If you’ve seen a dentist recently, there’s a good chance they advised you to brush lightly, floss more frequently, and consider investing in one of the best electric toothbrushes you can find. Sure, manual toothbrushes are cheap and convenient, but they’re not always the gentlest on sensitive teeth, nor do the bristles on their brush heads do the best job combatting plaque and bacteria. The best electric toothbrushes (paired with a good toothpaste) are much more effective and have many useful features—and there are many models from which to choose. Once you’ve upgraded to one of the most important oral care products in your bathroom cabinet, we guarantee there’s no going back.
What are the benefits of an electric toothbrush?
For good oral hygiene, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each and go-round in order to fight plaque and tooth decay, but it’s tough to keep track of timing with a manual toothbrush. Most electric toothbrushes, however, keep you on track with quad-timers (which are subtle vibrations every 30 seconds) and other signals. They sometimes even alert you when you’re brushing with too much force.
In general, electric toothbrushes are easier to use than manual ones, especially if you have issues with dexterity or wear dental appliances like braces. They are also slightly better at removing plaque and bacteria than manual toothbrushes, according to a 2014 Cochrane Library review of 51 randomized controlled studies.
How to shop for an electric toothbrush
With the input of dental experts, we’ve put together a buying guide for electric toothbrushes. The important factors to consider when selecting an electric toothbrush are:
- Size: Larger toothbrushes can make it hard to clean tricky-to-reach areas)
- Bristle stiffness: The ADA recommends soft-bristle brushes that are gentler on enamel and root surfaces.
- Oscillating motion: Do the bristles swing back and forth to break up plaque? This is different from just vibrating.
- Settings: Electric toothbrushes can come with a range of settings such as self-timers, pressure sensors that let you know when you’re brushing too hard, various cleaning mode options, and more.
- ADA Seal of Acceptance: This is a stamp that deems the product’s safety and efficacy for removing plaque and reducing gingivitis.
- Price: Its cost for the value.
The best electric toothbrushes
There’s no better time than the present to finally buy an electric toothbrush for yourself (or as a gift for your mom, dad, or significant other). Below, we’ve assembled the best-selling, well-reviewed electric toothbrushes (including SELF Healthy Beauty Award winners that we’ve vetted).
Our top picks offer a range of cleaning and whitening modes, pressure sensors, various brush heads with oscillating bristles, timers, and more. Many are rechargeable with long battery lives, come with travel cases, and some even feature built-in water flossers. You’ll find luxe models from big-name oral care brands like Oral-B and Philips Sonicare, as well as from newer, subscription-based brands like Quip, Goby, and Burst—almost all of which you can buy at Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
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