Best Electric Toothbrush 2021 • 7 Electric Toothbrushes Reviews
With automatically oscillating bristles, an electric toothbrush is used to clean teeth without the effort of scrubbing. Our team's overview of product reviews follows.
Electric Toothbrush Leaderboard 2021
What is an electric toothbrush?
Essentially, an electric toothbrush is a device that helps to keep your teeth and gums in good condition by providing you with an automated brushing system that functions more reliably than manual brushing. In order to keep your mouth healthy, it is important to brush all of your teeth. Not only does this help to remove little bits of food and prevent plaque from building up, but the fluoride that is present in toothpaste will help to remineralise your teeth.
This only occurs when the fluoride comes into direct contact with the enamel that covers your teeth, thereby hardening them. The advantage that an electric toothbrush has over a manual one is that its bristles move in such a way that more of each tooth’s surface gets access to the toothpaste you use when brushing.
This means more plaque is scrubbed off as well as your teeth enjoying greater exposure to toothpaste. It can also that levels of oral bacteria drop as your mouth becomes cleaner which means that conditions like bad breath and gum disease are less likely to occur.
How does an electric toothbrush work?
Unlike a conventional toothbrush, an electric one has a battery powered base onto which you stick a brush head. Most electric toothbrushes have a spindle which either rotates or oscillates back and forth from an electric motor which sits inside the handheld base. When an individual’s brush head is placed on the spindle, it will rotate or oscillate – depending on the model – which causes a brushing action when you hold the bristles against your teeth. The ability to fit multiple brush heads to one base unit means that you can easily replace your brush when it has reached the end of its life without needing to throw away the whole unit. It also means that several people – an entire family, for instance – can share the same electric toothbrush base without using the same brush head which makes these devices more hygienic.
When you are reviewing the market for an electric toothbrush, it is crucial to understand that they will all need to recharge from time to time. In most cases, manufacturers will provide a charging stand into which you can place your base unit. The internal batteries will then simply charge up when the electric toothbrush is not in use. Because such charging units tend to be kept in bathrooms, they may require you to plug them into a shaver point rather than a conventional three-pin plug socket. Most electric toothbrushes will offer you plenty of brushing time when they are fully charged so you don’t run out of power mid-brush.
Advantages and applications of electric toothbrushes
One of the key advantages of an electric toothbrush that is often cited is that it should improve your brushing technique. If your dentist says that you are missing part of your teeth, especially the molars at the back, when you are brushing, you may well find that an electric toothbrush helps.
Many people who find holding a toothbrush up to their mouth for several minutes to be tiring will benefit from an electrical version. They are often considered best for people with muscular problems and upper body disabilities. These days, certain electric toothbrush manufacturers will also produce models with specific modes that are aimed to produce the best results for certain applications. For example, you can find models which are designed to specifically help with teeth whitening, tongue cleaning or gum care.
What types of electric toothbrushes are there?
When you conduct your own survey of the electric toothbrush market and even try a couple for a suitability test, the first thing you will notice from your product test is that different models offer differing approaches to brushing. One of the most common ones you might review is a side to side operation. This means that the bristles are flipped from left to right and back again on the brush’s spindle in rapid succession. Others operate with a rotational motor that simply spins the bristles of the brush around and around like a polishing device. In more recent years, rotation oscillation models have been developed which spin both clockwise and anti-clockwise so that the teeth are cleaned in either direction.
Some models have an outer circle of bristles which spin back and forth out of phase with an inner circle that moves in the opposite direction. These devices are known as counter oscillation electric toothbrushes. Other ones include ultrasonic toothbrushes which vibrate at very fast frequencies indeed which supposedly break up the chains that oral bacteria form themselves into more effectively. Finally, there are so-called ionic electric toothbrushes which deploy a small electrical charge into the mouth which are designed to help with the fight against hardened sections of oral plaque.
The Big Electric Toothbrush Buyer’s Guide
Test your electric toothbrush over a reasonable period
If you want to test the effectiveness of a newly purchased electric toothbrush, then it is best not to expect instant results. To make a fair comparison of an electrical brush compared with a manual one, you will need to brush with it for several weeks, at least. In order to make a fair comparison, it is best to time your brushes so that you are not breaking off early to do something else. With the correct level of timed control, you should also ensure that you are brushing each of your teeth properly and not just focussing your effort, for example, on your incisors. After about three weeks, you should notice that there is less plaque and staining on your teeth than before. If you have been suffering from halitosis – the bad breath that is often the consequence of the bacteria in the mouth – then this should improve in a similar time frame, too. Remember that for a fair comparison with a new product compared with a manual toothbrush you should also keep up your other usual oral hygiene measures, such as regular flossing and mouth rinsing with a mouthwash.
Check with your dentist for the best indication of success
Despite the fact that you may notice some improvements in the performance in your brushing techniques using an electrically powered brush, you cannot really make an informed review of your own oral health. Therefore, you should ask your dentist at your next check-up to make a comparison for you before and after you began using a certain product.
Try a friend’s electric toothbrush out (if they will let you)
If you want to conduct your own evaluation of several products before buying one, then this is not so easy given that electrical toothbrushes are not really available to try out. However, you could buy your own brush head and ask to borrow a product that is owned by a friend. Since brush heads are relatively cheap compared to the base unit and charging station, this is a cost-effective way to proceed. Indeed, because it is only the brush head itself which enters the mouth, there is not the problem of passing germs on to one another. That said, many people understandably don’t like to share their electric toothbrushes with people they don’t know well, if at all. As such, reading test results and product analysis from reviews and surveys is often the only practical way to select an electric toothbrush before buying one.
Review your new electric toothbrush thoroughly before using it
When you have an electric toothbrush and unpackaged it, is best to give the internal batteries a full charge before you turn the device on. This will give the unit the best chance of operating to its fullest capacity without slowing down or running out of power. It should also make subsequent charges more effective. Turn the brush on without a brush head attached to make sure the spindle is working properly. A visual review is all that is needed to make sure it is okay.
Remember that many of these gadgets are designed to be used in moist environments but not all of them are fully waterproof. Therefore, it is best to avoid getting the base unit excessively wet or submerging it. Most will work perfectly well in a steamy bathroom, however, and it is best to test yours out in such conditions before long. If it does not function as you think it should or the brush heads appear to be loose, then take action under the warranty that your unit should have been supplied with.
Results and Experiences From Other Consumer Tests
We have looked at many of the top review sites around to bring you an overview of what all of the reviews are saying about the current crop of electric toothbrush products. Although you won’t find a definitive answer from these reviews as to which product is the best, you should be able to glean what sort of product might be best for your personal circumstances. We have tried to offer a fair reflection of the current reviews. If you have any doubts about whether your preferred choice of electric toothbrush might be right for you, then we recommend that it would be best for you to read further reviews about that particular model.
According to one respected review site, the leading electric toothbrush on the market that is best for general use is Philips’ Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100. This model comes out best, or near the top, at other review sites, too. This is certainly not the cheapest electric toothbrush, however. It has a very long battery life and different intensity settings to review and play with as you get used to it. Another of the best models around, according to multiple reviews, is Sanyei’s ION-Sei which is, again, one of the more expensive choices you could make. This one uses a unique ion stream to help clean your teeth. If you are looking for a review of some of the best electric toothbrush models which are not so expensive, however, then Oral B’s Pro 2 2000 receives some of the best levels of attention.
If you are looking for a lesser known brand which has received plaudits from several reviews, then try out the Kolibree Ara Smart Toothbrush, as recommended by Tech Advisor, which makes use of artificial intelligence to help you clean your teeth in the most effective way possible.
Dentistry blogger, Dr Alex Teckkam
In other professional reviews, dentists have selected the Oral B Genius 8000 as the best electric toothbrush around. One reviewer highlighted its three-dimensional oscillating functionality in his review as why he thought it was best. Of course, features like LED smart rings and Bluetooth connectivity help to make this among the best products in many reviews but these factors count for little if it doesn’t clean your teeth well and this one is often reviewed as among the best in that regard. In other reviews, the Oral B Smart 6 comes out as one of the best around, often because reviews say that it is particularly effective with gum care.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to finding the best electric toothbrush for you. Some of the brands that make them specialise in dental care while others are much more widespread in their commercial activities.
- Oral B
The development of electric toothbrushes over time
Although they are often considered to be very modern developments, any review of the history of them will indicate they have been around for almost a hundred years. The earliest ones were made in the United States but the first ones that really made an impact with consumers were produced in Switzerland from the middle of the 1950s. The first portable electric toothbrushes came out in the 1960s, making use of some of the best battery technologies available at that time. It was not until the 1980s, however, that batteries had developed to the extent that genuinely handheld powered toothbrushes were able to be made at a reasonable price.
Over the course of the 1990s, most of the research and development that went into electric toothbrush production was focussed on the sort of step down transformers that were needed to charge the products’ batteries effectively but in a safe way, given that most charging stations would be permanently installed in consumers‘ bathrooms. Later in the decade, more effort was put into developing the best brushing systems. New approaches, like counter rotation oscillation and ultrasonic systems, made their way onto the market for the first time.
Facts about electric toothbrushes
In 2015, the first Bluetooth electric toothbrush made its way into the public domain. This device came with an app that allowed owners to keep track of their brushing habits and it was marketed as a system that would help people to ensure that they were spending long enough brushing each of their teeth every day.
There has been plenty of research that has been conducted into how effective electric toothbrushes are. Although some dentists believe that electrically powered brushes are best, a review of the various academic studies soon shows a less conclusive picture. Compared with frequent and diligent manual brushing, electrical devices do not offer any significant improvements. That said, the fact that using one tends to lead to better and more prolonged brushing does mean that these devices have a value when it comes to oral health. Other studies have been conducted into whether or not using electric brushes helps children to feel more comfortable visiting the dentist. Although some claim they do, most research seems to point out that the advantage is negligible.
Safety instructions when dealing with electric toothbrushes
Make sure that your toothbrush’s charging station is plugged in properly. The two-pin plug that your unit will be supplied with must have no metal exposed by being only partially inserted into the socket which may lead to an arc. Sparks and arcs are more likely to occur in wet environments, like bathrooms, of course. In fact, it is often better to keep your charging station in your bedroom rather than the bathroom and only take the toothbrush’s base unit into the bathroom when you need it.
When you are brushing your teeth, it is best to use the same brush head each time and not to get your one muddled up with other people who may also use the device. This can help to prevent the transference of oral germs from one person to another. Helpfully, most makers product brush heads with colours and different patterns which makes it easier to spot which one is yours. Don’t be tempted to use a rival manufacturer’s brush head with your device, however. Although they may fit, they often don’t sit perfectly well which means that can slip around on the spindle inside your mouth and potentially come off.
When you are brushing with an electrically powered toothbrush, it is best to avoid pushing down too hard. A light touch that is sustained is better than a short one with the bristles shoved down too hard. You can damage your gums if you push too hard or allow the brush head to knock into your teeth. Review your toothbrush after you have used it for signs of bleeding and seek professional help if this continues.
How to set up an electric toothbrush in four steps
As a consumer product, there is not much you need to do to set up an electric toothbrush for use.
10 tips for the care and maintenance of electric toothbrushes
There are several electric toothbrush accessories on the market. The most common consumable you will find that you need is replacement brush heads. Most users find that theirs lasts around three months or so but this very much depends on the individual. You can buy the manufacturer’s recommended ones but it is possible to find third-party alternatives. It is always best to check that any of these you might turn to are fully compatible, however.
Other electric toothbrush accessories you might want to look at buying are spare charging stations. Although these are not essential, they can be helpful if you want to take your electric toothbrush back and forth between more than one home. If so, then it may be best to invest in a travel case, too, a device which will keep your electric toothbrush and its brush heads in good condition during transit. Other than that, the only other accessories you might want are for your general oral health, such as dental floss and mouthwash.
Alternatives to electric toothbrushes
These devices are a good back up to have to use as well as your electric toothbrush. There is no known detrimental effect from switching back and forth between an electric toothbrush and a manual one, so long as you spend enough time brushing with each and ensure that each tooth receives a fair and equal amount of care.
Why was the electric toothbrush invented?
The electric toothbrush was invented to provide a mechanism that made brushing easier for people. The aim was to help people to brush their teeth in a more organised way that did not rely on their own brushing habits so much.
How does an electric toothbrush charger work?
An electric toothbrush comes with either batteries which you remove and charge up on their own or a base unit which you plug into a charging station. Either way, mains electricity is converted to stored energy in the device’s battery pack which is then deployed when you turn your electric toothbrush on.
Why is an electric toothbrush better?
An electric toothbrush is considered by many people to be better than brushing manually because it means that the bristles are in constant motion over the surfaces of your teeth. They help people to maintain good brushing standards which might drop if they simply used a manual toothbrush.
How does an electric toothbrush whiten teeth?
Teeth whitening can occur in many different ways including using a toothpaste which has a bleaching agent included in it. Some models of electric toothbrush come with brushing modes specifically designed to apply this sort of toothpaste but their effectiveness is often no greater then diligent manual brushing. In short, an electric toothbrush will assist you with whitening your teeth because it makes you brush more diligently.
When is it best to buy an electric toothbrush?
If you want to product test the latest model of electric toothbrush, then expect to pay full price. Usually, there are price drops available within a range when new products are launched or after key selling times, such as Christmas.
Are electric toothbrushes worth the money?
Will an electric toothbrush help receding gums?
Like other oral health regimes, frequent brushing with an electric toothbrush will help to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth. In turn, this can help to deal with the conditions that make gum disease take hold. One of the main symptoms of gum disease is receding gums so they do help.
Can an electric toothbrush cause headaches?
It is unlikely that the buzz of an electric toothbrush in your mouth for a few minutes each day will cause a headache to occur. That said, some people find they are not for them. However, no known causal link exists between electrically powered toothbrushes and headaches.
Will an electric toothbrush break braces?
All brushing can damage braces and the wires that connect them if you apply too great a level of pressure. Just like a normal toothbrush, with an electric toothbrush, you should allow the bristles to do the work without pushing down hard. With proper use, your braces should, therefore, be fine.
Are electric toothbrushes waterproof?
Electrical gadgets in the bathroom ought to be water resistant to a high level. However, that does not mean that an electric toothbrush needs to be fully waterproof. Wiping and rinsing should be fine but avoid fully submerging your electric toothbrush in the bath or washbasin.