10 Best Electric Toothbrushes | April 2017
- has normal and soft brushing modes
- lasts up to 40 days on one charge
- brush head feels a little too small
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- can get into hard to reach areas
- brush tray holds extra brushes
- brush heads don't have covers
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- cross action round brush head
- senses if you're brushing too hard
- only compatible with oral-b heads
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- has three brushing modes
- water-resistant housing
- has a smooth and refined motion
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- dual inductive charging cradle
- bpa-free and fda approved
- very lightweight unit
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- works with 110 and 220 volt outlets
- includes home and travel chargers
- has a sensitive gums setting
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- oscillates rotates and pulsates
- includes multiple brush heads
- takes a long time to recharge
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- base protects brush head
- 2-minute brushing timer
- alerts user to change brushing zone
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- space-saving storage compartment
- easy to use pressure knobs
- great for people with braces
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- effectively removes stubborn stains
- includes 2 diamondclean brush heads
- includes a usb charging travel case
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
How An Electric Toothbrush Saved A Boy With A Bad Mouth
Time for a testimonial: As a child, I didn’t have particularly good oral hygiene.
Sure, kids are going to get a couple of cavities. It’s par for the course, especially in today’s fast-paced, sugar-fueled marketplace.
But I’m not just talking about a couple of cavities. When I started high school, I fell into this pleasant habit of lining my cheeks with York Peppermint Patties and just letting them dissolve; I never chewed them.
So, when I went to the dentist after a few months of this behavior, I had a whopping 14 cavities!
That was the bad news. The good news was that the subsequent months of drilling and filling (they could only do a few teeth at a time with the anesthesia of the day, so the process drew out over about six months) made it impossible for me to consume sugary snacks or sodas.
I wound up dropping about 30 lbs. that I definitely needed to drop.
The experience didn’t break my sugar habit, though. I was back on the stuff as soon as I could be, though it was tempered some by a desire to maintain the new slimness I’d discovered. And I still wound up with cavities at a rate of about 1 every six months.
That’s when I got my first electric toothbrush. It was a gift from the mother of the bass player in my band. It was a Sonicare, like the units in our top three, and I didn’t’ have another cavity for eight years.
After eight years using the same Sonicare, I left it in a hotel in Niagara Falls. Within a year, despite regular dentist visits, I had a brand new cavity. I’m prone to them.
That the electric toothbrush could cure me of this proclivity is primarily because the vibrations of the unit totaled out to over 30,000 brush strokes per minute, a feat that I could never quite replicate with my manual brush.
Brushes that move so quickly fall into the "sonic" category, where lesser electric toothbrushes simply move at up to 12,000 strokes per minute.
It’s pretty simple how they achieve this. It’s a plain old motor and battery, but the vibrations of the motor are harnessed in the handle and transferred to the brush head, allowing it to vibrate in an extremely small pattern compared to the circular, slower bristle rotation of other electric tooth brushes.
There's More Than One Way To Brush A Tooth
One thing you’ll notice about the toothbrushes in our top five is that there isn’t a big difference in the price points from one to the next.
With the exception of the two-pack at number three, any of these brushes will run you between $115 and $180, depending on the package.
That ought to tell you that, whichever brush you go with, you’re liable to encounter some pretty high quality. What it comes down to then, is features and style.
Sonicare has, by far, the greater share of the market. They forged ahead with a technology that left their competition in the dust for many years. But those years of exclusive dominance are coming to a close as brands like Oral-B incorporate similar technologies and a few more interesting features than Philips offers.
Between the two brands, the main question should be whether or not you care about the Bluetooth smartphone app. I can tell you that I have an app for tracking my sleep habits, and it’s been wonderful.
Having an oral care system to keep you on task with your brush time and frequency can only improve your oral health. But, maybe, you’re not the type to take direction from a cell phone. Maybe you handle your brushing schedule just fine.
There’s also the question of the package, even if you’re already convinced that one brand is the brand for you. If you’re going with Sonicare, ask yourself how important the whiteness of your smile is to you.
If whiteness rates highly among your oral priorities, you really ought to look at the system at number one, which offers an army of tools for getting your smile clean, healthy, and white.
If the health of your teeth and gums is your only concern, you could get away with saving a little money and skipping the special whitening elements.
From Bark To Bristle: A Brush's Evolution
While the toothbrush itself dates back some 7000 years to the use of what’s called a Miswak stick, the electric toothbrush has a decidedly shorter history. After all, electricity’s only been around for so long.
The first of these electric toothbrushes came about in the 50s, from a dude in Switzerland with one of the best names in recorded history: Dr. Philippe Guy Woog. He conceived of the thing as an aid to patients with limited motor function, that they too might have access to better oral care.
Before 1960, it made its way to the US, and within a few years GE had an electric toothbrush of their own.
All five of our top brushes actually fall into the sonic category, implying that their vibrations far outperform the frequency of standard electric toothbrushes, but still fall into the range of human hearing. These came around in the 90s, and have been the primary drivers of electric toothbrush popularity since.