Three best electric toothbrushes
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for dental health. A manual toothbrush can do the job, but most people don't use proper brushing technique and often fall far short of the recommended two-minute brushing time. Switching to an electric toothbrush can improve the quality of your brushing, but they don't all work the same way. Here's a quick look at what you need to know in order to choose the right electric toothbrush for you, including our top product picks.
Considerations when choosing electric toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes come in two main types: oscillating and sonic. An oscillating toothbrush has a round brush head that quickly rotates in a circular motion to mimic proper brushing technique. A sonic toothbrush vibrates side to side, and the brush head usually resembles a manual toothbrush.
There are conflicting opinions about which type of electric toothbrush is more effective. Some dentists say sonic toothbrushes are better because they mimic the way dental equipment removes plaque from your teeth. Others say oscillating toothbrushes are better because they're smaller and can more effectively reach into tight areas, such as the back of your mouth, that are often neglected.
Ultimately, though, both types are going to be an improvement over a manual toothbrush, so it's up to you to decide which type you prefer.
After you've chosen your brush type, there are a number of features to look for when choosing an electric toothbrush.
Some electric toothbrushes only hold a charge for a couple of brushes, while others can last for weeks at a time.
It's not uncommon for electric toothbrushes to come with multiple speed and mode settings, so you can choose the brushing experience you want.
Many electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer to help ensure you brush for the full two minutes. Some also have quadrant intervals, which notify you every 30 seconds so you can move to a different area of your mouth.
A pressure sensor will alert you if you're brushing too hard so you don't damage your enamel or gums.
Brush head variety
A good electric toothbrush will be compatible with a variety of brush heads. That way, you can choose the one that you prefer.
If you plan on taking your electric toothbrush with you when you go on trips, you should look for one that comes with a sturdy travel case.
Electric toothbrushes can be expensive, so it's a good idea to choose one that comes with a warranty so that you can get a replacement if the brush breaks within the first couple of months.
Q. How long does an electric toothbrush head last?
A. It's good practice to replace your electric toothbrush head about as frequently as you would replace a manual toothbrush--about every three months or so.
Q. Are electric toothbrushes easy to take on the go?
A. Many electric toothbrushes come with travel cases for exactly this purpose, but you should think about what your access to electrical outlets is going to be while you're traveling. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're unable to charge your toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes we recommend
Best of the best: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Our take: This electric toothbrush has all the features you need to achieve a truly superior clean.
What we like: This powerful toothbrush comes with five different brushing modes, a smart timer to help you know how long to brush, a charging glass, and a travel case. Plus, the battery can last for up to three weeks at a time.
What we dislike: There have been some complaints about the toothbrush breaking down after a couple of months. However, there is a two-year warranty to cover these issues.
Best bang for your buck: Philips Sonicare 2 Series Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Our take: Try this model if you're new to electric toothbrushes and don't want to spend a lot of money right away.
What we like: This affordable toothbrush has an Easy Start feature, which slowly increases the power over the first 14 brushes to help you get used to the way it works. It also has a smart timer to ensure you're brushing for the full two minutes and a battery that lasts for two weeks at a time.
What we dislike: It only comes with a single brush head, and the replacement brush heads are a bit pricey.
Our take: This model is a good alternative to our other picks if you prefer an electric toothbrush that works via oscillation instead of sonic vibrations.
What we like: The toothbrush has a built-in timer and a pressure sensor to keep you from brushing too hard. Its brush heads are small and round, so they easily reach into tight areas like around your molars.
What we dislike: Users report that over time the battery loses its ability to hold a charge.
Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.