According to the American Dental Association, a manual toothbrush can remove plaque and clean your teeth just as well as powered ones. But with an electric toothbrush, you can step it up a notch by helping you hit harder-to-reach nooks and crannies, brush for longer or brush with more ease.
So how do you find the best electric toothbrush? The right toothbrush for you partly depends on your personal preference. Do you have sensitive gums or sensitive teeth? Are you looking for a two-minute timer? (Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day with a soft toothbrush head.) Do you want to focus on oral hygiene, plaque or teeth whitening?
You'll also need to consider your budget. Do you want to spend a little more on a powerful model that does extra work for you, or stick to something simple and classic?
Before you start shopping for the best electric toothbrush, check out our guide which walks you through nine high-end products for cleaning your teeth, gingivitis, teeth whitening, and more.
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How to choose the best electric toothbrush
When looking for the best electric toothbrush, you'll want to consider a few factors.
Cost: First things first: What's your budget? One the lower end, you can get an electric toothbrush for $20-$50, but they won't have certain features such as a lithium-ion battery, a water flosser or a sensor.
Many people won't want to spend more than $40 or so on a toothbrush, but if you've got extra money to spend, investing in a higher-ticket toothbrush in the $100-$200 range with more features may be worth it in the long run, especially if it helps you have fewer cavities and dentist visits.
Capabilities: What do you need the toothbrush to do? Maybe you just need one mode that cleans a little deeper than you can with a manual toothbrush.
If you need help brushing for the recommended two minutes, it's a good idea to select one with a built-in two-minute timer. If you want to easily track your oral hygiene habits, go for a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush with an app.
If you have sensitive teeth or sensitive gums, consider looking at the types of brush heads that you can get for your electric toothbrush. Some models, like those from Oral-B or Sonicare, offer many different types of brush heads for different needs, such as whitening, gum care or cleaning around braces.
Convenience: Are you going to remember to replace your brush heads when it's due time? If not, maybe a subscription-based electric toothbrush is right for you. Don't forget to look into how long a toothbrush holds its charge, because the last thing you want is for it to be dead when you're trying to brush before bedtime.
Dubbed one of the Best Inventions of 2016 by Time when it debuted, the Quip toothbrush is compact and powered by a single AAA battery. Quip brushes are slim, stylish and convenient: Quip sends you a replacement head and battery in the mail every three months, so you don't have to remember to pick them up from a store yourself.
Quip's sleek design makes it easy to pack in a carry-on or even a small handbag so you can easily brush wherever you might be.
Simple, long-lasting and relatively inexpensive, this toothbrush effectively cleans plaque without an overload of features you may never use. It's equipped with a timer, pacer and an alert system that reminds you when it's time to change the head. Your brush will also pulse gently to tell you when you're brushing too hard. For its modest price point, this Philips brush offers a lot.
This brush is a more feature-rich version of the 4100 described above. You get three modes and three intensity settings that promise a whiter smile in just one week. The DiamondClean brush head works to remove surface stains with special bristles, and the QuadPacer lets you know when it's time to move to another quadrant of your mouth.
The standard brush head that comes with this Oral-B Vitality brush has a dual-clean action that promises superior dental plaque removal. The top brush spins and the bottom brush oscillates side-to-side. If dual-clean isn't your jam, you can opt for a different Oral-B head.
This brush is compatible with Oral-B's Cross Action, 3D White, Sensitive Clean, Precision Clean, Floss Action, Deep Sweep, Ortho and Power Tip heads.
It's available at Walmart and at most convenience and department stores.
A bargain compared to buying an electric brush and a Waterpik separately, this two-in-one includes five water floss tips, two Triple Sonic brush heads, 10 pressure settings, three brush modes and a two-minute timer with quadrant pacing. Water flossers reach hard-to-clean spots with ease, so they're ideal for people who struggle with flossing and people with braces.
Clean, whiten, polish, rinse — Fairywill electric toothbrushes possess all the modes you need to get that just-left-the-dentist super-clean feeling.
Use the clean mode for daily brushing, massage mode mode for gum care, sensitive mode for toothaches, and whitening mode for, well, you know. Polish mode offers a quick way to get an extra bit of shine.