Picking an electric toothbrush can be really tricky because there are so many different electric toothbrush brands and models. Oral B, Philips and Colgate are all big brands which claim to be the best. So how do you chose the toothbrush that is best suited to you and your family? In this article, we’ve asked our award winning dentist and ITV News expert, Andrew Wilson, to talk you through it.
The best electric toothbrush for 2018
If you want to buy the best electric toothbrush, you shouldn’t just buy the most expensive one. As a dentist, I have tried most toothbrushes on the market and I have no doubt which is the best. The best electric toothbrush on the market in 2018 is the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N.
- Up to 100 percent more plaque removal: Round head cleans better for healthier gums in 30 days versus a manual toothbrush
- Protect your gums: Pressure control reduces brushing speed and alerts you if you brush too hard
- Gently whitens your teeth starting from day 1 by removing surface stains
- Know you brush the right amount of time with the 2 minutes professional timer
- Two brushing modes: Daily clean and gum care
This is an amazing toothbrush because it does exactly what you need it to by easily removing plaque and stain to protect your teeth and gums. It has a pressure control so that it tells you when you are pushing too hard and it has a built-in timer so that it tells you when you’re done. (By all means, keep brushing. As a dentist, I’m not going to tell you to brush less.) Honestly, this is a fantastic toothbrush and great value compared with everything else on the market.
If you would like to know more about electric toothbrushes, read on and I will explain the different features and what you should be looking for when buying an electric toothbrush.
Electric toothbrush features
Rotating head or sonic toothbrush?
This is the first choice that you will have to make when picking an electric toothbrush. There are two different types of electric toothbrush. The head of the toothbrush will either rotate or vibrate (often called sonic or ultrasonic). The evidence shows that there is not much between them. I used a sonic toothbrush for a couple of years but went back to a rotating head because my teeth felt cleaner. This isn’t very scientific but I much prefer the rotating head made by companies such as Oral-B.
Batteries or rechargeable?
Rechargeable, rechargeable, rechargeable. If you are buying an electric toothbrush, it has to be rechargeable. Never buy an electric toothbrush that takes single-use batteries. They lose power quickly and you might spend weeks with a toothbrush which is not working to remove plaque.
Toothbrushes with a rechargeable battery tend to last one or two weeks before you need to plug them back in. If you’re going on a long holiday, make sure it’s fully charged or you have a back up manual toothbrush.
What cleaning modes should it have?
You only need one cleaning mode. When you look at the top of the range electric toothbrushes from Oral-B or Sonicare, they have at least 5 different modes of cleaning and you don’t know where to start. They are there to give you choice but it’s completely unnecessary. Do not be persuaded to buy an electric toothbrush because it has a load of useless modes. You need a solid, reliable, electric toothbrush that does what it says on the tin.
That’s why the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N is the best electric toothbrush available at the moment. Here, we’ve found a bundle on Amazon which is fantastic value. It’s the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N and four of the best toothbrush heads that you can buy for an Oral-B toothbrush; the cross action head. This is what I use myself and recommend to all of my patients.
- Oral-B Pro 2500 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Black (Packaging May Vary)
- Oral-B CrossAction Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads - Pack of 4
This is a must. It is vital that your new electric toothbrush warns you if you are pushing too hard. Pretty much every electric toothbrush these days has a sensor. The warning comes in the form of either a flashing light or a noise. If you are brushing too hard, whether it’s with a normal toothbrush or electric, you can do damage to your gums by scrubbing too hard. This can cause your gums to recede, exposing the soft, sensitive roots of your teeth. The great thing about most electric brushes is that they do the work for you and tell you when you are pressing too hard. This is a great way to protect your teeth and gums from damage.
This is really important. Your electric toothbrush must have a built-in timer to tell you how long you have been brushing for. As dentists, we recommend that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, spending at least 30 seconds on each quarter of your mouth. Most Oral-B and Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes contain a timer to help you. They buzz every 30 seconds to tell you to move onto the next quarter of your mouth. Annoyingly, the Philips Sonicare toothbrush actually turns off after 2 minutes. You can obviously turn it back on again but remember who’s the boss. You’re in charge, not your toothbrush.
Smart apps and gadgets
These drive me absolutely crazy. I hate all of the extra apps and gadgets that companies add onto their top of the range electric toothbrushes just so that they can charge you more money. As a dentist, I get to try all of these funny little apps and they just don’t work. The sensors aren’t accurate enough and you spend the whole time you’re brushing, concentrating on the screen of your phone rather than actually brushing your teeth. You don’t need these extra gadgets and apps. They are completely unnecessary.
That is my personal opinion because I like to keep things simple. If you want to go for an electric toothbrush with all of the bells and whistles, go for it. I would recommend the Oral-B Genius 9000. At the top of the page, I recommended the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N because it’s a great toothbrush and good value. If you compare it to the Oral-B Genius 9000, it’s pretty much the same toothbrush. They will both remove plaque, protecting your teeth and gums. The only difference is that the Genius 9000 has a load of junk like Bluetooth and phone apps.
At the time of writing, the Oral-B Genius 9000 is nearly 300% more expensive than the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N. I would recommend going for the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N every time.
Where to buy your electric toothbrush?
Buy it on the internet. There is absolutely no point in going into a shop or pharmacy to buy an electric toothbrush. Even if they are on offer on the high street, it is unlikely that they won’t be cheaper on somewhere like Amazon.
The investment in an electric toothbrush today will save you time and money at the dentist tomorrow. And remember, you don’t need the most expensive brush. You need a great brush like the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N that is reliable, affordable and keeps your teeth healthy.
Why do we brush our teeth?
We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day but do you know why? The two main diseases that damage your teeth and gums are both caused by bacteria. Tooth decay is when bacteria use sugar from your diet to make a hole in your tooth or teeth. Gum disease is when bacteria get underneath your gums and cause inflammation which leads to the loss of the bone support around your teeth.
Both of these diseases can lead to tooth loss. So the reason that we brush our teeth is to remove bacteria and debris that cause these diseases. Rather than spending time and money with your dentist to cure disease, it’s much better to spend time with your toothbrush to prevent disease.
About electric toothbrushes
In the last section, we explained why we brush our teeth. The main question we want to answer here is ‘should you be using an electric toothbrush?’
Electric toothbrushes in one form or another have existed for years and years. They have been around since the 1950’s but an electric toothbrush in 2018 is almost unrecognisable from the early devices that needed to be plugged into the mains.
The only thing that hasn’t changed is its function. An electric toothbrush is designed to do the job of automatically brushing your teeth. They work to remove bacteria and prevent disease, doing the hard work for you.
Scientific research has proven that an electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual brush at removing plaque (a soft build up of bacteria around teeth and gums). The research is pretty conclusive. The Cochrane Group (a very clever bunch of science boffins) brought all of the evidence together and showed that people using an electric toothbrush had less bacteria in their mouths and less gingivitis (bleeding gums).
In answer to our question, ‘should you be using an electric toothbrush?’ the answer is a definite ‘YES’.
Not convinced by electric toothbrushes? If you insist, here’s some info on our favourite manual toothbrush.
Best manual toothbrush
As mentioned above, current scientific evidence shows that electric toothbrushes remove more plaque and bacteria than manual toothbrushes. However, they aren’t for everyone and you may be one of those people who just doesn’t like the feel of an electric toothbrush.
If this is you and you’re going to stick with a manual brush, by far the best manual toothbrush available in 2018 is the Curaprox Ultra Soft toothbrush. Honestly, these toothbrushes are amazing. You would not believe how soft they are until you try them.
I don’t normally recommend soft bristled toothbrushes but these are fantastic. An average soft brush is not strong enough to remove plaque from around your teeth and gums but this one does the job amazingly. The bristles are made of polyester rather than the usual nylon filaments.
They are made in Switzerland to an incredibly high standard and they are so well made that Curaprox can fit 5,460 bristles onto this toothbrush head. This is amazing and gives the toothbrush a gentle yet dense cleaning surface that removes plaque with ease.
We must be clear that an electric toothbrush will usually give you a much better clean than even the best manual toothbrush but if you are only interested is using a manual toothbrush, this is the best you will find by a million miles. Most shops don’t sell the Curaprox range so we’ve put a link below to where you can buy them on Amazon.
- Make your gums fall in love with your CS5460 Ultra Soft Toothbrush. Octagonal handle helps users to brush at the correct angle
- 5,460 CUREN bristles
- Funky and Colourful
- This item is available in different colors. You will receive a randomly chosen product from the range shown.
- A pre-selection of a certain color by the customer is unfortunately not possible with the order
Andrew Wilson (GDC number 209563) is the winner of Best Young Dentist in the UK 2017. He is an award winning dentist working in central London and is the dental expert for ITV News and has been featured on BBC Breakfast and radio. Andrew is not affiliated with any other company. This article represents Andrew’s opinion on what is the best electric toothbrush on the market in 2018.