The 6 best electric toothbrushes of 2021
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky An electric toothbrush helps improve your oral health with a timer to brush for longer and more thoroughly. A good electric toothbrush should hold a charge and offer feedback to help you improve brush habits. Our top pick, the Oral-B Pro 1000, is cheap, offers feedback when brushing too hard, works with 9 different brush heads. This article was medically reviewed by Dr. André V. Ritter, DDS, MS, MBA, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the NYU College of Dentistry.
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Whether you’re a coffee addict, ex-smoker, or just want to polish your smile a little brighter, virtually everyone wants whiter teeth. There are all kinds of intensive options available, from whitening strips to in-office dental treatments. But for most of us, the easiest way is to switch up our toothpaste and ask it to do more than just fight plaque and cavities.
Whitening toothpastes generally work by using enamel-safe abrasives to physically remove surface stains. Many also contain other active ingredients, like peroxide, to dissolve stains and bleach teeth. Some even contain a chemical called blue covarine, which makes teeth appear whiter instantly by canceling out yellow tones – sort of an optical illusion.
But since not every ingredient is equal and some teeth whitening products notoriously cause tooth sensitivity, we’ve researched everything on which whitening toothpaste really works. We also personally tested several toothpastes to get a feel for texture, taste, and anything else a consumer might want to know.
At the end of this guide, we’ve included some insight into the misconceptions about electric toothbrushes, as well as the other models we tested and considered but didn’t ultimately make the cut.
Here are the best electric toothbrushesBest overall: Oral-B Pro 1000Best mid-priced electric toothbrush: Hum by Colgate Electric ToothbrushBest with replaceable battery: Quip Plastic Electric Toothbrush Best advanced electric toothbrush: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700Best for kids: Philips Sonicare for KidsBest for gum health: Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control
Updated on 6/18/2021 by Rachael Schultz: Updated formatting, checked links and availability, and added Prime Day deals.
The best deals on electric toothbrushes from this guide
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Electric toothbrushes are one of those things that you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on. Of course, biting the bullet on a good toothbrush can save you in the long run, and a nice discount can make that easier. Amazon Prime Day is when we see all-time lows, but you can still find $10 to $15 discounts throughout the year.
Below, find the best deals to help you enjoy brushing your teeth a little more.
Pro 1000 (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Hum Toothbrush (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Plastic Electric Toothbrush (medium, Preferred: Amazon)2 Series Plaque Control (medium, Preferred: Amazon)
Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.
The Oral-B Pro 1000 is budget-friendly, highly effective, and compatible with a wide range of replacement brush heads.
Pros: Great price, effective at removing plaque, many types of compatible brush heads
Cons: Not as fast or as powerful as some newer electric toothbrushes
The Oral-B Pro 1000 is a no-frills electric toothbrush, but it gets the job done, and it gets it done well. It comes with a CrossAction brush head that reaches into every nook and cranny between and within your teeth to scour away up to 300% more plaque than a manual toothbrush would remove.
If you prefer another type of brush head, however, there are plenty to choose from; the Oral-B Pro 1000 is compatible with nine different Oral-B heads, including whitening, sensitive, extra gum line cleaning, deep clean, orthodontic care, and floss action. Just twist and pull to switch out the brush head.
The toothbrush handle has an easily accessible on/off button, and the brush vibrates gently every 30 seconds to let you know it’s time to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth. Press too hard, and the toothbrush will stop rotating — overly vigorous tooth brushing is a major cause of gum irritation. When you let up the pressure, the brush will automatically begin to spin once again.
Expect to recharge the Oral-B Pro 1000 about once per week. You’ll see a flashing red light when the battery is getting low. The recharging base is very small, so there’s no need to clear much counter space.
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Best mid-priced electric toothbrush
The Hum by Colgate Toothbrush works great, costs less than other premium models, and has a sophisticated smartphone app for monitoring oral health.
Pros: Affordable, easy to use, great design, can subscribe to brush heads, smart app connectivity
Cons: Not as many fancy settings as high-end ones
The Hum by Colgate proves that not all worthwhile electric toothbrushes need to be expensive. Although it’s not as customizable and in-depth as other top-tier options on the market, the Hum electric toothbrush features three pulse settings — normal, sensitive, and deep clean — and pairs with an app that helps monitor your progress and overall oral health.
The Hum by Colgate toothbrush comes with the charging stand and a travel case for $69.97. Alternatively, you can pick the battery-powered model, which comes with two AAA batteries and a travel case, for $49.99. The key difference between the two models is that the battery-powered version only has two pulse settings — normal and sensitive.
I was thoroughly impressed with the thoroughness of the Hum app. For your first use, you have to brush your teeth without any assistance. The purpose of this is to see how much coverage you get with your current brushing techniques and to show you where there is room for improvement. The average person only covers 60% of their mouth when they brush, but I was able to get 100%, admittedly from developing better brushing techniques from the other smart toothbrushes I’ve used.
Although you can open the app and track your progress while you brush, your results are still recorded if you don’t have your phone nearby with a feature called offline brushing. This is a great feature because it can be hard to get used to grabbing your phone every single time you need to brush your teeth. — Amir Ismael
Best with a replaceable battery
The Quip is a sleek-looking toothbrush that’s great for use at home or when traveling. It is affordable, yet it’s very effective and more substantial than disposable options.
Pros: Low price, great for travel, sleek design, replaceable head and battery, comfortable to use
Cons: Not the most powerful, no adjustable settings, plastic version has limited color options
Quip is one of the many new companies looking to disrupt traditional industries — electric toothbrushes, in this case. You can argue that it doesn’t do anything different than other similar products, but it’s hard to find an electric toothbrush this good-looking.
The plastic version has a nicely contoured handle that’s easy to hold and slim enough to fit inside a travel Dopp kit. It takes a single AAA battery, so there’s no need to carry around a charging station. There’s only one mode, so it’s a no-brainer to use. There are no rotating heads, but the sonic vibrations are more effective than brushing manually, and a 2-minute timer (four 30-second pulses, with a short pause in between) ensures you get the recommended brushing time (it’s accepted by the American Dental Association).
I use a silver metal version of the Quip, which is similar to the plastic model in terms of usage. Admittedly, it doesn’t feel that much different than the Oral-B manual toothbrush that I also use, but the vibrating bristles make brushing my teeth feel cleaner in less time. However, it’s definitely nowhere as powerful as my old trusty Oral-B electric toothbrush (which I’ve stopped using because I can’t find the charging base).
Senior reporter Connie Chen said in her review, “Quip solved my two biggest problems with teeth brushing: making sure I was brushing long enough and replacing my toothbrush regularly. It keeps me honest, and I just let my mind wander for the four minutes a day I spend maintaining my oral hygiene.”
Yes, most budget electric toothbrushes will seem less solid and effective than a premium model, but you’re also not spending $50-$100 for a complex tool. The whole concept around Quip is to get people to brush more (and to sign up for its $5 three-month refill plan).
The Quip isn’t innovative by any means, but for people who don’t brush regularly or replace their toothbrush often enough, the Quip is a nice (and stylish) solution to those problems. With that said, Quip can get costly if you opt for the metal or special editions and you add-on the extras.
Insider Reviews senior reporter Connie Chen compared the Quip to other similar electric toothbrush startups. See how it compares. — Les ShuRead our full review of Quip electric toothbrushes
Best advanced electric toothbrush
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 is the closest you’ll get to daily cleanings at the dentist.
Pros: Protective pressure and motion sensors, five cleaning modes, connects to app for comprehensive monitoring, comes with multiple replacement heads
Cons: All of the features come with a high price tag
If you like to incorporate technology into every part of your life and want to take a super serious approach to dental care, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 might be the perfect toothbrush for you.
At $300, the DiamondClean Smart 9700 is expensive, but before you immediately write it off as being out of your budget, it is not your average electric toothbrush and there is real value in paying so much for the device.
The DiamondClean Smart 9700 features five cleaning modes — Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and Tongue Care — all of which can be used at three different intensities.
The 9700 comes with the toothbrush, the wireless charging base, the optional wireless charging glass, the USB charging travel case, six replacement toothbrush heads, and a tongue scrubber. The included replacement heads are worth more than $60 separately and partly accounts for the steep price tags. It’s worth noting that any electric toothbrush you buy will eventually require replacement heads. The 9700 is good because it will get you accustomed to replacing your brush heads on time — not having them on-hand won’t be an excuse.
As a smart toothbrush, the 9700 connects to the Sonicare app via Bluetooth. In the app, you can set goals like teeth whitening, gum health, fresh breath, or plaque removal. While brushing your teeth, the app will guide you through each session to help you cover all areas of your mouth and meet your goals. Most people don’t brush their teeth systematically — their method usually consists of going all over the place and hoping they hit every part.
With the app, you won’t have to worry about not brushing long enough or missing a spot. Most toothbrushes pulse when it’s time to move on to the next part of your mouth (so does the 9700), but having the additional visual representation of your teeth and brushing coverage in the app makes it more effective. If you do miss a spot, the app will give you a few extra seconds to go back and clean them. The toothbrush and app will also help you correct all of the things you might be doing wrong like brushing too hard or too fast with the built-in pressure and motion sensors.
Another feature that makes this toothbrush smart is its ability to automatically detect what type of brush head is on. If you switch to a whitening head, it will automatically set to the White+ setting.
Immediately after the first use with the DiamondClean Smart 9700, I could tell that my teeth were cleaner than they had ever been with any other toothbrush. I didn’t feel any remaining grit on my teeth or along my gumline. After using the 9700 for over a month, I saw results in whitening my teeth.
The toothbrush and app have made it much easier to maintain good dental health. You know how your dentist reminds you to brush twice daily and to floss regularly every time you go for a scheduled cleaning? Well, the app does it daily, so you won’t have to wait six months for your next appointment to get that reminder.
Overall, the DiamondClean Smart 9700 is worth the money. Yes, it’s expensive, but so are dental bills. Considering you only get one set of teeth, this toothbrush is a good way to prevent or improve existing dental issues. If there’s something frivolous of equal value that you want to buy, consider buying this instead. — Amir Ismael
Best for kids
Getting your children to brush properly twice per day can be a struggle, but with the fun Philips Sonicare for Kids, they might actually beg to brush their teeth.
Pros: App makes brushing fun, brush head is sized for children’s mouths, very effective at removing plaque and debris from teeth and gum line
Cons: Your child will eventually outgrow the cutesy app
Kids and good oral hygiene are typically not a natural combo. Most kids are either reluctant to brush or do a poor job at cleaning their teeth. The Philips Sonicare for Kids makes brushing fun, however, turning a routine task almost into a video game, thanks to the free Bluetooth-compatible app that encourages and rewards good brushing techniques.
Like all Sonicare toothbrushes, the kids’ brush uses patented sonic technology for up to 75% more effective removal of plaque and debris than a manual toothbrush. It has a built-in two-minute timer and alerts the child to switch quadrants every 30 seconds while brushing. There are two speed settings, and the brush comes with eight stickers to customize the handle.
But where the fun really starts is with the free app that not only teaches kids about the whys and hows of good oral hygiene, it also turns brushing into a game. Your child will get to adopt a “Sparkly,” a cute little creature that gives brushing tips while your child “brushes” the Sparkly’s teeth. The app also tracks performance, making it easy to reward good hygiene. Just set your smartphone or tablet where your child can watch while brushing.
Over and over, buyers comment that their kids went from being brushing-resistant to actually wanting to brush their teeth. Many state that their child’s dental appointments are much, much better since switching to the Sonicare.
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The Philips Sonicare for Kids is recommended for ages three and up if the child is using the brush on their own. Younger children should have assistance from an adult, however.
Best for gum health
If your gums aren’t what they used to be, the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control can help bring them back to good health.
Pros: Excellent for gum care, reasonable price
Cons: Replacement heads are expensive
According to dental health website AsktheDentist, sonic toothbrushes, which oscillate at astonishing rates — up to 31,000 strokes per minute at full speed — are more effective at reaching and removing plaque between the teeth and beneath the gum line, making a sonic toothbrush the best bet for anyone with gum issues, those who are lackadaisical about flossing, and the majority of people over age 40. Of course, in the oral hygiene field, sonic toothbrush generally means Sonicare, by far the biggest name in the industry.
And out of the many Sonicare models available, the best bet for gum trouble is the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control toothbrush. Like all Sonicare brushes, the sonic cleaning action drives fluid between the teeth and under the gum line to break up and remove more plaque than regular toothbrushes, yet the brush is gentle enough to use on orthodontics, implants, veneers, and sensitive teeth. The slim, angled neck makes it easy to reach way back in your mouth, and the timer lets you know when two minutes are up. In fact, the brush automatically turns itself off.
The Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control even eases you into the sonic brush experience by slowly increasing the power over the brush’s first 14 uses, giving you plenty of time to adjust to the ultra-oscillating speed.
A negative, however, is the high price of the replacement heads. Still, if you want a sonic toothbrush that’s powerful on plaque, yet gentle on your gums, and you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, this is a great choice.
What else we’ve considered
Oral-B iO Series 8 Electric Toothbrush, $249.99
As a top-tier smart toothbrush, the Oral-B iO Series 8 was compared to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700. It has a similar smart app that helps you track things like coverage, pressure, and brush time. The toothbrush comes with a charging stand, a travel case, and two replacement brushes.
The iO Series 8 also has a color display that greets you and displays the current settings. It’s a nice touch, but it doesn’t improve the performance. Although it’s $50 cheaper than the 9700, it still fell short as the best state-of-the-art toothbrush for a few key reasons.
The Oral-B iO has six cleaning modes — Daily Clean, Whitening, Gum Care, Sensitive, Intense, and Super Sensitive — but the 9700’s five modes and three sensitivities allowed for more personalization.
Another thing that disappointed me was the lack of toothbrush covers. I was able to pick up a six-pack on Amazon for $7, but for $250, you’d expect at least one to be included.
Considering the cost of replacement brush heads, plus the extra accessories you get like a charging case and fancy wireless charging glass, the $300 DiamondClean 9700 is a better buy. I would recommend the Oral-B iO Series 8 to anyone who really can’t spare the extra $50 but still wants a high-end toothbrush, as well as anyone who prefers the round style of the Oral-B heads.
Goby Electric Toothbrush, $55-$80
As our previous pick for the best mid-priced electric toothbrush, the Goby Electric toothbrush is still a worthwhile consideration if you don’t need or want connectivity to a smart app.
Insider Reviews deputy editor Malarie Gokey said, “I usually use a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush, which costs more than $100, so I was blown away by the $55-$80 price tag of the Goby toothbrush. Equally surprising was just how good it was. I love the two different speed settings and how the moving bristles polish away stains on my teeth and any tartar or plaque that builds up.”
She also appreciated the affordable brush head replacements. At $6, they’re much cheaper than replacements for brands like Philips Sonicare and Oral-B.
FAQs Who should use an electric toothbrush?
While anyone can choose to use an electric toothbrush, there are some people specifically who can benefit from them.
According to Dr. Ira Handschuh, a general and cosmetic dentist at The Dental Design Center in White Plains, New York, one example of someone who should use an electric toothbrush are those undergoing orthodontic care, especially since electric brushes are able to get to those hard to reach regions that manual brushes cannot.
This applies equally to anyone with permanent retainers or other long-term dental fixtures, too. Dr. Handshuh also recommends that elderly patients, those who have had a stroke, or those with dexterity issues use an electric toothbrush.
Misconceptions about electric toothbrushes
“It’s a misconception that using an electric toothbrush will guarantee a healthy mouth,” Dr. Handschuh told Insider. “Brushing with both manual brushes and electric brushes can be challenging, and if not used properly, can lead to gum disease advancing, potential cavities, and other oral complications. I always take the time to review the proper brushing techniques with all my patients.”
Regardless of what type of toothbrush you decide to wield, it’s important to maintain proper techniques like brushing twice daily, reaching every part of your mouth including your gums and tongue, and not brushing too hard or too long.
If you do decide to go with an electric toothbrush, Dr. Handschuh recommends choosing one with soft bristles — never hard.
“I always stress that you should not put too much pressure on the gums, as that can cause the gums to recede with time and even wear away tooth structure,” says Dr. Handschuh. “Many electric toothbrushes actually come with timers, so patients can monitor the length of time brushing, as well as pressure sensors to ensure patients do not damage teeth and gum tissue.”
Check out our other oral care guides
The best whitening toothpasteThe best teeth whitening kitsThe best toothbrushesThe best mouthwashThe best toothpasteThe best dental floss Read the original article on Business Insider
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Harold Botello Maya started working for Korean News Feeds in 2019. Harold grew up in a small town in northern Texas, but moved to New York for university. Before joining Korean News Feeds, Harold briefly worked as an independent journalist for several news sites. He covers politics and economy stories.