Best Picks / Reviewed
Best-in-class: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic HX9352/04 Electric Toothbrush Review
Customization options and top-of-the-line tech abound in the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush. Its sharp design, easy-to-use and subtly designed controls, and high-speed brushing power combine with truly unique convenience accessories to earn the DiamondClean our endorsement for best high-end toothbrush. Color and brush head options let shoppers tailor their purchase to both their style and their cleaning needs.
Two different charging options—a rinsing cup that doubles as a charging dock and a fashionable travel case with a USB connection—make it easier to charge the brush at home and on the go. These fun and luxurious extras combine with must-have functions like a timer to make the DiamondClean the perfect combination of style, customization, and high-end function.
- Five brushing modes, including one for sensitive teeth and one for whitening, equip the DiamondClean with a setting for every need.
- Reaching the dentist-recommended two minutes of brushing is made easier by a timer, and a Quadpacer lets users know when it’s time to move from one group of teeth to the next.
- Two high-tech charging options come with the purchase: one is a stylish charging travel case and the other is a simplistic rinsing glass that doubles as a charging dock.
- Its USB charging system lets brushers charge their toothbrush using everything from a computer to an old-fashioned wall socket.
- The toothbrush is powerful enough to remove stains and whiten faded teeth.
- The DiamondClean comes in four great color combinations to suit your style.
- Unfortunately you can’t replace the battery if it dies.
Best value: Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush Review
The Oral-B Pro 5000 is a sleek and simply designed toothbrush equipped with the perfect combination of must-have features and bonus capabilities—all at an affordable mid-range price point. This smart electric toothbrush offers a combination of oscillating, rotating, and pulsating movements to reach plaque build-up in hard-to-reach areas. As the name implies, this brush has the capability to connect to Bluetooth and allows users to track their brushing progress in an app.
The brush’s intelligence shows itself again with lighting and pulsation patterns that tell users when they’ve been brushing too long, when it’s time to move on to a new section of teeth, and when they’re pushing too hard on their teeth. It’s also compatible with a wide range of Oral-B brush heads. This brush’s blend of stand-alone features, cleaning power, high-tech perks, and an affordable price tag make it our best value pick.
- The brush includes a pressure sensor that keeps teeth and gums protected.
- Five different brushing modes (for everything from tongue-brushing to gum-massaging) allow users to customize their hygiene.
- The brush’s bristles help clean between teeth to provide a floss-like feel.
- Its battery holds a charge for up to seven days, and the brush includes a charging dock.
- The Bluetooth-equipped toothbrush connects to users’ smartphones to track brushing times, how much pressure they use, and how thoroughly they brush each section of teeth over time to encourage improvements in brushing habits.
- The timer and timing intervals ensure that your teeth get the attention they need.
- Although cool, the Bluetooth/App function might be unnecessary for most users.
Also great: Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush Review
The Oral-B Pro 7000 is our close-second pick and is the next generation of the Pro 5000. An attractive design, convenient charging dock with digital readouts, and compatibility with a wide range of Oral-B brush heads make this toothbrush one of the most versatile and satisfying options on the market today. Like the Pro 5000, this brush connects to the Oral-B app on your phone to provide helpful feedback on your brushing habits and track your progress over time.
Because it has similar features to the 5000 but comes with a much higher price tag, it’s earned our runner-up pick, but bonus brushing modes and convenient accessories will make the Pro 7000 an excellent value-buy for the less budget-conscious consumer.
- Six brushing modes, including whitening and deep-clean, make for a totally personalized brushing experience.
- A travel case and easy to use charging dock are included with the brush.
- Four different brush heads come with your initial purchase.
- Bluetooth connectivity makes tracking progress with your phone simple.
- The Oral-B’s built-in pressure sensor lets you know when you brush too hard.
- This next-gen toothbrush is more expensive than its predecessor, so shoppers on a budget will want to consider whether the extra features balance out the extra cost.
Budget choice: Oral-B Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush Review
The Oral-B Pro 1000 offers everything consumers look for in an electric toothbrush—like a timer, charging dock, and easy grip handle—all in a compact package and at one of the lowest price-points available. Its attractive design and easy-to-understand notifications make it an excellent choice for consumers on a budget that don’t want to skimp on oral care. Its reliable manufacturer, ability to accommodate all of Oral B’s rechargeable brush heads, and a battery that lasts up to seven days have earned the Oral-B our vote for the most solid budget brush.
- A pressure sensor uses vibrations to let you know when you’re brushing too hard.
- The charging dock allows users to brush wirelessly.
- The Pro 1000 includes a timer that tracks 30-second intervals, allowing for a more consistent and thorough cleaning.
- It oscillates, rotates, and pulsates for a more comprehensive clean (just like the more feature-rich models in the same line).
- The Pro 1000 doesn’t offer brushing modes, so those who prioritize customization may feel limited by this model.
- This model makes more sound than most toothbrushes.
2. Why buy an electric toothbrush?
Studies show that electric toothbrushes remove plaque more efficiently than manual toothbrushes. They’re also easier and more enjoyable to use, which encourages users to take better care of their teeth. They’re especially helpful with:
- Getting a better clean more quickly: Because electric toothbrushes provide more “strokes per minute” than a manual toothbrush (you can only move your arm so fast) they remove plaque more quickly and thoroughly.
- Providing motivation to brush: Electric toothbrushes often include helpful features like brushing timers and customizable modes (gentle vs. high-efficiency, for example) that do a lot of the grunt work for you and make hygiene less of a chore.
- Making brushing less of a workout: You don’t have to twist and move your arms as much to do a thorough brush job (the oscillating or rotating brush head does that for you). This is especially useful for young children and older adults with dexterity problems.
Electric toothbrushes are a convenience device that encourages users to brush more thoroughly and more often by minimizing discomfort, frustration, and effort.
3. Rechargeable brushes vs. battery-powered ones
Electric toothbrushes come in two primary forms: battery-operated and rechargeable. Battery-operated toothbrushes are a more budget-friendly pick and tend to be more portable, but they typically lack many of the features (like pressure sensors and multiple speed settings) that make electric toothbrushes so convenient at cleaning teeth.
Rechargeable brushes include top-of-the-line technology that help users get the most thorough, safe, and personalized brushing experience. For that reason, we’ll focus on the brushing capabilities of rechargeable brushes in this guide.
4. Oscillating vs. vibrating brush heads
Every electric toothbrush you see will either have an oscillating or a vibrating (“sonic”) brush head.
Oscillating brush heads oscillate, or turn, against your teeth and gums. This type of electric toothbrush typically offers between 3,000 and 10,000 strokes per minute.
Vibrating or sonic brush heads vibrate or scrub in a side-to-side motion, much like the way you brush with a manual toothbrush. Luxury models can score you 30-50,000 strokes per minute, while more affordable options will average 15-30,000 strokes. This type of brush is more expensive but is, typically, also more effective.
If your budget permits, vibrating and sonic brush heads are typically more effective and are always more efficient than oscillating brush heads. They also tend to be gentler on gums and more capable of delivering a thorough cleaning (as their sheer speed allows the bristles to extend to harder-to-reach places along the gum line where you wouldn’t otherwise press the brush itself). The heads also tend to be smaller, making it easier still to reach those hard-to-reach spots.
Pay attention to the size of the brush head
Some people prefer firmer bristles to softer ones, and some prefer manual toothbrushes to electric ones. However, one other factor plays hugely into how frustrating or effortless your brushing experience is: the size of the brush head.
- Larger brush heads make it easier to get “full coverage” cleaning. In other words, you don’t have to do as much scrubbing to clean the same surface area on your teeth.
- Smaller heads, however, are easier to maneuver inside your mouth, particularly for those hard-to-reach back teeth. Compact brush heads are often referred to as massage heads.
Smaller heads are a much better bet for a thorough cleaning, as large heads simply can’t reach the back corners of your mouth as well. They are also a must-have for young children, whose mouths are too small to clean thoroughly with a large brush head.
5. Brush strokes per minute
Electric toothbrushes can deliver up to 50,000 strokes per minute. Strokes per minute, essentially, means how fast the brush head moves across your teeth. The more strokes per minute a toothbrush has, the more quickly and efficiently it can clean your teeth. For reference, manual brushing can deliver about 300 strokes per minute.
- 3,000 strokes per minute is sufficient in an electric toothbrush. Anything less won’t provide a significant improvement on a manual brush. Usually, you’ll only find 3,000 stroke per minute speeds in the more affordable oscillating brushes.
- For those after maximum power with a mid-range price tag, a brush capable of delivering at least 7,500 strokes per minute is ideal.
- If you’re willing to spend extra money for the most efficient brush, look for models that offer between 30,000 and 50,000 strokes per minute, these models are mostly high-end vibrating “sonic” toothbrushes.
6. Features for healthier teeth
Getting the most out of your rechargeable toothbrush requires more than just the right brush head and the right speed. Many models now offer features specifically designed to help you maintain a cleaner, healthier mouth, such as:
- Timers — Many toothbrushes include a timer that will go off to let you know when you’ve brushed for the minimum recommended time (two minutes).
- Timing notifications — Higher-end models sometimes offer four timer alerts to let you know when you’ve brushed each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds. That way, each part of your mouth gets cleaned equally.
- Pressure sensor — This feature lets you know when you’re pressing down too hard (to avoid damage to your teeth and gums) and will often also alert you when you’re brushing too lightly (which makes it hard to get a thorough cleaning).
- Multiple heads — Many models offer multiple brush heads to suit individual needs. Common types include soft, medium, and firm bristles (so you can choose the firmness that’s most comfortable for your gums). It’s also common to see more specific options like whitening and plaque-fighting designs that help remedy existing dental hygiene problems.
- UV Sanitizer — Gone are the days of microwaving your manual toothbrush. Electric brushes with charging stands sometimes contain a UV sanitizer that kills viruses and bacteria that build up in the brush head.
7. Convenience features and accessories
Electric toothbrushes come with features ranging from the absolutely necessary (like a comfortable handle) to the downright indulgent. Take a look through the features below to see which ones would best improve your lifestyle.
- Grip—Make sure your toothbrush offers an easy-to-hold handle, as too much slippage can lead to a sloppy brush job and an uncomfortable grip can tempt you to cut your brushing short. If the grip is listed as ergonomic, that suggests optimum comfort.
- Battery life—At the very least, you’ll need a brush whose battery can last three days. Higher-end models, however, can often go up to three weeks without a charge.
- Battery power display—Many brushes contain a battery indicator light that lets you know when a charge is complete and when the battery is running low.
- Multiple brushing modes—Some sonic brushes offer multiple speeds and settings to meet your needs on a given day. Popular options include settings for sensitive teeth and gum care.
- Travel case—Cases can help keep your toothbrush clean, protected, and out-of-the way when they’re not in use.
- App connectivity—Some rechargeable toothbrushes can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth and allow you to track how much pressure you use, how long you brush each section of your teeth for, and how often you brush using during the week. This makes it easier to improve your habits over time.
8. Buying tips
There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the market for a toothbrush upgrade. Use the tips below to identify a brush that fits into your budget, meets all of your needs, and gets the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Must have features:
- Look for a toothbrush that offers at least 3,000 strokes per minute.
- Make sure your brush holds a charge for at least three days.
- The brush should offer an easy-to-grip handle.
- Two-minute timers are crucial for making sure you brush for long enough.
Good to have features:
- A brush that offers at least 7,500 strokes per minute will allow you to get your teeth cleaner, quicker.
- Brushes that require charging no more than once per week make maintenance easier if you travel frequently.
- Quadrant timers help you keep more precise track of your brushing time, providing four 30 second intervals for each section of your teeth.
- To avoid mid-brush shutdowns, choose a device with a battery light.
- If you travel often, make sure the toothbrush includes a travel case.
Great to have features:
- If you have a hard time regulating how hard you brush, pressure sensors can help keep you on track.
- For the most efficient and effective cleaning, choose a sonic brush that offers 30,000 strokes per minute or more.
- UV sanitizers keep viruses and bacteria at bay to keep your mouth (and your device) safe and clean.
- Companies and toothbrushes that offer different types of brush heads make it possible to switch out your brush when your cleaning needs change.
- Bluetooth and smartphone apps makes it simple to track how hard, for how long, and how effectively you brush to make your brushing habits more effective.
Regardless of whether you need a basic timer-equipped toothbrush to take with you on your travels, a more powerful device to help you manage pesky plaque problems and whiten teeth, or a fully decked out electronic brushing system, these tips will help you find a brush that keeps your teeth in tip-top shape.