Types of Electric Toothbrushes
Rechargeable Electric Toothbrushes
These are expensive compared to standard toothbrushes, but the payoff is more attractive designs and useful features like multiple cleaning modes or pressure sensors. You can expect to pay upward of $50 for a good power toothbrush and up to $200 for a top-of-the-line rechargeable toothbrush. Brush heads need to be replaced as often as you would replace a manual toothbrush, and generally cost around $10 each.
Toothbrushes with Replaceable Batteries
This type of power toothbrush is the least expensive. We found several good choices for less than $10. However, reviewers say they tend to be noisier and rougher than more expensive, rechargeable models. They also have few features -- usually just off and on. You also have to factor in the cost of replacing the batteries every four to six weeks.
Electric Toothbrushes for Kids
In addition to electric toothbrushes for adults, we look at electric toothbrushes for kids. Kids' toothbrushes are essentially mini versions of ones designed for adults (to better fit kids' mouths), with similar brush movements and timers, but with the addition of bright colors and sometimes characters or music to make brushing more fun. Our Best Reviewed pick even comes with an app so kids (and their parents) can track their brushing habits.
Electric Water Flossers
For those who don't like regular flossing, or who have braces, water flossers can be extremely useful. They're also great for removing stains in between cleanings. We even found a travel flosser so you can take it with you.
toothbrushes can help you brush properly
Dental experts say you should be brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, flossing and visiting your
dentist regularly. Manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective --
it's how you brush that is important, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), not necessarily what you
But, while experts agree that there is nothing wrong with standard toothbrushes,
their downside is that people tend to lack discipline when brushing. A number
of reports say most Americans brush for only 30 to 60 seconds, rather than the
two minutes recommended by dentists, and that's not nearly long enough to
enable the fluoride in toothpaste to do its job. Reviewers say the best
electric toothbrushes come with a two-minute timer and are able to reach
hard-to-clean areas better than most of us can manage with a manual brush. Many
brushes also use lights, vibration or sounds to notify you to move to the next
quadrant of the mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right) every
One differentiator amongst electric toothbrushes is the type of
movement the brush head makes. Rotating brush heads spin 360 degrees around
while rotating-oscillating heads oscillate from side to side, not making a full
circle. Sonic toothbrushes vibrate
from side to side at a very rapid speed. While there are studies -- mostly
sponsored by electric toothbrush manufacturers -- that claim one type or
another is most effective, experts say that they all are effective, and the
best one is ultimately a matter of personal preference. In other words, if
you'll use the electric toothbrush to its full potential and it's comfortable
for you to use, that's the type you should choose.
Finding The Best Electric Toothbrushes
"The Best Electric Toothbrush"
There aren't a lot of expert reviews or professional tests of electric
toothbrushes, TheSweethome.com being a notable exception. We found some great
choices, though, based upon their recommendations, a few tests by writers at
various other sites and publications, and by evaluating thousands of owner
reviews. From there, we narrowed down our top picks based upon the brushes'
effectiveness at cleaning teeth, ease of use, features, durability and the cost