powerful and effective is the electric toothbrush? The number of brush strokes makes a difference. Tests show that sonic toothbrushes clean your teeth more effectively than normal power toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes with selectable brushing modes and power levels are recommended over toothbrushes with only one on/off mode. If you are new to electric toothbrushes, you may not be accustomed to its vibrations, so always remember to start at a lower rate of vibration.
- Type of Brush Head – What brush heads can be used on the electric toothbrush? Pulsating rotary toothbrushes are suitable for people who like bigger brush heads because they are similar to manual toothbrushes. If you are looking for precision cleaning for hard-to-reach areas, a smaller rotary brush head is a better choice. Or you can get a brush head with both pulsating and rotary capabilities. There are also brush heads and bristles designed for specific purposes such as whitening, flossing, sensitive teeth and braces. Pick the right one that suits your specific needs. Just remember that electric toothbrush heads should be changed every 2-3 months.
- Size of the Electric Toothbrush – Who is using the electric toothbrush? The toothbrush you choose should depend on the age of the user. For youths and children aged 4 to 12 years old, you should consider buying a kids electric toothbrush or a light-weight electric toothbrush because they are easier to hold. Alternatively, you can buy a normal toothbrush but get a smaller brush-head because it will be easier to maneuver for younger or older folks. For traveling purposes, its best to get a slim and lightweight electric toothbrush.
- Warranties and Guarantees – Warranties and guarantees can significantly reduce the risk involved in buying electric toothbrushes. Most quality and high-priced electric toothbrushes will definitely be backed by a warranty of at least 12 months or more. Depending on the company or brand, you may also have money back guarantees of 14 days to 30 days. So take advantage of the guarantee to try out your new electric toothbrush. If you are not happy with it in any way, simply refund or exchange it for another model.
- Battery Type and Life-Span – Does the electric toothbrush use rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries? How long can it hold a charge? The best electric toothbrush is a rechargeable toothbrush with a long battery life. Be sure to choose electric toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries: you don’t want to keep buying disposable batteries. The charge for an excellent rechargeable electric toothbrush usually lasts for a week, which is great for short holidays. I recommend choosing rechargeable electric toothbrushes with battery life indicators that tell you when its due to be recharged.
Advanced Features of the Best Electric Toothbrushes
The best electric toothbrush for your needs should not only have sufficient brushing power but it should have other features which complement your daily oral care routine. Consider choosing toothbrushes with the following extra capabilities as they can greatly improve your oral hygiene everyday:
- Pressure Sensors – A main problem that many people have is that they brush too hard. Too much pressure on your teeth will not ruin your teeth enamel, but will also lead to oversensitive gums. Gums can bleed when too much force is applied during brushing. To counteract this problem, some electric toothbrushes have built-in pressure sensors that that will tell you when you are brushing too hard.
- Built-in Two Minute Timer – Dental health care professionals all agree that you need to brush your teeth for the minimum duration of two minutes in order to effectively get rid of plaque and bacteria. This is hard to manage with manual toothbrushes. However, electric toothbrushes have a 2-minute timer which automatically starts when the toothbrush is turned on. It will then pulse or vibrate after 2 minutes. This helps to eliminate the problem of under brushing and is a very important feature to have a electric toothbrush.
- Quadrant Timers – For cleaning purposes, your mouth can be split into four sections. Dentists recommend that you spend at least 30 seconds on one quadrant before moving to the next. Some toothbrushes have quadrant timers that beep or buzz in 30 second intervals to tell you to move on to another part of your mouth. Unlike the 2-minute timer, this is a special feature that is often only found in high-end electric toothbrushes.
- UV Sanitizer – A UV sanitizer produces UV light which shines on your toothbrush heads, killing any existing bacteria or germs that may grow on your brush head while its sitting in your wet bathroom. They are highly recommended for hygiene purposes, especially if you live in messy/crowded areas where dirt and germs from the environment and other people can accumulate on your toothbrush head.
All of the features above are often included in high-end sonic electric toothbrushes. Some low-end power toothbrushes may have one feature or two but never all four of them at once. Just something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for electric toothbrushes.
Final Word: Which Electric Toothbrush Should I Buy?
Now that you’ve read my entire buyer’s guide to electric toothbrushes, you should have a pretty good idea of what electric toothbrushes you want. If you still need more guidance, here is my personal advice on buying electric toothbrushes. These tips are the result of many years of personal experience in buying electric toothbrushes for myself and loved ones.
First things first: Let’s talk about the cost involved. While I think its important to not over-spend, I cannot emphasize how important it is to ignore price as a main factor when choosing electric toothbrushes. I know some of you may be on a budget but hear me out: there is a reason to my madness. Why do I say price is not a relevant factor? Here are two main reasons:
Electric toothbrushes are long term investments. I have used some electric toothbrushes everyday for at least 3 years without them breaking down. They work just as fine as day one, the only thing that depreciates is the battery life, but that is unavoidable. My point is simple: A good high quality electric toothbrush can last you many years. When you divide the cost of a $160 sonic toothbrush over 2 years, it only comes to around $6 a month, which is really a LOW price to pay for great looking teeth and fantastic oral health. Don’t make the mistake of buying inferior toothbrushes just because you want to save money. It’s just not worth it in the long run.
Dental health is important. Extremely important. An electric toothbrush is NOT a frivolous fashion item that doesn’t add much value to your life. It’s a product that’s critical for your dental health and overall well-being. Choosing a great electric toothbrush with all the extra features can make a huge difference to your oral health over the years. It can literally maintain your teeth in perfect form so you never have to visit the dentist for fillings and cavity removals. Dentists are expensive. While you cannot avoid a yearly check-up, you can avoid major dental intervention by having a perfect dental hygiene plan through the use of a high quality electric toothbrush.
HOT TIP – If you really want to save money and there is more than one person in a household, consider buying a high-end sonic toothbrush and sharing it. Don’t worry, it’s hygienic. You just need to get multiple brush heads and label each one with the name of the person using it. Attach the relevant brush-head when its your turn to brush. A downside of this method is that sometimes the toothbrush will have low battery power because it’s used multiple times a day. You should also be fine with sharing the toothbrush handle. Some people may not be open to this idea and find it a hassle to share. Check first!
Now let’s decide on the type of electric toothbrush. Should you choose a sonic toothbrush or a normal power electric toothbrush? Personally, I highly recommend buying a sonic toothbrush instead of just a normal electric toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes are just more effective when it comes to removing plague and keeping your teeth clean. Many clinical studies have proven that sonic toothbrushes perform better.
From personal experience, I just feel cleaner and fresher when I’m using an sonic toothbrush. I especially like the very slight ticklish feeling of sonic toothbrushes when I brush my teeth: it’s a great sensation. Nothing like deep cleaning my teeth and massaging my gums everyday. From what I’ve seen in the mirror, sonic toothbrushes do clean away food particles and coffee/tea stains much better than normal electric toothbrushes. So in short, go with a sonic toothbrush instead of a normal power toothbrush.
Here are my top recommendations for the best electric toothbrushes. If you’re short of time and don’t want to read many toothbrush reviews, just go with the ones listed below. They are the best-selling and most popular electric toothbrushes on the market right now so you can’t go wrong with choosing any of them.
Best Rated Electric Toothbrush – My Top Recommendations
Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus Rechargeable Toothbrush. This is by far the best electric toothbrush on the market. It’s got all the advanced features you’ll find in a 21st century toothbrush. A high speed ultrasonic toothbrush, it has a built-in 2 minute timer, a quadrant timer, an illuminated LCD panel and even a UV sanitizer to keep germs away from your brush-heads. It also has many useful brushing modes: you can choose between 5 different brushing modes like cleaning, gum care, quick refresh, sensitive teeth and massage. Best of all, it works marvelously. I’ve been using this toothbrush for a year or so and it works just as well as the first day I bought it. Excellent design and high quality build. I really like the fact that it comes with a built-in UV sanitizer because you usually have to buy it separately. If you only can buy ONE electric toothbrush, this is the one you should choose. No doubts about that.
Click here to read my review of the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus or you can simply buy it now at a 16% discount from Amazon.com. You will save $30 off the retail price and get free shipping as well so take advantage of this offer while it lasts!
Oral B Professional Care Smart Series 5000 Toothbrush. Known as Oral B’s most technologically advanced electric toothbrush, the Professional Smart Series 5000 is an awesome toothbrush that’s packed with many great features. It has a 2-minute timer with 30-second quadrant intervals, pressure sensors, 5 brushing modes (Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Massage, Deep Clean) and a battery charge display. It also comes with an additional Smart Guide which is a small digital clock with a quadrant display. While I didn’t find the Smart Guide to be very helpful, the toothbrush itself is fantastic. It’s comfortable to hold and isn’t too heavy at all. The recharging base isn’t too big as well and has a small footprint. Excellent product although it would be more perfect if it came with a UV sanitizer like the Philips Sonicare FlexCare+.
Click here to read my review of the Oral B Smart Series 5000 Toothbrush or if you want to get it right now, you can simply click here to buy it at a 34% discount with free shipping from Amazon.com and save $55 off the retail price.
Oral-B 3000 Professional Electric Toothbrush. The newest electric toothbrush released by Oral B in 2010, this is a less feature packed and more affordable version of the Oral-B Smart Series 5000. It’s a great basic electric toothbrush that’s well designed. It has a 2-minute timer with 30 second intervals, pressure sensors and 3 brushing modes (Clean, Sensitive teeth, Polish). I particularly like the small round toothbrush head which makes it easy to cover the whole tooth and clean hard-to-reach areas like the teeth in the back of your mouth. While I personally prefer the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus and Oral B Smart Series 5000, my sister likes this one a bit more than the rest. She uses this on a daily basis after I gave it to her and loves it. Recommended for being a great basic electric toothbrush that’s no-frills and does its job well.
Click here to see my review of the Oral-B 3000 Professional Electric Toothbrush or you can just buy it now from Amazon.com and get free shipping.
Best Electric Toothbrush for Kids
Philips Sonicare for Kids HX6311/02 Rechargeable Toothbrush. This is an excellent toothbrush for children with special features that you won’t find anywhere else. While its a sonic toothbrush, it has child-friendly power modes which can be adjusted so it won’t be too harsh for your kid. Designed with a kid-timer that automatically increases brushing time gradually over 90 days, it helps children to reach the eventual goal of a 2 minute brushing session. In my opinion, that’s a very thoughtful and fantastic feature to have. It also has rubber over-molds for the brush-heads, fun sound effects to tell kids to switch to another region in the mouth and different brush heads for kids from 4 to 7 as well as from 7 years onwards. This means this toothbrush can remain useful for a minimum of 6 to 7 years. This alone makes it great value-for-money. Philips even offers a 28 days money back guarantee whereby you’ll get a full refund within 28 days if you decide that you don’t like it. Highly recommended!
Click here to read my review of the Philips Sonicare for Kids Toothbrush. Alternatively, you can buy it now from Amazon.com and get free shipping.
Buyer’s Tip: While you buy your electric toothbrush in the drugstore, I recommend getting them online instead. Amazon.com has fantastic discounts for electric toothbrushes, sometimes allowing you to save over $40 from the retail price you’ll see in stores. In addition, there’s free shipping as well for several selected toothbrushes. I buy all my toothbrushes from Amazon because they are a trusted marketplace and so far I’ve had no problems whatsoever. They also allowed me to save a good deal of money over the years.
Should you still want to look at other electric toothbrushes, click here to read all my electric toothbrush reviews.
Thanks for checking out my website and I hope you find the perfect electric toothbrush!