The 7 Best Sonic Toothbrushes

Updated September 12, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

7 Best Sonic Toothbrushes
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Your mouth will have that squeaky clean, just-left-the-dentist feeling every day if you use one of these sonic toothbrushes. They utilize power and sonic technology to keep your pearly whites looking their best, and promise to significantly reduce plaque, gingivitis and bleeding gums in just a few weeks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best sonic toothbrush on Amazon.

7. Pyle Health

The Pyle Health is a budget-friendly option that is great for kids and teens. It has three brushing modes for a customized experience and operates quietly, so it doesn't disturb anyone late at night. The overall quality, though, is not built to last for a long time.
  • waterproof for use in the shower
  • auto-off feature conserves energy
  • charging base isn't very stable
Brand Pyle
Model PHLTB41BK
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

6. Sterline Sonic Pulse

The Sterline Sonic Pulse is a great value for under $40, as it comes with three brush heads and a UV sanitizer built right into the charging station. Its slim handle makes it simple to maneuver around your whole mouth, but the replacement heads may be hard to find.
  • adjustable pulse strength
  • brush heads are simple to switch out
  • battery light is too bright
Brand Sterline
Model ST-OR-T80-US
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Smilex AU-300E

The Smilex AU-300E comes with everything needed to get you started on the right track. Its highly-effective vibrations penetrate deep below and above the gum line and help to reduce nearly 30% of gingivitis within just a month of use.
  • doesn't require hard scrubbing
  • backed by a one-year warranty
  • small charger takes up little space
Brand Smilex
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

With an impressive 31,000 brush strokes per minute, the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control is six times more effective at removing plaque than a basic toothbrush. Its easy-start feature steadily increases power to get you comfortable with this new way of brushing.
  • simple to clean and maintain
  • dual color battery indicator
  • brush head snaps on securely
Brand Philips Sonicare
Model HX6211/30
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Waterpik Sensonic Professional Plus

If you want beautiful teeth without the manual labor, try the Waterpik Sensonic Professional Plus. It has a user-friendly one-button operation and comes with three brush heads in different shapes and sizes to clean in every nook and cranny.
  • extra soft rounded bristles
  • fits comfortably in the hand
  • can help improve gum health
Brand Waterpik
Model SR-3000
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Brio SmartClean

The Brio SmartClean is an affordable option when you want sonic technology without the high price tag. It has a built-in timer that alerts you every 30 seconds to move onto the next quadrant, so every tooth gets the quality and care needed for a fresh, clean mouth.
  • not harsh on your gums
  • doesn't need to be recharged often
  • easy to switch between modes
Brand Brio
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean

The Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean is a top-notch choice when you want the best for your teeth and gums. It can remove your plaque and stains like no other and is proven to whiten teeth in just one week. Plus, the included travel case makes it convenient to use on the go.
  • sensitive brushing mode
  • available in six color options
  • can charge via usb or wall outlet
Brand Philips Sonicare
Model HX9332/05
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

A Brief History Of The Toothbrush

While there have been plenty of advancements in dental care over the past few decades, generally speaking, the toothbrushes we use today are not so different from the models used 100 years ago. To understand the history of the toothbrush, it's important to talk about what came before it.

The toothbrush's main predecessor is called the chew stick. It usually consists of a twig, one side of which can be used as a toothpick. The other end is frayed to form a brush-like device. While it dates back to at least 3500 B.C. E. in the Middle East, it is still popular today in many parts of the world. Other tooth-picking utensils, like feathers, animal bones, and porcupine quills, were also popular in various regions throughout history. A soot and salt-soaked rag was also a popular cleaning method in 1700s Europe.

The bristle-headed brushes we use today are based on implements developed in China's Tang Dynasty, sometime in the latter half of the first millennium. They used hairs from hogs in northern China and Siberia, preferred for their stiffness. Their handles were typically made from bamboo or animal bone. Through trade and travel expeditions, the toothbrush made its way to other parts of Asia and eventually to Europe, where it gained popularity in the late 1600s. Horse hair became a popular alternative to boar and hog bristles because it offered a more gentle brushing experience.

Mass-produced brushes came to the market in the United Kingdom in 1780, spawning the Wisdom Toothbrushes company, which still exists today. An American version was patented in 1857, though production on this continent did not begin at a large scale until 1885.

By the turn of the 20th century, synthetic materials began replacing the animal bones and bristles used in many models. Celluloid was widely used for handles, while bristles made of nylon fibers reached the mass market in 1938. The first electric model was introduced in Switzerland in 1954, intended for those with inhibited motor skills. General Electric developed a batter-powered version about a decade later. The sonic brush arrived in 1992.

Today, standard, electric, and sonic brushes all remain popular. While the latter type is typically rechargeable and comes with a replaceable head, requiring only a one-time purchase of the base unit, most other brushes are cheap and disposable. The latest advancements in toothbrush technology include pressure sensors to keep you from brushing too hard, Bluetooth connectivity to track your brushing data, and brushes with adjustable cleaning modes to maximize efficacy in every part of your mouth.

How Sonic Toothbrush Technology Actually Works

The basic principle behind sonic toothbrushes is vibration. While you scrub your gums, molars, and tongue with a traditional brush, the physical action clears particles and debris manually. Sonic brushes emit a high-frequency sound wave, and its vibrations help break down bacteria and dislodge dental plaque. The brush head does not actually need to make contact with the plaque in order for this effect to work, it just needs to be close enough that the sound waves reach the tooth's surface. The term sonic refers to these sound waves.

The dual action of sonic brushes makes them more effective than their manual cousins. While standard electric brushes have some of the same effects, their vibrational frequency is usually much lower than sonic or ultrasonic models, which makes them less powerful at removing plaque, especially when it is out of reach. Some sonic brushes are powerful enough to remove plaque that sits on a tooth's surface below the gum line.

The difference between electric and sonic toothbrushes has to do with the intensity of vibration. Standard electric brushes, for example, typically perform 10,000 to 12,000 movements per minute. Sonic brushes are classified as such because their frequencies usually fall within the audible spectrum, which ranges up to 2.4 million movements per minute. Brushes on the higher end of this range, as well as those that exceed it, are usually marketed as ultrasonic. The most common frequency used in ultrasonic brushes is 1.6 megahertz, which falls well beyond the audible range, and consists of 192 million movements per minute.

The vibrations themselves are usually produced by applying an electric charge to a piezoelectric crystal in the brush's base. Piezoelectric substances can convert electric signals to mechanical ones and vice versa, and are also used in microphones, record players, headphones, analog clocks, and even cigarette lighters.

A Few Notes On Ensuring Your Dental Health

While it may seem ubiquitous now, regular brushing was not commonplace in the United States until after World War II, during which soldiers were required to clean their teeth every day. That being said, the practice is now instilled in the minds of Americans and much of the industrialized world as a necessity as soon as we develop cognizance. In 2003, for example, an MIT study revealed that the toothbrush was the number one invention Americans said they could not live without, beating out the computer, cell phone, and automobile.

Many dentists recommend brushing your teeth for at least 60 seconds twice a day. A good dental hygiene routine demands more than just brushing, however. The importance of flossing is difficult to understate, for example. Flossing can help you reach the surfaces between your teeth that the bristles of your toothbrush tend to miss. Every tooth has five exposed surfaces where food particles and plaque can build up, and your tooth-cleaning regimen should address each of them. If you skip flossing altogether, you're only hitting 60 percent of the surfaces of your teeth.

Another important ingredient in your oral routine is toothpaste. The manual (and vibrational, if you're using a sonic model) effects of brushing help clear your mouth of any particles stuck to your teeth. But a brush without a good toothpaste can only do so much. It's essential to use a toothpaste that helps strengthen teeth with ingredients like fluoride, which can help prevent cavities and ensure the long-term health of your molars.



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Last updated on September 12, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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