Best Electric Toothbrush

UPDATED OCTOBER 2018​

A good electric toothbrush can transform your life and make you healthier. Find out what you need to know about these devices in our shopping guide.

BEST ELECTRIC
TOOTHBRUSH 2018

BOTTOM LINE

With the Pro 1000, you can use just the right amount of pressure when brushing your teeth and set a timer to know when to stop. Its daily clean mode removes plaque and debris that can leave behind surface stains.

PROS

The smaller design of the rotating head on this model removes up to 300% more plaque from your gum line than any other brush can. It has both a built-in pressure sensor and a timer setting too.

CONS

A small number of customers thought that the handle was too large or that the parts used had a cheap look. We also found some reviews that claimed the motor stopped working in less than a year.

BOTTOM LINE

Not only is the Diamond Clean the best pro model, but it’s also the best toothbrush for those who travel. The included carrying case lets you conveniently carry all the brush heads and other accessories.

PROS

As the top pro model, the Diamond Clean can make your teeth appear whiter and reduce your risk of developing gum disease in just a few weeks of use. It has five brushing modes and comes with a case for using as you travel.

CONS

This toothbrush has a high price tag and may cost more than you spend to see your dentist. Some customers found that the motor on this model died after a year or two.

BOTTOM LINE

Thanks to its smaller size, this Oral-B toothbrush makes it easy for you to reach your back teeth. This model is suitable for any adult or child who wants to remove plaque between dental appointments.

PROS

Designed to work with batteries that you can swap out, this toothbrush gives you an affordable way to clean your teeth. It has a rotating head with bristles that pull plaque off your teeth.

CONS

The battery on this unit doesn’t last very long and produces a lot of noise. Many customers thought that it wasn’t quite as powerful as other models were.

BOTTOM LINE

The best model for those with sensitive teeth and gums is the 4100 from Philips, which has sensors that keep the brush from applying too much pressure. This model also has a timer to ensure that you brush as long as you need.

PROS

As the most affordable and effective electric toothbrush, the 4100 is the newer version of the old 2 Series and works well on both tartar and plaque. It has built-in sensors that adjust the pressure to reduce discomfort too.

CONS

This model shakes quite a bit and can make your whole head vibrate. Some users found that the heads didn’t last as long as they liked.

BOTTOM LINE

This model from Waterpick works as both an electric toothbrush and a flosser to give you the deep cleaning that you need. The specially designed head and brush combo reach areas other brushes miss.

PROS

Each bristle on this toothbrush is super soft and will remove plaque without damaging your teeth. It has a built-in quadrant spacer and its own timer.

CONS

Some shoppers complained that the battery didn’t last long or that it had charging problems. You might find that the high speed is too strong also.

Shopping Guide for the Best Electric Toothbrush

Oral health can impact how healthy and happy you feel. Many people do not realize that poor dental hygiene leaves them susceptible to a variety of medical conditions and that it can worsen the conditions they already have. When you use the best electric toothbrush, you can improve your dental and oral health every time that you brush. The top electric toothbrush for 2018 for you might be one that runs quietly or one with a powerful motor that removes more plaque and tartar.

As you look over our list of the best electric toothbrush models for 2018, you’ll find some that are perfect for those with sensitive gums and others that are just right for those with braces and other orthodontics. We highly recommend that you read the pros and cons at the top of this page to get an idea of the benefits and possible issues with each model and that you then read the longer product reviews scattered around this page. You’ll want to pay special attention to our buying guide for the best toothbrush and the benefits of using one of these models as part of your daily routine. Find out everything you need to know about electric toothbrushes in our handy guide.

Shopping Guide for the Best Electric Toothbrush

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Selection Criteria

Amazon alone sells dozens of different electric toothbrushes from more than 20 different companies. As you shop for one of your own, you might focus on companies that you know, including Oral-B and Philips. When we started working on our own list of the best products, we decided to find out which models experts prefer. You can use one of the resources below to check out the top five models that dentists recommend. We then looked at what experts in the dental health community thought. Though some of the models they liked are no longer available, it didn’t take long for us to locate upgraded models of those brushes.

To ensure that we really found the best products though, we also looked at online reviews. That helped us find the top five toothbrushes and decide how to rank each one. Instead of just telling you that you should spend your money on any of those five models, we identified which one is best for those on a budget and those shopping for a pro model. You’ll also find our top choice for the money. With our shopping guide, you can learn more about electric toothbrushes and how to shop for one.

While you can spend hundreds of dollars on an electric toothbrush, the Pro 1000 from Oral-B gets our nod as the best model for the money. Though it costs a fraction of what the most expensive model we found costs, it performs many of the same functions and will leave you with a cleaner mouth and whiter teeth. You get both the handle and a brush in the packaging as well as a charger. That charger has a longer cord that lets you plug in and charge the toothbrush anywhere in your bathroom. Its battery can last for up to a week or more too.

One feature we really like about this toothbrush is that the head rotates at the same time that it pulsates. This helps the bristles reach deep in between your teeth and remove more of the buildup around your gums. It can actually remove up to 300% more plaque than manual toothbrushes can and will work on surface stains to make your teeth look whiter. A built-in pressure sensor alerts you when you use too much pressure to protect your teeth. It also has a built-in timer that turns on a light when you brush for two full minutes.

Reasons Why You Should Use an Electric Toothbrush

  • Reduce tartar and plaque: Tartar and plaque can build up on your teeth due to the foods that you eat. Not only can these substances build up on the surface of your teeth, but they can also grow between your teeth and along the gum line. Electric toothbrushes can target all those areas.
  • Remove stains: Stains on your teeth can keep you from wanting to smile or laugh with your friends and family. When you use an electric toothbrush, you can remove some of those stains. You can scroll down to see some of the common causes of surface stains.
  • Reduce gum disease: Gum disease is a serious condition that affects millions of people each year. If left untreated, the condition may require a serious procedure where the dentist uses picks and other tools to adjust the roots in your mouth. Most dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush to keep gums healthy.
  • Brush properly: The number one reason to use an electric toothbrush is that it will help you brush properly. Many of the models on our list have a timer that helps you keep track of your brushing and ensures that you brush for exactly two minutes. You’ll find some models with pressure sensors that keep you from brushing so hard that you damage your gums.
Reasons Why You Should Use an Electric Toothbrush

Common Causes of Tooth Stains

  • Acidic foods such as spaghetti sauce
  • Red wine and similar drinks
  • Coffee and other darker liquids, including soda and tea
  • Smoking

Though the high price tag on the Diamond Clean from Philips Sonicare might turn you off, many shoppers find that this model is definitely worth its cost. This brush lets you enjoy the same clean sensation at home that you get after an appointment with your dentist. Designed to remove as much as 10 times more plaque than a standard brush can, it has five different modes that you can choose from as you brush your teeth. Those modes let you adjust the amount of pressure used based on how sensitive your teeth and gums are.

The head on this one has a snap-on design that lets you place the head on the top and press down to snap it onto the brush. Not only can you use the included heads, but you can also use any of the other heads designed for Philips Sonicare brushes. With this toothbrush, you will see a noticeable change in the whiteness of your teeth within just one week of regular use. After just two weeks, you’ll notice a change in your overall gum health too. This model comes with both a carrying case and a charger that provides the battery with enough power for up to three weeks of regular brushing.

When to Upgrade to a Better Toothbrush

If you already own an electric toothbrush, you might read through our shopping guide because you want to know if now is a good time to upgrade. A better model really can help you achieve the bright white smile that you want and the healthy and pink gums that your dentist loves to see. Experts generally recommend that you find a model you feel comfortable using and stick with it. You may need to replace your old toothbrush or upgrade to a better model if any of the following apply:

  • Any of the more important features that you use stops working. This might include the timer that keeps track of your brushing or the sensor that tells you to use less pressure. If the sensor stops working, you risk damaging your gums.
  • The battery that came with your toothbrush only holds a charge for a few hours or takes 24 hours or longer to completely charge. A good battery should hold its charge for up to a week.
  • You cannot find replacement brushes or parts for your toothbrush. Depending on the age of the brush you bought and the company that made it, you may find that it stops making replacement parts, which is a clear sign that you need to upgrade your toothbrush.
  • The manufacturer released a new version of your old toothbrush. Companies often release upgraded models that function better than their old models did. You should upgrade when a new model becomes available became the company may stop offering support for your old brush.
When to Upgrade to a Better Toothbrush

Warning

You should check with the FDA before buying a new toothbrush or when you have problems with your old model. The FDA maintains a database of all toothbrushes recalled by their manufacturers.

Most of the electric toothbrushes on our list feature a rechargeable battery and come with a charger. Oral-B now offers this model for those who don’t want to rely on a charger. It runs on a basic AA battery that you can replace when the brush doesn’t spin as much as you need or when the brush loses power. Though this model will not kill bacteria in your mouth, it does work effectively on plaque and buildup. The bristles have a crisscross design that reaches deep inside your teeth to remove the plaque that you cannot see. When you hold the brush directly against your teeth, it can remove plaque beneath your gums.

Many shoppers like that this anti-microbial model has a slimmer and smaller design. That makes it perfect for children and adults with smaller mouths as well as those who want an easy way to focus on their back teeth. The head on the brush rotates and spins as soon as you turn on the toothbrush to reach every part of each tooth in your mouth. Though this model doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, it will give you the clean feeling that you want.

Signs That You Need an Electric Toothbrush

  • Cavities: Dentists often recommend electric toothbrushes for patients who suffer from frequent cavities, especially in their back teeth. You may have a hard time reaching those areas those areas with a manual brush. Frequent cavities are a sign that you need to change your brush.
  • Stained teeth: No one likes having stained teeth, but many people spend far too much money on whitening products that don’t really work. You can get better results with a toothbrush that will break up those stains and move the debris away from your teeth.
  • Sensitive or sore gums: You may want to change your toothbrush because you suffer from sore or sensitive gums. If you brush and see blood when you spit, this might be a sign that you used too much pressure with your brush. Electric models can ensure that you use just the right amount of pressure as you brush.
  • Bad breath: Many people change to electric toothbrushes because they suffer from bad breath too. That foul odor often occurs because of bacteria that builds up inside your mouth and on your tongue. You can use an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth and remove bacteria between your teeth and on your gums as well as germs and particles stuck on your tongue.

Signs of a Cavity

  • Brown or black spots/splotches on a tooth
  • Cracks or chips in a tooth
  • A small hole in your tooth that you can feel with your tongue
  • Pain in one or more of your teeth
Signs That You Need an Electric Toothbrush

Dentists recommend that you brush for at least two minutes, but it’s often hard to know when you should stop. One reason we like the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is that it features a built-in timer that you can set before you brush. That timer will go off after two minutes to let you know that you can put the toothbrush down. This is also one of the more affordable models that we found. It gets out top choice as the best budget model because both the toothbrush and the replacement heads are quite affordable.

The 4100 can remove up to seven times as much plaque as your ordinary toothbrush can. Its head has an oval design with multiple brushes scattered across the top. Those bristles move as you place the brush against your teeth to remove as much buildup as possible. Included with this toothbrush is a simple charger that you can plug into any bathroom outlet. Once charged, the battery inside will last for up to two full weeks. We like the quad pacer that comes with this brush too. That pacer ensures that you spend the right amount of time in each quadrant of your mouth.

How to Use an Electric Toothbrush

If you never used an electric toothbrush before, you can follow the steps we laid out to ensure that you follow proper brushing practices.

  • Set up the brush: Before you begin brushing, you need to set up your tools. You should apply a dollop of paste to the brush that is roughly the size of a pea and turn on your timer.
  • Use the right angle: You’ll want to use the brush against your teeth at a 45-degree angle, which ensures that the head gets between your teeth and along the gum line.
  • Start in the front: Though many people brush the backs of their teeth first, you should actually start in the front. You can move the brush across the front of your teeth and along your gums before focusing on the backs of your teeth and the base of each tooth.
  • Work on each quadrant: The human mouth consists of four quadrants. Though you can start in any of the four, you must make sure that you use the toothbrush in each one. Our chart below shows you the division between those quadrants.
  • Follow up: Once you finish brushing, you can use mouthwash to remove any particles left behind. You should also floss at least once a day.
How to Use an Electric Toothbrush - WITH TEXT

Professional models are great for those who want an even deeper clean. If you want the same sensation you get after a dental cleaning, this Waterpik model is the best toothbrush for you. It features a quadrant spacer that lets you spend 30 seconds brushing each area of your mouth. You can use this spacer with the timer to ensure that you brush for the complete two minutes that dentists recommend. The Sensonic Professional also comes with a case that has hard sides, which makes it a good choice for anyone who wants to stay on top of dental hygiene while away from home.

We also like that this model comes with a battery that lasts for weeks between charges and the three included brushes. You can keep those extras on hand for future use or allow your family to have brushes of their own. Each brush has a rounded head with bristles that are extra soft. Waterpik designed those bristles to work on the surface of your teeth and along your gums as well as in between the teeth. Many shoppers like that this model has two speed settings too, which lets them pick the type of cleaning they want.

What Not to do with an Electric Toothbrush

Whenever you purchase any type of powered device, you should read through the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you use it properly. We compiled a basic list of things you should not do with your new toothbrush.

  • Use it outside of your mouth: The spinning or vibrating head on that brush might feel so good that you feel tempted to use it to scratch an itch or on other parts of your body. You should only use a toothbrush inside your mouth.
  • Leave it plugged in all the time: Depending on how long it takes to charge your battery, you may want to leave the toothbrush plugged in all the time to ensure the battery has power. This is potentially dangerous though because overcharging the battery can shorten its life. The heat from the outlet may even cause a fire to start.
  • Choose the wrong head: Never use any type of head with your brush unless it comes from the same manufacturer and will fit your toothbrush. Manufacturers such as Oral-B make interchangeable heads that will work on all brushes, but other companies make replacement heads that will only work on specific models.
  • Take it apart: If your toothbrush stops working, you might consider opening the case and checking out the components inside. Doing this will void your warranty.
What Not to do with an Electric Toothbrush

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

When we talked about the best products in the chart at the top of this page and in the detailed product reviews that we wrote, we often talked about rotating heads. Though you might think that this is the only type of electric toothbrush out there, these products typically fall into one of three categories.

Rotating Toothbrush
The most common type of electric toothbrush is one that comes with a rotating head. Manufacturers may also use the term oscillating to describe the way the head moves. When you turn on the toothbrush, it sends a signal to the head, which is what causes it to turn. The head rotates in a clockwise direction and moves in small circles. As you move the brush around your mouth, it targets any teeth or other surfaces that it touches. The bristles in the head move in the same direction while targeting the spaces between your teeth.

Sonic Toothbrush
Many of the toothbrushes that Philips makes are those called sonic toothbrushes. This type has a mechanism inside that causes the brush to move back and forth when you turn it on. That motion does a good job of removing stains from teeth and targeting the bacteria along your gums. These toothbrushes also use vibrations, which stimulate your teeth in a few different ways. Those vibrations help reach the plaque that you cannot see, including the buildup between your teeth and any plaque trapped under your gums.

Ultrasonic Toothbrush
We did not include any ultrasonic toothbrushes on our list because these models are quite expensive and usually only available directly from some select manufacturers. These models work in the same way that sonic toothbrushes do and target both visible and hidden plaque and tartar. Ultrasonic models use more vibrations at a higher intensity level that can break up more of that plaque. Some users find that these toothbrushes shake their bodies too much and that they are too loud.

Signs of Gum Disease in Adults and Kids

Types of Electric Toothbrushes - Bad breath
Bad breath
Types of Electric Toothbrushes - Gums that appear swollen or inflamed
Gums that appear swollen or inflamed
Types of Electric Toothbrushes - Pain in and around your gums
Pain in and around your gums
Types of Electric Toothbrushes - Blood that you see when you spit after brushing or as you floss
Bleeding after brushing or flossing

What Comes in the Box?

After looking at all the models on our list, you might have some questions about what actually comes in the model that you buy. Most include a:

  • Handle
  • Head 
  • Charger 

To put the toothbrush together, you’ll insert the edge of the head into a slot located on the top of the handle and press down. When you apply a small amount of pressure, the head will snap into place. You can then plug the adapter end of the charger into a wall outlet and plug the other end into the toothbrush. Most models have a light on the front that will turn green to let you know when the battery has a full charge. Some models may come with other accessories, including:

  • Multiple heads: You might get a toothbrush that comes with one or more replacement heads. This lets you swap out the heads as needed in the future. Some companies provide multiple heads in different colors. You can assign each member of your family his or her own head to use with the same toothbrush.
  • Travel case: If you want to keep your teeth clean while on the go, you might consider a toothbrush that comes with its own travel case. Those cases have compartments inside for the toothbrush parts and any accessories you might need while away from home.
What Comes in the Box

Should You Buy a Battery Powered or Rechargeable Model?

The cheapest electric toothbrush that you can buy is one from Oral-B, which comes with an AA battery. That battery might last for two weeks or more, but it really depends on how often you use the toothbrush and whether other people use it. When you buy a model that uses standard batteries, you don’t need to waste power to keep it charged. You’ll also save yourself some frustrations if you go to brush your teeth and find out that it doesn’t have a charge. The downside is that the battery won’t produce as much speed or pressure as a rechargeable battery does. You also need to make sure that you have extra batteries around the house.

Toothbrushes that come with a rechargeable battery are more expensive but will last longer too. That battery allows you to brush your teeth several times a day for one to two weeks or longer before you need to charge it. Certain types of batteries can leak fluids when exposed to high temperatures or water though, which is something to consider as you look at these models. A rechargeable battery provides the toothbrush with more speed and allows the head to spin faster too.

Should You Buy a Battery Powered or Rechargeable Model

Top Benefits of Rechargeable Batteries

More power
Lasts longer
Leaves teeth feeling cleaner
Removes more plaque
Works better on stains

Mistakes to Avoid When Using an Electric Toothbrush

  • Moving too fast: When you move the toothbrush too fast around your teeth, you don’t get the deep clean that you need. This allows bacteria to build up inside your mouth and increase your risk of developing cavities. You need to focus on each quadrant and spend at least 30 seconds in each one.
  • Focusing on the front: Another mistake that many make it that they focus too much on their front teeth. You might assume that you only need to brush the parts of your teeth that show when you open your mouth, but the back of your mouth is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. As you brush, make sure that you spend as much time on your back teeth as you do the front.
  • Letting the toothbrush do all the work: Some users think that they can just hold an electric toothbrush in their hands and let it do all the work for them. You must move that brush around in your mouth to ensure that it hits every tooth. It’s helpful to use one with a quadrant timer that will tell you when it’s safe to move from one quadrant to the next. This lets you evenly spread out your brushing time across all four quadrants.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using an Electric Toothbrush

When Can You Introduce Kids to an Electric Toothbrush?

You can start brushing your child’s teeth once your son or daughter reaches the age of four months, but you should use a standard toothbrush during those early years. The right time to introduce your child to an electric toothbrush is when he or she reaches the age of three years.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth Every Day

  • Take a dental hygiene kit with you: Finding time to brush your teeth after having some snacks at work or grabbing lunch with coworkers is extremely difficult. When you have your own dental hygiene kit, you can take care of your teeth on the go. You can pack a small toothbrush, some dental floss or picks and a small bottle of mouthwash in that kit.
  • Floss daily: Though some studies found that flossing doesn’t work as effectively as many once thought, regular flossing can still keep your mouth healthy. When you floss, you remove the food bits and particles stuck between your teeth that can form cavities and lead to gum disease. You should try to floss at least once a day.
  • Create a routine: A great way to ensure that you take care of your teeth is when you establish a routine that you follow at the same time every day. That routine might include flossing right before bed and brushing as soon as you finish breakfast.
  • Use a water pick: You may want to add the use of a water pick to your daily routine too. This is a type of electric device that pushes a steady stream of water through your mouth. That stream can get deeper into your teeth than ordinary floss does.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth Every Day - WITH TEXT

Buying Guide for the Best Electric Toothbrushes – Features to Consider

Each shopping guide that we create includes as much information as possible because we want our readers to have everything they need to know available to them. Our shopping guide for the top electric toothbrushes for 2018 goes over things such as how much they cost and the benefits of using one daily to brush your teeth. We now want to get down to the basics and look at the most important features that different models have. You may find that some of these features are more important to you than others.

Warranty
No matter which toothbrush catches your attention, you should look closely at the included warranty. You’ll want to look at what it covers and how long it lasts. Some manufacturers offer a warranty that only covers the first three to six months, which may not provide you with enough time to see if that model is right for you. The top companies offer a warranty that lasts for at least a full year. You should also see what happens if you want a refund or if a part breaks. Some companies will ask that you send the toothbrush back for a repair. Others will offer a full refund or a money back guarantee that lets you get your money back if you’re unhappy with the toothbrush.

Cleaning Modes
Though many of the cheaper electric toothbrushes that made our list have just one cleaning mode, others have multiple modes. The Diamond Clean from Philips has an impressive five brushing modes. You can pick a mode that uses less pressure when you have a toothache or a headache that worsens as the toothbrush vibrates, or you can select a deeper cleaning mode to target the stains that you notice on your teeth. The brushes that have just one cleaning mode are suitable for everyday use though. That mode will remove plaque and can work on some of the stains that you see too.

Stroke and Speed
The manufacturers of electric toothbrushes will often tell you the stroke or speed rating of those models before you buy. Though this tells you exactly how fast the brush rotates or moves, you should keep in mind that the speed or stroke can change in the future. This rating usually only applies to the speed produced when you first turn on that toothbrush and when you have a new battery or a fully charged battery inside. If you let the brush sit for a few days without charging the battery, you’ll often find that the speed decreases.

Cost
We created an entire section devoted to the cost of electric toothbrushes, but we want you to consider both the upfront cost and the long-term costs of owning and using one. The upfront cost includes just the price of the toothbrush itself. You may need to pay shipping to have the package delivered too. Long-term costs include the price of the replacement heads that you need. You might get as little as three months of use out of the head that comes with your toothbrush, though some heads can last for up to six months. A single replacement head might cost $5 or more, while a pack that comes with three heads can retail for $10 to $20 or more.

Power Source
In one of the sections above, we gave you a direct comparison between models that feature a rechargeable battery and those that rely on a disposable battery. You’ll likely find that you prefer one type of source. If you don’t have many outlets in your bathroom or have other devices that you use in those outlets, a disposable battery option might be better for you. Battery powered models are better for those who travel frequently too. The Diamond Cleaning toothbrush does come with a carrying case though that makes it a smart choice for travellers. Many shoppers prefer toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries though because of the convenience that those devices offer.

Brush Head
The two things to look at in regards to the brush head on the toothbrush is its size and design. You can choose one that has a rounded head or an oval head. Some prefer rounded heads because they are smaller. Users can more easily fit the head inside their mouths without opening too wide and putting pressure on their jaws. An oval head can reach more areas of your teeth though and may require that you move the head less. The right size head for you will depend on the size of your mouth.

Indicator Bristles
Indicator bristles are one of the coolest new features that manufacturers put on electric toothbrushes. If you ever used an older electric toothbrush before, you probably found that it came with stickers that you put on the handle. Those stickers let you know when it was time to replace the head. Some newer models now come with indicator bristles. Those bristles are usually white on the bottom and have blue and green sections on the top. As you use the toothbrush, the bristles will slowly change colors until each one becomes white. Once all the bristles are the same color, you’ll know that it’s time to replace the head.

Indicator Light
An indicator light is a feature found on many different electric toothbrushes today. If you choose one that runs on disposable batteries, this light will come on to let you know when the battery is almost out of light. Toothbrushes that run on rechargeable batteries often have an indicator light that comes on in two different situations. When you charge the battery, the light will turn on when it reaches a full charge. This same light or a light nearby may blink red when the battery runs low. An indicator light helps you know when you need to either replace or charge your battery.

Storage Options
Though the Philips Diamond Clean is the only electric toothbrush on our list that comes with a carrying case, you’ll find other models that have a container designed specifically for the heads. This feature is common on toothbrushes that come with multiple heads. Each container is roughly the same shape as the head but slightly larger. This lets you safely store the head away from the germs and grime in your bathroom. Storage containers are good for families who use the same toothbrush too. Each person in your home can have his or her own head and a container for that head.

Timer
Dentists recommend that you spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth three times a day. In just six minutes, you can significantly reduce the appearance of stains and make your teeth look whiter while also removing bacteria and cleaning your teeth. If you have a difficult time judging how much time you actually spend brushing, you should look for a model that comes with its own built-in timer. Though some models require that you set the timer yourself, others will come on as soon as you turn on the toothbrush. It will slowly count down the amount of time that passed and alert you as soon as you reach the two-minute mark.

Cleaning and Maintenance
The most popular electric toothbrushes are easy to use and require little in the way of maintenance. Once you finish brushing your teeth, you can run the brush head under a little cold water and give it a shake before putting it away. If you need to share that toothbrush with others, you may want to look for one that allows you to sanitize the brush. These models come with a UV spray that you can apply directly to the brush to kill germs and bacteria. You’ll also find separate products that let you soak the heads in between uses.

Pressure Warning
A common mistake that many dentists see is that their patients use too much pressure as they brush. When you buy a standard toothbrush, you have the option of buying a soft, medium or hard brush. Some companies make even softer brushes designed for users with sensitive teeth and gums. When you use an electric toothbrush, you might use the same amount of pressure that you used with an old brush. As the brush itself moves and vibrates though, you may use so much pressure that your teeth hurt or your gums bleed. Many newer electric toothbrushes have a pressure sensor that identifies when you use too much pressure. The sensor usually sends out an alert that causes a light to come on, which tells you when to slow down and use less pressure.

Vibrations

The first time that you use an electric toothbrush, you might find yourself surprised at just how many vibrations it produces. Those that run on a disposable battery generally shake less than those that use a rechargeable battery do. While you should expect the toothbrush to vibrate as the motor runs, you want to make sure that it doesn’t shake too much. If you purchase one that vibrates at a faster speed, you might notice your hands shaking, which makes it harder to use that toothbrush. A higher level of vibrations can also make your whole body shake.

Handle Design
Since you only use an electric toothbrush for two minutes at a time, you may think that the design of the handle isn’t very important. No matter how often you brush though, you want a handle that has an ergonomic design. Companies spend billions of dollars on research and development every year to make products that customers can use with minimal discomfort. You may want a handle that has a slight bend in the center that allows the natural curve of your palm to wrap around it. Many customers will also want to consider the size of the handle, especially if they have smaller hands.

Sound Produced
One thing that many adults do not consider is the amount of noise or sound that the toothbrush produces. Unless you used one in the past or lived with someone who used one, you may not realize how loudly they run. The noise produced can interfere with the lives of others in your house and can be so loud that you actually wince as you brush your teeth. A good way to find out how noisily these toothbrushes run is with a look at customer reviews. Many of the reviews that we looked at when creating our list mentioned which models ran louder than others.

Charging Dock
As you look at the top electric toothbrushes for 2018, you might want to look at the photos and available and read through the descriptions carefully to see if rechargeable models come with a charging dock. Sometimes called a docking station, this refers to a small case made from molded plastic. It typically has a special compartment on the front designed specifically for your toothbrush. This keeps the toothbrush from rolling into your sink or onto the floor. The docking station will have a small hole on either the back or the base too. You can run the charging cord through this hole to charge your battery as the toothbrush sits.

Quadrant Checker
We already explained the four quadrants found in the human mouth and gave you an image that shows you which teeth and areas of your mouth sit in each quadrant. If you’re like most people, you probably find yourself focusing too closely on one area. You might focus on quadrant one because you have a toothache and worry that you might have a cavity. Some users also find themselves focusing more on their front teeth or on teeth where they see stains. When you purchase a toothbrush that has a built-in quadrant checker, you can give each tooth the cleaning that it needs without spending too much time on one area. This feature lets you know exactly when you can move from one quadrant to another area of your mouth to ensure that the brush cleans all your teeth.

What is a Dual Head Toothbrush?

A dual head electric toothbrush is one that has a head with two different brushes. One of those brushes will move back and forth over your teeth, but the second brush will rotate in place. These toothbrushes let you get the best of two different types of brushes.

Buying Guide for the Best Electric Toothbrushes – Features to Consider

Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Toothbrush for Kids

  • Size: The most important thing to consider when buying an electric toothbrush for a child in your life is the overall size. Oral-B makes a model that is suitable for kids and adults with smaller mouths. The toothbrush should fit into your child’s mouth without causing any discomfort.
  • Ease of us: Kids who practice proper brushing at a younger age are more likely to have healthier teeth and gums later in life. When you treat your child to the right toothbrush that he or she can more easily use, your child is more likely to brush regularly and properly.
  • Handle design: Toothbrushes designed for kids should have handles with a rubber or silicone material on top. This keeps the brush firmly in his or her hands. You may want to look at models that have just one power button instead of those that feature multiple buttons that might confuse kids.
  • Sound: We encourage you to look at the amount of sound that the toothbrush produces too. Kids often have sensitive ears. Loud noises can scare them. If the toothbrush is too loud, your child may even be scared to walk into the bathroom.
Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Toothbrush for

Expert Tip

To make brushing more fun, you can look for toothbrushes and other dental hygiene products that use animated characters, including Hello Kitty and Captain America. Those fun faces might encourage your child to spend more time in front of the sink.

How Much Should You Pay for an Electric Toothbrush?

Though you can pick up a simple toothbrush for around $3 to $4 or less, buying an electric model will cost more. Many people take one look at those price tags and decide to stick with their old brushes. Electric models have a number of benefits that included those we addressed below, which lets you know that they are a solid investment. You should also keep in mind that using one of these brushes can help you avoid expensive dental procedures in the future.

We found toothbrushes suitable for those on a budget and those who can afford to spend more. Philips makes Sonicare toothbrushes that retail for under $100, while its Diamond Clean model retails for nearly $200. While this is a little expensive, the motor inside that brush can last for a year or more.

If you want to buy an Oral-B toothbrush because you used the company’s dental products in the past, you can get one with a rechargeable battery for between $50 and $75. Its smaller model, which comes with a disposable battery, retails for less than $10. Smart shoppers know that they should set a budget ahead of time and pick a toothbrush that they can afford.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Though we highly recommend buying a model with a built-in timer, you can purchase a basic model that lacks this feature. You should still brush for two minutes though, which is the length of time that dentists recommend. Instead of using a built-in timer, you can put an ordinary kitchen timer in your bathroom. You should turn that timer on after inserting the toothbrush into your mouth to ensure that you brush for the full time period.

A: A smart toothbrush is a trendy product that comes with an app you can access on any phone. The app can alert you when you need to brush your teeth or floss. Some apps will even keep track of your brushing habits to show you what changes you need to make. You can use a free app that does the same thing without spending more on a smart toothbrush.

A: Electric toothbrushes use heads with bristles. You can use those heads for a few weeks or longer before you need to replace them. Most manufacturers offer replacement heads for sale in big box stores and online from sites such as Amazon.

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