We analyzed and compared 24 different powered toothbrushes from Sonicare, Oral B, Smilex, and Rotadent brands that are available on the market at the moment. We believe that Sonicare DiamondClean Smart is the best electric toothbrush for consumers with the highest expectations as it is available in several different designs, offers the highest number of cleaning combinations of all toothbrushes we analyzed and because it’s equipped with the latest Sonicare Smart technology.

Our reasonably priced choice is the Oral B 7000. It costs about 50% less while it still brings a lot to the table; It offers 6 different cleaning modes, it’s compatible with variety of different Oral B brush heads and comes with quite a few travel accessories.

Best electric toothbrushes 2018

Here’s a list of what we believe are the top 10 ultimate powered toothbrushes money can buy right now. If you’re not sure which one to buy, check out our buying guide down below which will help you find the right one for your needs and budget.

Our review process

Time spent reviewing
37 hours
Products considered
24
Products reviewed
10

Electric toothbrush features

best electric toothbrushModern electric toothbrushes are much more than just a power button and a few bristles attached to a brush head. They are becoming more and more advanced and they offer a lot of advanced goodies that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. Some of them feature Bluetooth connectivity module and some of them have inbuilt pressure sensors and timers. It’s just a matter of time before manufacturers decide to equip them with MP3 players and touchscreens.

Here are a couple of main features of today’s electric toothbrushes.

Cleaning modes and intensity levels
Switching between different cleaning modes on an electric toothbrush requires just a few presses on a button. While some more affordable electric toothbrushes only offer a single cleaning mode, the best ones offer up to 6 cleaning modes and up to three intensity levels which allows numerous different options to explore. There’s usually a standard brushing mode for everyday use, a whitening mode which is more intense and capable of removing stains from teeth, a gum care mode which is more gentle and is designed to improve the blood circulation and the health of gums, a tongue care mode for cleaning tongue and so on.
Price
When it comes to price, electric toothbrushes can cost anywhere from about $15 to over $200.

  • < $20: The cheapest ones cost $20 or even less and they are usually powered by standard AAA batteries. These electric toothbrushes usually produce only a couple 1000 vibrating movements per minute and many clinical studies suggest that they aren’t as effective as a manual toothbrush.
  • $20 – $40: As the price increases to about $40, electric toothbrushes become more powerful. They are usually powered by inbuilt rechargeable NiMH batteries, and produce over 20,000 brush movements per minute. Most of these toothbrushes usually feature a single brushing mode, and they don’t have a lot of advanced goodies such as in-built pressure sensors and brushing timers.
  • $100: We consider electric toothbrushes in the $100 price range as medium-priced. They usually produce 31,000 or more brushing movements per minute, depending on whether they use sonic,oscillating, or ultrasonic technology. Most of them are powered by rechargeable in-built Lithium-ion batteries that provide longer battery life than NiMH batteries. They offer several cleaning modes and come equipped with pressure sensors and brushing timers. Pressure sensor either beeps or turns the toothbrush off to remind you that you are brushing your teeth too aggressively while the timer helps you reach the 2 minutes of dentist’s recommended brushing time.
  • > $150: The most expensive electric toothbrushes cost upwards of $150. They usually feature the same brushing technology as most $100 medium-priced electric toothbrushes, but they offer more cleaning modes and come with more extra goodies such as travel cases, advanced battery charging systems and there are more replacement brush heads added to the package. Some expensive toothbrushes also feature smart technology which allows you to connect the toothbrush to your smartphone or tablet and get real time information and tips on how to improve dental hygiene habits and brushing technique.

How much does an electric toothbrush cost in the long run?

An average manual toothbrush costs somewhere around $5 to $10 on average while an electric toothbrush can cost anywhere from $20 to $200. It’s obvious that a manual toothbrush costs much less initially, but it’s worth mentioning that the cost of owning an electric toothbrush isn’t as high as it seems on the long run.

Most electric toothbrush manufacturers advise that you change the brush head after every three months of use. If a single replacement brush head costs somewhere around $5 on average (depending on the manufacturer), it means that replacing brush heads costs no more than $20 per year which is the same as buying a new manual toothbrush for $5 every 3 months.

Pressure sensors
Although enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance of the human body, it’s not indestructible. If you are brushing your teeth too aggressively, there are two bad things that can happen. You can harm your gum tissue which can lead to gum recession, and you can wear down the enamel of your teeth on the long run which can result in tooth sensitivity, weakening of a tooth’s structure, and eventually even tooth loss.

But if you aren’t a dental hygienist, or a dentist, you probably don’t even know when you become too aggressive.

The top-end powered toothbrushes have an inbuilt pressure sensor with visible light indicator that reminds you when you apply too much pressure to the teeth.

Brushing timers
Dentists recommend 2 minutes of brushing time per each brushing session. The latest studies have shown that less than 50% people actually reach the 2 minutes of brushing time and that’s why electric toothbrushes come with an in-built timer that reminds you not just when the 2 minutes of brushing time have passed, but also when is the time to move the toothbrush from one quadrant of your mouth to another (30 second intervals).
Smart technology
The latest development in electric toothbrush market is the smart technology. It allows toothbrush to be connected to iOS or Android device with Bluetooth connectivity (smartphone, computer, or tablet) with the help of an app, so you can always keep track on your brushing habits and improve your brushing technique to perfection. The most recent smart technology analyzes brushing performance of every quadrant of mouth and tells you exactly which spots have you been missing and how to improve your brushing habits and technique.

The monster with sonic technology

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

Sonicare Diamondclean Smart





Pros

  • 5 cleaning modes
  • 3 intensity levels
  • 4 designs to choose from
  • Pressure sensor
  • Timer
  • Charging glass
  • Travel case

Cons

  • Hefty price tag
  • Expensive brush heads

Features

  • Five color options to choose from – white, black, pink, grey, lunar blue
  • Three models to choose from – 9300, 9500, and 9700
  • 5 personalized brushing modes
  • 3 intensity settings
  • Highly advanced smart technology
  • Premium travel case and charging glass

The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart is without a doubt the most advanced toothbrush we have reviewed because it outshines competition in several areas. It’s manufactured by Philips who claims that it can remove up to 10x more plaque compared to a traditional toothbrush and improves gum health up to 7x in just 2 weeks of use. Simply put, if the DiamondClean Plus was a smartphone, it would be the latest iPhone.

The older version of the DiamondClean Smart toothbrush (which didn’t feature the Smart technology) was also featured on the Elen Degenerees TV show and was endorsed by several celebrities. It’s clear that it’s one of the most popular electric toothbrushes on the market and there are plenty of good reasons for that.

Why is the DiamondClean our top pick?

The first area where the DiamondClean outshines its competition is the design and the build quality. It comes in black, amethyst, lunar blue, pink, or white design to choose from and we believe that it’s the best looking powered toothbrush we ever reviewed. It doesn’t just look good, but it also feels sturdy and well built.

The in-built lithium-ion battery is rechargeable and the manufacturer claims that it can provide 14 days of brushing with a single charge. However, the battery life depends on how often you brush your teeth and which cleaning modes you use. While plenty of manufacturers often promise more than they can deliver, the battery of the DiamondClean lasted 18 days when we tested it which was a pleasant surprise.

Sonic technology

The fact that this is a sonic toothbrush means that it produces vibrating movements that can reach speeds of over 31.000 vibrations per minute. This technology drives fluids between teeth and along the gum line which removes plaque and bacteria that’s nesting on the teeth and in the hard to reach areas in mouth.

When it comes to cleaning modes, the DiamondClean again outperformed every other toothbrush we tested. There are five different cleaning modes to choose from and combined with three different intensity levels you can choose between getting 15 cleaning modes to suit your preference which is the most out of all electric toothbrushes we reviewed so far.

The cleaning modes are:

  • Clean – a 2-minute regular brushing mode
  • White+ – intense brushing mode for removing organic stains from teeth
  • Deep Clean+ – intense mode for deeper cleaning
  • Gum health – soft mode for improving blood circulation in gums
  • TongueCare – tongue brushing mode

Another reason why the DiamondClean comes with such a spicy price is the value of goodies that are included in the package. There are two charging options; a charging glass and a charging case.

The charging glass looks modern and you can use it to store and charge the toothbrush on a bathroom shelf above the sink. The charging case is the most elegant case for toothbrush we had our hands on. It’s finished with soft leather which gives it a very sleek and elegant look. It’s appropriate for situations when you are traveling and you want to enjoy the convenience of having a travel case and a charger in a single package. The charging case also has a storage compartment designed for one DiamondClean Plus toothbrush handle and two replacement brush heads.

Smart technology

The biggest upgrade over the older DiamondClean toothbrush is the smart technology. This is the area where Sonicare was falling short behind the top-end Oral B toothbrushes for a couple of years. But Sonicare has been slowly incorporating their own smart technology in most of their top-end electric toothbrushes lately and it seems that it is at least as good as the Oral B smart technology.

The smart Bluetooth connectivity pairs the toothbrush with an Android or iOs device through the Sonicare’s app which is available on both Google Play and Apple App stores. It tracks your brushing habits in real time and gives you tips on how to brush more efficiently. It even maps your entire mouth and analyzes your brushing performance tooth by tooth. It also allows you to choose different goals; if you want to whiten your teeth for a few shades, you can choose the White option. If

Downsides

The downside of the DiamondClean is the price. It costs nearly twice as much as our editor’s favorite and at the time of writing this review, it was the most expensive electric toothbrush we have reviewed. When it comes to the price of replacement brush heads, the DiamondClean Plus isn’t much better. The price of brush heads can add a lot to the total cost in the long run compared to most other electric toothbrushes we have reviewed. However, it’s clear that it has very little competition in most important areas which is the main reason why it’s one of the most popular electric toothbrushes on the market.

Oral B 8000 Genius

Oral B 8000 genius





Pros

  • 6 cleaning modes
  • Pressure sensor
  • Timer
  • SmartGuide
  • Compatible with variety of Oral B brush heads
  • 110V-220V
  • Travel case

Cons

  • Design
  • Quite expensive

Features

  • Two color options to choose from – white, and black
  • Two models to choose from – 7500, and 8000
  • 6 personalized brushing modes
  • Smart technology
  • Compatible with several Oral B brush heads
  • In-built pressure sensor and timer
  • Smart travel case

The Oral B 8000 is second on our list and although it has more to offer than every other toothbrush we reviewed, it falls short behind the DiamondClean in a couple of areas. It features a powerful rechargeable battery that can last about 12 days with a single charge, and has the Oral B’s smart technology which pairs it with iOs and Android devices.

The Genius offers 6 different cleaning modes. Although this is more than you get with the DiamondClean Smart, there are no intensity levels to choose from which means that the DiamondClean offers 9 more brushing combinations. The good news is that the Genius 8000 is compatible with a number of Oral B brush heads which gives you a lot of options to explore.

The 6 cleaning modes are:

  • Daily Clean – Standard cleaning mode for everyday use
  • Gum Care – gentle massage mode for massaging gums
  • Sensitive – gentle mode for people with sensitive teeth
  • Whitening – intense mode for polishing teeth
  • Tongue Cleaning – gentle mode for cleaning tongue
  • Pro-Clean Mode – long and intense mode for deep cleaning

Smart travel case

The Smart travel case holds a single brush handle and two replacement brush head. The downside of the travel case is that it’s quite basic and made of hard plastic. However, it’s designed to charge both your toothbrush and smartphone using a single outlet which can come quite handy when you are traveling abroad.

Downsides

There aren’t many downsides of the Oral B 8000 compared to vast majority of electric toothbrushes on the market today. However since it’s one of the best toothbrushes Oral B has produces until now, it’s only fair that we compare it to the Sonicare DiamondClean.

The Genius falls short in battery life; it lasts 2 days less compared to the DiamondClean according to the official manufacturer’s data. Because there are no intensity levels to choose from, it has 9 less cleaning combinations, and although the travel case fits everything perfectly, it looks cheap because it’s made of hard plastic and doesn’t have a sleek leather finish as the DiamondClean. The final area where the Genius falls short is the Smart app which doesn’t have as friendly user interface as the Sonicare Smart, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected

Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected





Pros

  • 3 brushing modes
  • 3 intensity levels
  • Pressure sensor + timer
  • AdaptiveClean brush head
  • SmartGuide
  • Deluxe travel case
  • UV sanitizer

Cons

  • Still more expensive than most Sonicare and Oral B toothbrushes

Features

  • Two options to choose from – with or without UV sanitizer
  • 3 personalized brushing modes and 3 intensity levels
  • Smart technology
  • Comes with Deluxe travel case, 2 brush heads, 2 hygienic travel caps
  • Comes with UV sanitizer

The Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected is an upgrade from the previous toothbrushes from the Platinum series. It’s one of the older Sonicare toothbrush product lines and has been on the market for a long time already. But it’s getting constantly improved and the latest version comes packed with a lot of fancy and interesting features.

When it comes to design, the Flexcare Platinum looks great. It doesn’t quite match the design of the DiamondClean, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. It has plastic grips on the back of the handle to increase grip which comes very handy when the toothbrush becomes wet, but in our opinion spoils the overall design a little bit.

There are three different cleaning modes to choose from.

Wait… Only 3 cleaning modes?

Despite the fact that it only offers 3 cleaning modes, it also has 3 intensity levels which means you can switch between 9 different modes for full personalization. Switching between intensity levels is done through the button in the middle of the handle while switching between cleaning modes requires a press on the button located at the bottom of the handle.

  • Cleen is a standard brushing mode for everyday clean
  • White is an intense mode designed for optimal stain removal
  • Deep Clean is an intense mode designed for deep cleaning

Smart technology

The Platinum Connected features the same Smart technology as the leading Sonicare toothbrush. The Sonicare app is available on Google Play and in the Apple App Store and all you have to do is download it to your favorite Android or iOs device and start analyzing your brushing performance.

UV sanitizer

Another great feature of the Flexcare Connected is the UV sanitizer that comes with it. It is designed to store up to two Sonicare brush heads at once and it’s quite easy to use. When you want to use it, you simply press on the power button on the top of it and the sanitizer will automatically turn on the UV lights and turn them off after 10-minutes when the process is finished.

Is UV sanitizer really a necessary feature without which one can’t live? We don’t think so since studies suggest that there are more effective ways to sanitize a toothbrush. However, it’s still a nice addition to have if you really want to get rid of the germs nesting on the toothbrush bristles.

Downsides

The downside of the Flexcare Platinum Connected is the price which is on the higher side among the toothbrushes we were able to get our hands on. It’s not as expensive as the DiamondClean Smart, but it’s still more expensive than most toothbrushes we have reviewed.

Editor’s choice

Oral B 7000

Oral B 7000





Pros

  • Great value for the money
  • 6 cleaning modes
  • Attractive design
  • Bluetooth smart technology
  • Pressure sensor and timer
  • Premium travel case

Cons

  • Up to 10 days of battery life

Features

  • Two options to choose from – black and white design
  • 6 personalized brushing modes with tongue cleaning mode included
  • Advanced smart technology
  • In-built pressure sensor and timer

The Oral B 7000 is our top pick when it comes to value for the money. Just like most today’s generation powered toothbrushes it was modeled after professional dental cleaning tools but was heavily redesigned to suit average consumers to use it at home for personal use. It costs nearly 50% less than the most expensive version of the DiamondClean, but it still comes packed with a lot of goodies.

Sturdy design

There are two design options to choose from. Our personal belief is that the black version looks more modern and sophisticated, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. The handle is wrapped in soft touch plastic and the backing is made of a texturized rubber grip. It feels well built and it looks like it could easily survive a lot of unintentional drops to the ground.

Cleaning modes

There are 6 cleaning modes to choose from, the same as you get with the Oral B 8000. There’s a teeth whitening mode, a tongue cleaning mode, gum care, deep clean, daily clean, and sensitive. The average consumer will use daily clean brushing mode most of the time since it’s designed for everyday cleaning.

Downsides

Unfortunately there are no intensity levels to adjust, so a brushing experience is more limited with the 7000 compared to the leading Sonicare toothbrushes. The good news is that the 7000 is compatible with a wide range of different Oral B brush heads which gives you a lot of options to explore to find a perfect brushing mode tailored for your preference.

Oral B 5000 SmartSeries

Oral B 5000





Pros

  • Much more affordable than the top-end boothbrushes
  • 5 cleaning modes
  • Attractive renewed design
  • Bluetooth smart technology
  • Pressure sensor and timer
  • Travel case

Cons

  • Battery life could be better

Features

  • Cleaning modes: sensitive, gum care, whitening, deep clean, daily clean
  • Compatible brush heads: CrossAction, Deep Sweep, Floss Action, 3D White, Precision Clean, Sensitive, Dual Clean, Power Tip, and Ortho

The Oral B 5000 is another toothbrush that has been on the market for several years, but it’s getting constantly updated and remodeled. The newest 5000 SmartSeries has incorporated Oral B’s smart technology and it has gotten the number of cleaning modes upgraded all the way up to 5. The only cleaning mode that’s missing compared to the top-end Oral B oscillating toothbrushes is the tongue cleaning mode.

Compared to the 7000 model, it’s also missing a premium travel case which was downgraded to a standard travel case, and it comes with a different brush head – Floss action. The good news is that the 5000 is compatible with variety of Oral B brush heads, so you have quite a lot of possibilities to explore to find the one that suits you best.

Best for kids

Oral B Pro Health For Me

Oral B PRO Health For Me





Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Single brushing mode

Features

  • Rechargeable Lithium ION battery
  • Appropriate for children over 3 years of age
  • 2-year warranty

The market of electric toothbrushes for kids is much less competitive than the market of electric toothbrushes for adults but it’s clear that Sonicare and Oral B are dominating this area as well.

Are electric toothbrushes even appropriate for kids? Yes they are.

It’s a well known fact that most kids won’t take their dental health seriously and majority of them don’t even reach the dentist’s recommended 2 minutes of brushing time. The PRO Health for me comes equipped with a timer that reminds children when the 2 minutes of brushing time have passed and encourages them to brush their teeth effectively.

Another benefit of electric toothbrushes for kids is that they can help them overcome fear against the dentists. A very interesting debate on Reddit suggested that because electric toothbrush vibrates and produces similar sounds as tools found at the dentist’s office, children get used to it which helps them overcome their fears against the dentist much sooner. You be the judge whether this theory is possible or not because unfortunately there’s no official clinical study supporting it.

Keep in mind that the Oral B PRO Health For Me isn’t intended for children younger than 3 years of age.

Sonicare Healthy White

Sonicare Healthy White





Pros

  • Medium price range
  • Recommended by dentists
  • Dynamic fluid action sonic technology
  • Timer and pressure sensor

Cons

  • 3 cleaning modes only

Features

  • Rechargeable Lithium ION battery
  • ProResults brush head
  • Travel case

The Sonicare HealthyWhite is a medium-priced sonic toothbrush that offers advanced cleaning for whiter teeth. It’s been advertised as a toothbrush for teeth whitening and the manufacturer claims it can whiten teeth up to two shades in just two weeks of using the Clean and White brushing modes (2 minutes of brushing with Clean mode and additional 30 seconds with White mode on visible areas on the front teeth).

It comes with a travel case. It isn’t the most luxurious toothbrush travel case on the market, but it’s convenient and appropriate for traveling. It’s powered by a Lithium ion battery that can last for up to 3 weeks with a single charge, so if you are often traveling for less than 3 weeks, you don’t even have to worry about charging the battery.

Another good thing about the HealthyWhite is the Easy-start program. If you are switching from a traditional to electric toothbrush, it might take you some time before you get used to vibrating movements and the first brushing experience might not be as pleasing as it should be. The Easy-start program makes the whole adjustment easier because it automatically increases the power over the first 14 brushings.

The HealthyWhite also comes with QuadPacer and timer. The timer helps you reach 2 minutes of brushing time and QuadPacer tells you when is the time to move the toothbrush from one quadrant of mouth to another.

Ultrasonic toothbrush

Smilex AU-300E

Smilex AU-300E





Pros

  • Ultrasonic technology
  • Backed by clinical studies

Cons

  • Single cleaning mode
  • Expensive brush heads

Features

  • 96 million ultrasonic waves per minute
  • 18,000 sonic pulses per minute
  • Backed by clinical studies

The Smilex AU-300E is an ultrasonic toothbrush quite different than anything else on the market. Unlike Oral B and Sonicare toothbrushes which only use oscillating and vibrating brush head movements, the Smilex utilizes the power of 96 million ultrasonic waves combined with 18,000 sonic pulses per minute. The older brother of the Smilex AU-300E was the first ultrasonic toothbrush approved by the FDA in 1992, and the AU-300E is a redesigned and improved version that came out a few years ago.

Is ultrasonic technology really worth it?

The concept is that ultrasonic waves penetrate up to half an inch below the gum line, disrupting the formation of plaque. It’s a known fact that plaque under the gum line does a lot of damage and can result in gingivitis, decay, or even tooth loss. The ultrasonic toothbrushes have been tested by several clinical studies and have shown several advantages compared to traditional toothbrushes.

We liked the overall performance of the AU-300E, but we weren’t amazed. Our teeth felt clean after each use, but not as much as when using sonic toothbrushes. It might have something to do with the fact that the AU-300E feels more gentle, but we would have to do some lab testing to get to the bottom of it because unfortunately we weren’t able to find clinical studies comparing the latest sonic toothbrushes and the AU-300E.

Downsides

The AU-300E comes with two brush heads, one with soft, and one with medium bristles. Unfortunately Smilex doesn’t have as many cleaning modes to choose from as the top-end toothbrushes by Oral B and Philips, and it doesn’t come with a lot of accessories. There’s a toothbrush stand that will keep it in place when you don’t need it, and that’s it. Another downside about the AU-300E is the price of replacement brush heads. The toothbrush itself comes with a hefty price tag in the range of the DiamondClean and Oral B Genius. However, replacement brush heads are often more expensive.

Budget pick

Oral B 3000

Oral B 3000





Pros

  • Recommended by dentists
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Patented Sonicare technology
  • 3 cleaning modes
  • Affordable price
  • Compatible with several Oral B brush heads

Cons

  • No travel accessories

Features

  • 3 cleaning modes

The Oral B 3000 is our top pick when it comes to cheap powered toothbrushes that cost much less than $100. Despite the fact that it isn’t the cheapest one and there are quite a few electric toothbrushes on the market that cost even less than $30, we decided to go with the 3000 because a slightly higher price makes a big difference.

The cheapest electric toothbrushes don’t offer plenty of cleaning modes and most of them don’t have pressure sensors or brush timers. There’s simply the power button that turns it on and that’s it. However, the slightly more expensive (but still on the affordable side) Oral B 3000 has it all, including the Bluetooth technology that connects the electric toothbrush to the Oral-B App for personalized brushing routines and daily monitoring.

The three brushing modes are:

  • Daily clean – for cleaning teeth
  • Gum care – for gum massage
  • Sensitive – gentle mode for sensitive teeth

Toothbrush for two

Philips Premium Sonicare Hx6962 twin pack

Sonicare HX6962





Pros

  • Pack of two
  • DiamondClean brush heads
  • Patented Sonicare technology
  • 3 cleaning modes
  • Affordable price (per toothbrush)

Cons

  • NiMH battery

Features

  • 3 cleaning modes and 2 routines
  • DiamondClean brush heads

The Sonicare Flexcare is a medium priced toothbrush that also comes in a pack of two. It offers 3 different cleaning modes and uses patented Sonicare technology that produces up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute to clean teeth and massage gums.

Does this package offer the same as buying two separate Flexcare toothbrushes?

The main advantage of this package is that it comes with two handles, so it’s perfect for people who want to buy a single package that will be used by two people. Another advantage is that it comes packed with additional goodies that only come included in this package, although you could buy them as an addition if you only buy a single Flexcare toothbrush. There are two DiamondClean brush heads, a compact travel charger, two hygienic travel caps, two travel cases, and one UV sanitizer.

Despite the fact that the Sonicare HX6962 is an older model in the Flexcare series, it still provides all the features needed to effectively remove plaque and bacteria and to improve dental health.

Manual vs Electric toothbrush

When it comes to debating efficiency of electric toothbrushes, nothing is more relevant than official clinical studies conducted by doctors and dentists. While several older clinical studies conducted before 1998 didn’t find much difference between using a traditional and electric toothbrush, it seems that majority of newer studies are in a clear favor of electric ones.

One of the most recent clinical studies was performed in 2014 by the Cochrane Oral Group. The study concluded that when it comes to fighting gingivitis and plaque, electric toothbrushes have a clear advantage over the traditional ones on both short and long run.

The reason why people brush their teeth is to remove food leftovers that can build into plaque. Plaque can cause gingivitis which can lead to gum disease, receded gums, bad breath and even tooth loss.

But that’s not all.

Plaque can lead to even more severe health problems than “just” a tooth loss. Recently, according to the CDC, scientists discovered several potential links between gum disease and other very serious health conditions and problems such as stroke and hearth disease.

What makes electric toothbrushes better than manual ones?

Most people assume that there’s some magic technology that automatically removes all the plaque and stains with a few presses on the magic button, but that’s not the case. The main reason why electric toothbrushes are so effective is because they are much less sensitive to the brushing technique and because they encourage users to brush their teeth efficiently. It’s easier to use them the right and the most efficient way and because many of them are equipped with pressure sensors and timers, they encourage users to reach the 2 minutes of dentist’s recommended time and prevent them from brushing too aggressively which can lead to enamel and gum damages.

Studies have shown that less than 50% people use the optimal brushing technique and because electric toothbrush requires much fewer hand movements, it’s easier to achieve optimal brushing technique and sweep away plaque more efficiently.

manual vs. electric toothbrushCan you say that using a traditional toothbrush makes your oral hygiene automatically worse than using an electric toothbrush? Absolutely not.

Using a manual toothbrush doesn’t necessarily mean your oral hygiene is on lower level because at the end of the day it’s all about brushing habits and the proper brushing technique. However, it’s also a fact that electric toothbrush helps you improve brushing habits and make you use the right brushing technique.

Sonicare vs Oral B

When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there are two major players – Braun Oral B and Phillips Sonicare. Both have been dominating the market for over 15 years and both own several patented technologies. However, there are a few big differences between them which are impossible to overlook.

Technology and brushing experience

sonicare brush headsSonicare toothbrushes feature similar brush head design as traditional non-electric toothbrushes. The Sonicare technology produces vibrating motions of the brush head which can exceed over 31.000 vibrating movements per minute.

The vibration drives fluid between teeth, along the gum line, and through hard to reach areas in mouth to sweep away plaque and bacteria.


oral b oscillating brush headOral B toothbrush heads either feature round design, or combination of a round and traditional design. The round brush heads don’t produce vibrating movements. Instead, they rotate at high speeds.

Oral B introduced 3D cleaning action a few years ago which allows brush heads to rotate, pulsate, and vibrate at high speeds of up to about 40.000 movements per minute.

Clinical studies

Sonicare and Oral B have been compared by several clinical studies throughout the history. The very first one was conducted over 20 years ago. However, results from 20 years ago aren’t relevant anymore because the technology behind Oral B and Sonicare electric toothbrushes has come a long way since then.

  • A 2004 review of 29 studies concluded that only rotating / oscillating electric toothbrushes are superior to traditional ones when it comes to reducing plaque and gingivitis.
  • Another later review of several studies concluded that both Sonicare and Oral B toothbrushes are superior to manual toothbrushes, but the oscillating technology has an edge on short term testing.
  • Another 6-month study comparing vibrating and oscillating toothbrushes came to conclusion that while both types of electric toothbrushes are superior to manual ones, subjects using Sonicare toothbrush experienced nearly 80% better results in reducing probe depths, gingival inflammation and removing plaque compared to subjects using Oral B toothbrushes with oscillating technology.

It’s very hard to tell which technology is better based on conducted clinical studies because the results are very inconsistent. It seems that older studies suggested oscillating toothbrushes perform better than vibrating toothbrushes but as we said, studies dating over 10 years back aren’t relevant anymore because technology has evolved since then. There are plenty of die-hard Sonicare fans who wouldn’t replace the sonic technology of their toothbrush for anything in the world, but there are also plenty of die-hard Oral B fans who think the same about oscillating technology.

Price

Both brands produce similarly priced toothbrushes in price ranges from around $30 to $200. However, it seems that Oral B brush heads are cheaper which means using Sonicare toothbrushes costs a little bit more on the long run; about $10 per year if brush heads are replaced every 3 months.

FAQ

Are electric toothbrushes waterproof?Are electric toothbrushes appropriate for braces?Are electric toothbrushes appropriate for kids?How often should I replace brush heads?
All electric toothbrushes we have reviewed are waterproof, just like most electronics gadgets designed to be used around water in bathroom.

You can easily use them while showering, but make sure they are completely dry before you start charging the battery.

Yes. Oral hygiene is the key to avoiding dental problems such as demineralization, gingivitis and plaque. People who wear braces are especially prone to these problems and electric toothbrush can help them clean their teeth more efficiently on hard to reach areas between braces and teeth.
Children’s enamel isn’t as developed as enamel of adults, so most electric toothbrushes with powerful intensity levels aren’t appropriate for kids. However, there are several electric toothbrushes for kids available on the market, but before you rush to buy one, make sure that your toddler meets the criteria recommended by manufacturer – most aren’t appropriate for children younger than four years of age.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing brush heads after every three months of use. Some manufacturers sell toothbrushes with indicator bristles which means the color of bristles changes and fade after a few months of use to tell you when is the time for replacement.

Brief history of electric toothbrush

electric toothbrush history

Electric toothbrushes have been around for several decades and it seems they are getting more and more popular over the recent years. The first ever electric toothbrush called the Broxodent was invented and designed in 1954 by Dr. Philippe-G. Woog in Switzerland. It was clumsy and had to be connected to standard wall outlet through electricity cable because the more powerful nickel–metal hydride and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries weren’t invented yet.

Electric toothbrushes were initially designed for orthodontic patients and people with limited motor skills who aren’t able to clean their teeth as efficiently as healthy people with a manual toothbrush. The idea was to invent a toothbrush that requires much less hand movements and allow people to brush their teeth as effectively as with a manual toothbrush.

While the first electric toothbrushes weren’t even waterproof and required a standard wall outlet for power, today’s toothbrushes feature long lasting rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, several cleaning modes and intensity levels, and they are highly endorsed by many dentists from all across the world.

Here's an infographic about the history of the toothbrush
infographic: the history of the toothbrush

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that oral care is an essential part of hygiene, but it is sadly often overlooked. Every dentist in this world recommends brushing teeth at least twice per day and it’s been said that less than 50% of adults are brushing their teeth the right way. Electric toothbrushes are much less prone to brushing technique and it’s been proven that they are more efficient than using a manual toothbrush alone.

But it doesn’t matter if you are using the most expensive and most advanced electric toothbrush, or just a traditional one because at the end it all comes down to brushing habits. It’s also safe to say that even having great brushing habits isn’t enough for perfect oral hygiene because flossing is even more important than brushing. Dentists agree that flossing is even more important than brushing teeth because toothbrushes can’t clean tiny spaces between teeth as efficiently as flossing can and plaque between teeth can do more harm on the long run than plaque on the surface of teeth. Sadly less than 50% people floss on a regular basis. But more about flossing in the best water flossers section.

If you have experience with any electric toothbrush listed above, or if you have your own favorite you want to share, feel free to write a comment in the comments section at the bottom of this page!

22 Comments

  1. Awesome and very helpful article. My denstist recommended me Rotadent toothrush about 5 years ago. What do you think about Rodatent as a brand and why didn’t you review any of their toothbrushes?

    • We analyzed quite a few Rotadent toothbrushes, but we weren’t impressed. The Rotadent Plus, Contour, and Classic are no longer available on the market (as seen on the official Rotadent website). The ProCare is the only Rotadent electric toothbrush available on the market right now and it falls short compared to most alternatives from big brands. It has NiMH battery (Sonicare and Oral B brands have been using Lithium-ion batteries for over 10 years now) and a single brushing mode which means that it’s completely outclassed by many cheaper alternatives.

    • I’d say that the sonic technology is better for braces. Oscillating movements feel too aggressive and you can easily wear down the bristles.

  2. I have a Sonicare flexcare and the metal adapter at the end of the powered unit came loose rendering it ineffective. Emailed Sonicare for a new one and got it replaced. Hopefully this one works as it should.

  3. I had the Smilex ultrasonic toothbrush and I returned it after 3 days of use. Replaced it with Sonicare Flexcare and my teeth feel much cleaner than with the Smilex.

  4. I’ve had two Oral B toothbrushes in the past (3000 and 5000) and I just switched to Sonicare DiamondClean. I never had experience with Sonicare technology, but my teeth feel much cleaner than using Oral B’s Crossaction brush head.

  5. I have an older Hx9352 version of the DiamondClean. Is there any difference between Hx9352 and the Smart version? I’m thinking about upgrading to Smart, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

    • The HX9352 has different brush heads, less cleaning programs to work with, and no Bluetooth technology. If your HX9352 still works like it should, there’s probably not enough reasons to replace it with the latest DiamondClean Smart series, but that’s up to you.

  6. The DiamondClean is a little bit too expensive for me, so I bought DiamondClean brush heads and attached them to my 2 year old Flexcare Platinum. They fit like a glove.

  7. Interesting choice. The only thing that’s missing are some of the more affordable toothbrushes such as the Oral B 1000 and Sonicare Essence.

  8. I strongly believe that the Genius 8000 is highly overpriced and it offers pretty much the same features as 5000 PRO for a higher price. The 5000 is powered by the same motor as Genius 8000, and it’s compatible with the same set of replacement brush heads. Sure there’s an additional brushing mode and you get more extra goodies with the Genius, but those extra goodies don’t play a role when it comes to cleaning efficiency.

    • Well according to your logic, iPhone and all the other smartphones are overpriced as well. You can call your friends with 20 year old phone, why would you pay $300 for a smartphone? And cars are overpriced as well? You can get to the nearest store with a rig.

  9. Switching to one of these devices was one of the best decisions I ever made. They really make me feel like my teeth were treated by a professional dentist.

  10. Quite a good summary. But the question is, are Wifi, Bluetooth and whatnot really necessary? I mean, it’s just a toothbrush.

    • The next thing you know, they will start incorporating Wifi into microwaves. Jokes aside, I have the DiamondClean 9300. The Smart technology was one of the main reasons I bought it, but I have only used it for the first few weeks. It gets boring and I would probably be better off with a more affordable electric toothbrush that doesn’t have the Smart technology.

  11. Is there a difference between Oral B Precision Black 7000 and the white version? The Precision Black looks stunning, but I’ll go for white version if it offers more for the money.

    • Hi, sorry for late response. There’s no difference between black and white version of the Oral B 7000 other than the design. However, it’s good to know that the white toothpaste is much more visible on the black surface than on white, and the Precision Black is a pain to clean.

  12. My husband and I bought the Oral b 7000 white for me and black for him. After about a year and a half I still had my toothbrush in my luggage after travel, so I put one of my brush heads on my husband’s handle and realized my brush has never worked like my husbands. Most times I would have to use it twice. Well after another trip when we got home we realized that neither one of the brushes worked any more. The replacement batteries and the brushes are done. Oh! I bought them from the doctors show.

  13. I Think, it’s good to know that the white toothpaste is much more visible on the black surface than on white.
    Sure there’s an additional brushing mode and you get more extra goodies with the Genius, but those extra goodies don’t play a role when it comes to cleaning efficiency.

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