This is our guide to buying an electric toothbrush. In this article, we have included everything you need to know when choosing the electric toothbrush that will be best for protecting your family’s teeth. We let you know what you should be looking for and also the toothbrushes that you should avoid. At the end of the article, we’ll let you know the best electric toothbrush on the market in 2018 according to our award winning dentist expert, Dr Andrew Wilson, who has been featured on BBC Breakfast and ITV News. The first question we need to answer is this… Should you be buying an electric toothbrush in the first place?
The answer is yes! Although it is possible to get a very good clean with a manual brush, an electric toothbrush does the work for you and makes things so much easier. All of the current scientific research shows that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque. Plaque is a soft build up of bacteria. It’s these bacteria that cause dental disease such as gum disease and tooth decay so you want to remove them. An electric toothbrush does this much better than you can do with a manual brush.
What different types of electric toothbrush are there?
There are two main types of electric toothbrush. One is an electric toothbrush with a rotating head that mechanically takes away the plaque. The biggest brand who make these types of brushes are Oral-B.
The other main type are the ‘sonic’ brushes that vibrate to remove bugs rather than rotate. Colgate make a ‘sonic’ toothbrush but the best known brand is Philips Sonicare. Philips Sonicare toothbrushes work by vibrating and pulsing. This sends vibrations between your teeth that are designed to remove bacteria in those hard to reach areas. Be aware that this is not a replacement for cleaning between your teeth with either floss or interdental brushes. With any electric toothbrush, you still need to clean between your teeth at least once a day.
So now you know a bit about electric toothbrushes and why they can be great for protecting your family’s smile. We’ve discussed the main brands but there are so many different brushes to choose from, it’s impossible to know where to start. To help you narrow it down, here are our 5 tips when buying an electric toothbrush.
Our 5 tips when buying an electric toothbrush
1. Buy one in the middle of the range. Middle of the range are always better than the really cheap electric toothbrushes but probably no worse than top of the range. Often, there is no difference in the actual toothbrush between the middle and top of the range. Top of the range tends to mean that you are buying a load of useless gadgets including phone apps and fancy chargers. I do not believe you need to buy a toothbrush that connects to your phone via bluetooth or a toothbrush with a built in selfie stick.
2. Buy on the internet. It’s cheaper and you have a better choice. If you go to a supermarket or pharmacy, they always have a very limited range because they cannot afford to stock many different electric toothbrushes. Whereas Amazon has pretty much every toothbrush ever made and they are almost always cheaper than the high street.
3. Buy a brush where you can swap the heads. Not everyone in the family needs their own electric brush as long as they each have their own head. This will be much more cost effective than buying 15 electric brushes. However, if this leads to a 30 minute queue for the toothbrush before the school run then forget what I said.
4. Buy a toothbrush that tells you when you’re pushing too hard. Most electric brushes will tell you when you are pushing too hard so you don’t damage your gums. This may be in the form of the head bending back or the tone of the brush changing or a little red light flashing. This is really handy for avoiding undue pressure. Remember, the toothbrush is supposed to be doing the work, not you.
5. Buy a brush that tells you how long you have been brushing for. This may be in the form of beeps or little pauses every thirty seconds. A word to the wise on this; some toothbrushes turn off after a couple of minutes to indicate that you are done. Who’s in charge here? You or the toothbrush? If your brush does this, it doesn’t mean you can’t start it again. YOU need to decide when you are finished, not the brush
With whatever type of brush you use, remember to replace the head regularly. Splayed bristles will not work and hanging on to a brush beyond when it is being effective is not doing you any favours. Some brushes have coloured bristles to tell you when to change it. When all of the colour has gone from the bristles, it’s time to get a new toothbrush head.
Our favourite electric toothbrushes in 2018
Let’s get straight to it. The best electric toothbrush available in 2018 is the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N. No question, this is an outstanding toothbrush which is value for money and great for the whole family.
The Oral-B Pro 2 2500N has a pressure sensor to tell you when you are pressing too hard. This prevents you causing damage to your gums and gum recession that can happen when you scrub your teeth too hard with a manual toothbrush. The Oral-B Pro 2 2500N also has a built in timer to tell you when you have brushing for 2 minutes. It’s pretty much the same toothbrush as the Oral-B Genius 9000; Oral-B’s most expensive brush with a RRP of £280. Instead of paying all of that money for the gadgets that come with the Genius 9000, why not pay a fraction of the price for an almost identical toothbrush? We’ve put a link for the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N below. It’s amazing value that you won’t be able to beat.
- Oral-B 3D technology movement: Round toothbrush head oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up 100 Percent more plaque vs manual toothbrush
- Protect your sensitive gums: Visible gum pressure sensor reduces brushing speed and alerts if you brush too hard
- From day 1: Gently whitens your teeth from 1st use by removing surface stains and plaque
- Two cleaning brushing modes: Daily clean and gum care
- Oral-B is the No. 1 brand: Used by dentist professionals and approved by the Oral Health Foundation
If you are buying for you and your family, we would recommend the bundle below as this includes a pack of 4 Cross Action Oral-B heads. The Cross Action heads are the best replacement head that Oral-B do and the only one that you will need.
- Oral-B Pro 2500 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Black (Packaging May Vary)
- Oral-B CrossAction Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads - Pack of 4
Best for sensitive teeth
Oral-B’s range of electric toothbrushes are fantastic. However, as mentioned above, they work by the head rotating to remove plaque. For the majority of people, this is completely comfortable. However, for people with extremely sensitive teeth, this may feel a bit too strong. If you have very sensitive teeth, the best electric toothbrush for you would be the Philips Sonicare EasyClean.
The Philips Sonicare EasyClean brushes your teeth with a very gentle action; vibrating and pulsing to remove plaque. It also has a head that can be replaced and a timer to tell you when you have ben brushing for 2 minutes. The Sonicare EasyClean is the best value in the Philips Sonicare range. The most expensive in the Philips Sonicare range is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart electric toothbrush with a RRP of £360. The actual toothbrush that you get with both the DiamondClean Smart brush and the Philips Sonicare EasyClean is not very different. When buying an electric toothbrush like the Philips Sonicare EasyClean, you still get an amazing toothbrush which is great for sensitive teeth at a fraction of the price of the DiamondClean Smart toothbrush. We would highly recommend the Philips Sonicare EasyClean. Here’s a link to an amazing offer for it on Amazon.
- Removes up to 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush
- Easy-start programme eases you into using an electric toothbrush
- 2 weeks battery life on a full charge
- Inbuilt smart-timer signals when your dentist recommended 2 minutes of brushing are up
- Our sonic technology is suitable for use with braces, fillings, crowns and veneers
Comparison of the best electric toothbrushes available in 2018
Below, we’ve put a table so that you can compare the best electric toothbrushes available right now. We’ve picked them because they do an amazing job of cleaning your teeth and they are still amazing value. Every toothbrush mentioned in this article has been used by our dentist expert, Dr Andrew Wilson. He’s currently using the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N. We haven’t included the most expensive toothbrushes we mentioned in the table below because we wouldn’t recommend that you bought them. We’ve included 3 different products that are currently available on Amazon and you cannot go wrong with any of these.
Dr Andrew Wilson (GDC No. 209563) was awarded Best Young Dentist in the UK in 2017. This article represents his opinions on electric toothbrushes currently available. Andrew is not affiliated to any toothbrush manufacturer and only recommends products that he believes are the best. The Online Dentist receive a small commission from Amazon if you buy a toothbrush through our website but this is not why we offer this advice. Our aim is to empower families to take control of their dental health. If you would like to know more about The Online Dentist’s mission, take a look at this article.