Best Electric Toothbrushes – What Do Dentists Suggest
Clinical content featured by Byte is reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to help ensure clinical accuracy.
We follow strict sourcing guidelines and each page contains a full list of sources for complete transparency.
Table of Contents
- Electric Toothbrushes vs Manual
- Top Brands of Electric Toothbrushes
- PRO-SYS, Arm & Hammer and Quip
- Are All Electric Toothbrushes the Same
With so many electric toothbrushes available today, it can be difficult to determine which ones offer the most value and cleaning ability for the money.
Dentists recommend brushing options available at every price point from leading brands such as Philips and Oral-B as well as lesser-known manufacturers. They have one thing in common: All provide a superior clean when compared to manual toothbrushes.
Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Ones?
Yes! There is extensive scientific evidence that suggests electric toothbrushes are significantly superior to manual ones—at least for most people.
While it is theoretically possible to remove all the plaque in your mouth with a manual brush alone, most of us aren’t skilled enough to pull it off. That’s right: brushing your teeth, something we’ve all be doing since before we were in elementary school, requires excellent brushing technique, perfect timing and a thorough, even-handed approach that gives each tooth the attention it needs. And most of us don’t succeed.
Electric toothbrushes deliver far more power than manual brushes in our hands. Many electric brushes on the market offer tools that assist users in perfecting their brushing technique. These enhancements make a big difference in the effectiveness of the brush.
According to an 11-year study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, people who used an electric toothbrush experienced 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay than people who used only a manual brush during that time.
Top Brands of Electric Toothbrushes
All of the toothbrush models featured below are approved by the American Dental Association, meaning that they are at once safe and effective to use. They are also singled out by dentists as models that you can trust to help you achieve excellent oral health.
Phillips, Oral-B, and lesser-known brands PRO-SYS, Arm & Hammer and Quip all have models that dentists recommend. All have their pros and cons, from price to performance.
Philips Sonicare Brushes
Philips is one of the two top electric toothbrush companies in the world. Its Sonicare line of brushes uses sonic pulses to disrupt plaque and create micro bubbles to help flush bacteria our of hard-to-reach places.
The newest and most powerful model in the line is the SenseIQ. This high-tech brush adapts to your brushing style as you use it, ensuring that you never apply too much pressure or miss a tricky spot between your teeth. Built-in Bluetooth capabilities feed data on your brushing into a custom smartphone app to tell you if there are certain spots in your mouth that you need to give more attention. It even comes with a sturdy plastic case with a built-in charging port. This model costs $350 in Philips' online store or at many major retailers.
Folks looking for a midrange option in this line can try Phillips’ DiamondClean Smart. This model features four brushing modes and a smart brush head recognition function that automatically sets the toothbrush to the right mode for the brush head you're currently using. Like the SenseIQ, it can be connected to a smartphone app for detailed brushing feedback. It also offers alerts to tell you if you’re pressing too hard or trying to scrub your teeth manually instead of letting the toothbrush do the work. This toothbrush typically sells for $180.
And the DailyClean 2100 is a basic option for consumers who aren't interested in many additional features. This entry-level model includes just one brushing mode, but its powerful vibrations are still strong enough to be more effective than manual brushing. The DailyClean 2100 also includes a built-in timer to ensure that you always brush for at least a full two minutes. You can pick up this brush for about $40, making it an excellent option for those on a budget.
Oral-B is the second major electric toothbrush brand. It manufactures models that features brushes with its hallmark round heads, which dentists say provides a thorough clean that extends below the gum line.
Oral-B's answer to Phillips' SenseIQ is the iO Series 9. This toothbrush offers seven smart modes to give you an optimal clean for everything from your teeth and gums to your tongue. With an AI-powered app, quadrant timer and charging case, the iO Series 9 includes everything you would expect from a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush. It sells for around $350 at most major retailers, including on Oral-B's website.
The Oral-B Genius 8000 is the mid-grade option for this line, offering a handful of different modes and app connectivity for detailed brushing feedback. It features an ability to customize the color of the light in the ring around the bottom of the brush that lights up to alert you when you are pressing too hard. It typically sells for $180.
Oral-B’s recommended budget option is Pro 1000, which offers all of the essentials, including a pressure sensor, a timer and a single brushing mode. Just like the DailyClean, it is more than sufficient to get the job done if you aren’t interested in too many bells and whistles. It retails for around $50.
PRO-SYS, Arm & Hammer and Quip
Several other brands offer quality electric toothbrushes at varying price points and with a variety of features. Among them are lines by PRO-SYS, Arm & Hammer and Quip.
The PRO-SYS VarioSonic is a lesser-known sonic toothbrush akin to Phillips' Sonicare line. This brush is marketed to dentists for resale in their offices, which hints at its good quality.
The brush itself offers five different cleaning modes, and five different brush heads are included to give you even more cleaning options. You can buy one for about $80 on PRO-SYS's website or at your local dental clinic.
Arm & Hammer
Many basic battery-powered toothbrushes are not ADA-approved, making it difficult for consumers to feel confident trying them out. The Arm & Hammer SpinBrush PRO+ DeepClean is a notable exception. Dentists love the dual-action brush head and extra-long bristles, both of which combine to provide a superior clean.
You can buy this battery-powered brush from most drug stores for around $11, and it is often on sale for even less than that.
If you're a fan of the subscription purchasing model, Quip has the perfect electric toothbrush for you. Quip's battery-powered toothbrushes are available in customized kits with various dental supplies, including floss, toothpaste, and even xylitol gum.
You can pick up one of these kits for as little as $25, with upgraded smart versions with app-guided features available starting at $45. Brush head and battery refill packs are available on a one-time basis or through a 3-month subscription plan for as little as $5.
Although Quip started out as an online-only retailer, big-box retailer Target now stocks Quip products and refills.
Are All Electric Toothbrushes the Same?
Battery-powered toothbrushes are generally less powerful than true electric models (though they still outperform manual brushes by a considerable margin). If you want a high-powered clean, choose a corded model.
Different brands of brushes offer differing features. If you know that something like a brushing feedback app would really help you improve your brushing habits, you should choose a model based in that criteria.
Beyond that, any ADA-certified toothbrush will usually perform about as well as others available at a similar price point. Whether your toothbrush uses sonic power, ultrafast rotations, or oscillating movement, you can expect a deep clean that helps ward off oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay.
Ultimately, the best toothbrush for you is the one you will use the most. Choose an electric brush that suits your needs, budget and comfort level—and then use it twice a day.
Electric toothbrushes win the head-to-head against manual in record breaking new study. (June 2019). Oral Health Foundation. Date fetched: July 31, 2021.
The Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists. (April 2021). The Strategist – New York Magazine. Date fetched: July 31, 2021.
The 12 Best Electric Toothbrushes You Can Buy Online This Year, According to Dentists. (June 2021). Women's Health Magazine. Date fetched: July 31, 2021.
9 Best Electric Toothbrushes to Buy in 2021. (June 2021). Good Housekeeping. Date fetched: July 31, 2021.