We all want to take care of our teeth properly, but it can be difficult to navigate the huge number of products out there. The good news is the right toothbrush can make a huge amount of difference to your oral hygiene, but which one is best.
To get the lowdown, we spoke to a local dental hygienist who gave us her personal recommendation on the best toothbrush for your teeth, plus some handy information about other popular toothbrushes.
Here’s what we found: Our resident dental hygienist, Laura, uses a Sonicare. She recommends it to patients and has seen the results herself.
(Right now, you can snag a Philips Sonicare — our best bang for the buck — for just $64.37.)
Philips Sonicare toothbrushes produce an impressive amount of pulses per minute (generally between 30,000 and 60,000 depending on the model) and are backed by scientific data.
Philips spends large sums on research and development so they can produce toothbrushes that really work to get rid of plaque and food debris that lesser toothbrushes would miss.
Our Sonicare recommendations
It's not as simple as just buying a Sonicare — you'll need to choose from a range of available models. These are a handful of our favorites but by no means the only quality Sonicare options available.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500: This is one of the most advanced Sonicare brushes available right now. It links to an app on your smartphone to give you real-time feedback about your brushing technique. It produces up to 62,000 brush movements a minute.
Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+: With a "clean" mode for regular brushing and a "white" mode for stain-removal and general tooth-whitening, you can see why this is a popular model. It produces up to 31,000 movements per minute, which is still impressive even though it's not as many as the DiamondClean.
Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100: If you need an affordable choice that still cleans amazingly, this is the toothbrush for you. It might not have the high-end features of some Sonicare brushes, but it produces an outstanding 62,000 movements per minute.
What’s the second-best option?
Oral-B is the other big name in electric toothbrushes, so you might be wondering if these are any good.
You might think that dental professionals are exaggerating how much they can tell about your habits by looking into your mouth, but our expert insists after 20 years of experience that she can always tell who uses a quality electric toothbrush and who doesn’t.
Oral-B’s line of products falls into this category. And the Sonicare doesn’t work for everyone.
So, if you find that the small, oscillating heads of Oral-B toothbrushes work better for you, this is another excellent choice.
Like Sonicare models, Oral-B toothbrushes have a six-month satisfaction guarantee, so you can always try one and see how you get on.
Our Oral-B recommendations
While the majority of Oral-B electric toothbrushes are excellent, here's what we'd recommend if you're unsure what to choose.
Oral-B Genius 9600 Electric Toothbrush: The cream of the Oral-B crop, this model connects to your phone using Bluetooth to give brushing feedback via an Oral-B app. It has six modes, including gum care and whitening, and lasts around 14 days between charges.
Oral-B Pro 5000 Smartseries Electric Toothbrush: An excellent mid-range choice, you can connect to the app for feedback with this toothbrush, though it doesn't have as many cleaning modes or extra features as the Genius.
Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Toothbrush: This is the perfect Oral-B toothbrush for anyone on a budget or who want a simple electric toothbrush. It has just one brushing mode, but it cleans teeth effectively.
How about other trendy toothbrushes?
What does our expert dental hygienist have to say about some of the other popular electric toothbrushes available?
Quip is a common choice right now due to its slim design and ease of use, but Laura doesn't rate it. "Quip isn’t really an electric toothbrush, it’s more like an enhanced manual toothbrush," she says. "If you’ve used an electric toothbrush before you’ll instantly feel the difference."
In BestReviews’ consumer testing of Quip products, we found them to be lacking in other areas too. The design often leads to a slimy feel of the handle. And the brush itself feels like a $1 toothbrush that just happens to vibrate. The only worthwhile feature is a timer that tells the user when they’ve brushed for a full two minutes. But that hardly seems worth its cost (which is usually around $50).
Our expert also tried the Burst electric toothbrush but wouldn’t recommend it.
While it’s better than Quip, the brush didn’t clean the teeth well. It wasn’t effective at removing plaque and didn’t get between teeth well. It gave the feeling of a quality brush, but the results weren’t there.
Other products we recommend to improve your dental hygiene
Waterpik Electric Dental Countertop Oral Irrigator: This product is a lifesaver for those who hate to floss, and it’s currently discounted to just $57.91 — a reasonable price for an ADA-approved tool.
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit: LED teeth whitening treatments are trending right now among those who want glowing smiles, and this kit from AuraGlow provides 20 days of whitening for just $48.50.
Wowe Bamboo Toothbrush (Pack of 4): If you’re looking to reduce your plastic consumption, you can start with your toothbrush; these biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes are good for your teeth and the environment and are only $9.95.