The 14 Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists

Dentists swear by these power toothbrushes to keep pearly whites fresh and plaque-free.

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Photo: Unsplash / Goby / Bruush

The right toothbrush for you depends on your personal preference. Do you want a classic brush that costs a couple bucks at the drugstore, or do you want to shell out for a dentist-approved electric toothbrush that does much of the work for you? While the cost of going electric might have previously been a hindrance, powered toothbrushes—ranging from high-tech designs to affordable picks that don't skimp on features—are now more accessible than ever.

Electric toothbrushes are battery-powered brushes that use oscillating or sonic vibrating movements to eliminate plaque, debris, and even bacteria from your mouth. Whether you settle on a budget electric toothbrush or one with all the bells and whistles, most models come with different cleaning modes, pressure sensors, and even timers to help you up your oral health game. Choosing one comes down to budget and your individual needs; maybe you have sensitive teeth or gums and need gentle brushing modes, or perhaps you need something to tackle plaque around braces.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both proxy and electric brushes work equally well to clean your teeth. However, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology suggests that people who use an electric toothbrush may have healthier gums and less tooth decay over time, in comparison to those who use a manual toothbrush. Plus, a powered toothbrush might help you ditch some of your bad brushing habits, like not cleaning for the recommended two minutes—per the ADA—or failing to hit hard-to-reach spots, which could lead to tooth decay, gingival inflammation, gum disease, and gum recession over time.

The difference between oscillating and sonic electric toothbrushes

When shopping for an electric toothbrush, there are two basic types to consider: oscillating brushes (which rotate or oscillate back-and-forth in a circular motion) and sonic brushes, which vibrate at high frequencies, according to Kami Hoss DDS, MS, co-founder and CEO of The Super Dentists dental practice and author of If Your Mouth Could Talk.

Sonic toothbrushes typically vibrate at 24,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute, with the sonic pulse technology creating a powerful vibration that moves fluids and toothpaste through hard-to-reach places in your mouth (think: between your teeth and along gums). On the other hand, oscillating electric toothbrushes rotate at around 1,300 to 8,800 strokes per minute and use a rotating circular motion to clean each tooth.

While there are studies that claim one to be superior over the other, there's actually little evidence finding that one technology is more effective.The one thing that does seem to be agreed upon? The dentists we spoke to say there are more benefits to using an electric toothbrush than a manual, so if you haven't already, it might be time to make the switch from a classic brush.

The 14 best electric toothbrushes to shop online, according to experts:

How to pick an electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth

If you suffer from sensitive teeth and gums, you're not alone. Although having sensitive teeth is more likely to affect people between the ages of 20 and 40, it can still happen to teenagers and those over 70, according to the Oral Health Foundation. Another fun fact: It's more common in women than men.

Some typical causes of sensitivity are erosion, recession, cavities, gum disease, tooth grinding, whitening, and toothbrush abrasion (translation: brushing too hard), per the Oral Health Foundation. While brushing less might seem like the answer, it's actually even more important to maintain the habit of brushing twice daily to keep the problem from getting worse.

The advantage of electric toothbrushes is that many have a "sensitivity" setting, which provides customized cleaning action for those who need it, says Melissa Seibert, DDS, CEO of the Dental Digest Institute. Electric brushes with AI technology—which give personalized feedback to a connected app via Bluetooth—and pressure sensors are helpful aids that can teach you how to use just the right amount of brushing pressure, explains Dr. Seibert. "Brushes with oscillating-rotating technology are a very effective mechanism for delivering a safe, but effective clean," she adds. And even though many brushes offer a "normal," "whitening," or "sensitive" mode, they're all still accomplishing the removal of plaque, Dr. Seibert notes.

To further accommodate sensitive mouths, you can also look for soft or gentle brush heads for your electric toothbrush. On top of that, use a toothpaste with fluoride or one formulated for sensitivity, and keep up with routine dental visits—and always feel free to utilize your dentist or hygienist with specific questions, Dr. Seibert recommends.

What to consider in an electric toothbrush for receding gums

Have you ever been told by your dentist during a teeth cleaning that you have receding gums—and then wondered what that meant? "Recession is a phenomenon where there is a decrease in the gums (or gingiva) that covers the tooth surface," says Dr. Seibert. While it might not seem like a huge deal, it can eventually lead to exposure of the root surface which may cause cavities, sensitivity, and esthetic concerns for the patient, she adds.

According to Dr. Seibert, the main cause of gum recession is usually periodontal disease, a bacterial gum infection that destroys gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. But another, possibly lesser-known culprit is excess pressure when brushing your teeth since it can expedite the recession effect.

The best way to prevent (and look out for) signs of gum recession is by maintaining healthy and consistent oral care habits, like brushing and flossing daily and seeing a dentist twice a year—but investing in an electric toothbrush is another smart option. "Electric toothbrushes have largely been proven safe and effective for gums and enamel, and remove more plaque compared to a regular manual toothbrush," says Dr. Seibert. She suggests her patients use a high-quality model equipped with a pressure sensor or instant feedback to help identify if they're using too much or too little pressure when brushing.

Your guide to electric toothbrushes for braces

The great thing about braces is that they give you a beautiful, straight smile. The downside: It's generally much more difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth when you have them, says Dr. Hoss. Although manual and electric toothbrushes can both do a great job if used correctly, electric toothbrushes typically make it easier to clean braces.

There are several brush heads (or bristles) on the market that are specifically designed for braces, according to Dr. Hoss. However, he hasn't found them to be any better than typical bristles, so recommends his patients use a manual brush in conjunction with their electric toothbrush to clean the areas around the braces not easily accessed by the electric brush.

Whether you wear braces or not, Dr. Hoss advises to only use soft or ultra-soft bristles so you can get a gentle yet thorough clean without the risk of scratching the enamel and causing damage. Keep in mind that softer bristles (such as PBT or soft nylon) lose their effectiveness quicker and need to be swapped more frequently, but it's well worth it since the last thing you want is to have permanent white spots on your teeth—also known as decalcifications, according to Dr. Hoss—after investing in a year or two of braces, he adds.

Just like with manual toothbrushes, you'll want to replace the brush heads on your electric brush every three months when brushing twice daily. However, you'll likely need to change them even more frequently when you have braces, Dr. Hoss points out. (Keep in mind that frayed and worn down bristles are not as effective at removing plaque.)

What to know when choosing a best electric toothbrush for kids

For effective brushing, you can start your child with an electric toothbrush at 3 years old, says certified pediatric dentist Grace Yum, DDS, the former founder and practice owner of Yummy Dental and Orthodontics for Kids in Chicago. "The vibrations break up food debris without requiring a child to use the proper pressure or have the dexterity that a manual toothbrush calls for," she explains. But it's important to choose an electric toothbrush that's made specifically for children's teeth, with softer bristles and a smaller brush head, she adds.

Ready to put some power onto your pearly whites? Try one of these dentist-recommended electric toothbrushes, below.

Plus: Want more expert-approved oral health products? Here are our top-rated whitening products for sensitive teeth and gums, the best water flossers, the best mouthwash for gingivitis, and our ultimate guide to getting whiter teeth (including the best toothpaste, floss, whitening strips, and more).

The best electric toothbrushes, according to dentists

Best Overall Dentist-Recommended: Oral-B Genius X Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B GENIUS X-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: Using Bluetooth to connect to an app on your smartphone, this high-tech, expert-approved brush from Oral-B provides daily personal coaching to ensure you cover all areas evenly and brush with the right pressure for the recommended amount of time. On the app, you'll find a 3D map of your mouth that will inform you in real time your brushing position, whether you are pressing too hard, and what areas might require more attention. Also nice: The brush has six cleaning modes, including sensitive and gum care, so you can find one that suits your needs. The kit includes a powered handle, three brush heads, a charger, and travel case that can charge your toothbrush and smartphone on the go. Plus, it also gets the approval of nearly 3,000 Amazon shoppers who have given it a five-star rating.

What experts say: "The Oral-B Genius X is the number one recommended brush by dentists and superior in a number of ways," says Jonathan Levine, DMD, an oral health expert and cosmetic dentist in New York City. "The oscillating and rotating bristles are moving 48,000 brush movements versus the 600 that a manual brush will do to disrupt and remove plaque, and it's 32% better than the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean."

Keep in mind: Amazon customers say the brush can be quite loud during use.

Best Sonicare: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: With five modes and three levels of intensity, this brush has a smart sensor that offers real-time feedback and progress reports, as well as automatic mode pairing (which syncs your brush heads to the optimal brushing mode) through the connected Philips Sonicare app. Along with the powered handle, it comes with a sleek glass charging holder, a travel case that doubles as a charger, three brush heads, and one tongue brush to cover all your bases.

What experts say: "Toothbrushes are as individual as automobiles. Everyone has a preference. I personally use a Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush," says John Comisi, DDS, a dentist based in South Carolina. "I like its small diameter toothbrush head, with a two-minute timer. It comes with a very convenient travel case. Overall, it is probably the electronic toothbrush I recommend most."

Keep in mind: While most Amazon shoppers say it's a great brush, some note there's a gap around the power button that allows water and toothpaste to accumulate, causing wear and tear after a few years of use.

Best Oral-B Option: Oral-B Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush Powered by Braun

Oral-B Pro 1000 CrossAction-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: This affordable no-frills brush has one mode (daily clean), a pressure sensor that stops the pulsation movement if you brush too hard, and an in-handle timer that pulses every 30 seconds to signal that it's time to move on to a different part of your mouth. Plus, each brush cycle lasts for two minutes to ensure you reach the dentist-recommended time.

What experts say: "I like the Oral-B Braun brush for its circumferential action on the tooth surface," says David Tecosky, DMD, a Philadelphia-based dentist. According to the brand, the brush is designed to remove up to 300% more plaque along the gum line than a regular manual toothbrush.

Keep in mind: Amazon users report that it has a somewhat poor battery life, with one saying they have to "plug it in every few days for about 30 hours to get a full charge."

Best Battery-Operated: Foreo ISSA 3 Toothbrush

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Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: With 16 speeds of sonic pulses and a new hybrid wave brush head, the latest model from Foreo's ISSA collection is made with even stronger medical-grade silicone (that's still soft) and PBT polymer bristles that can remove up to 30% more plaque than manual toothbrushes—per the brand—without being harsh on gums. Since it uses sonic pulse technology, it allows you to use a natural, more comfortable brushing technique than other electric models (meaning you can still brush up and down and side to side like you would with a manual brush).Plus, it has a tongue and cheek cleaner on the back to ensure a deep clean and an exceptional battery life—one charge can last for up to 365 brushing sessions, according to Foreo.

What experts say: "The ISSA Toothbrush by Foreo is a breakthrough in battery-operated toothbrushes," says Gregg Lituchy, a dentist at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in New York City.

Keep in mind: There's no timer to let you know you've brushed your teeth for two minutes, which many other powered handles include.

Best for Plaque Buildup: Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Rechargeable Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
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What you'll love: Using Bluetooth technology to connect to the free Sonicare app, this brush offers smart sensor technology to let you know if you're brushing too hard, real-time feedback and personalized coaching, and progress tracking with a customized 3D map of your mouth. Featuring three modes and three intensity settings, the brush comes with the powered handle, two brush heads, a travel case, a charger, and two hygienic travel caps.

What experts say: "My favorite toothbrush is, by far, the Sonicare toothbrush," says Laurence Grayhills, DMD, president-elect of the Florida Academy of General Dentistry in Wellington, Florida. "It oscillates back and forth at a frequency of about 20,000 cycles per second (that's faster than I can do with my hand and manual toothbrush). While most toothbrushes require mechanical contact with the tooth surface to remove plaque, the Sonicare operates at such a high frequency that it creates a gravitational force that blasts plaque off the teeth without actually touching the tooth. There are a variety of brush-heads for various applications, which increases the versatility of the device. It has a built-in quadrant timer so that people use the device for the recommended brushing time."

Keep in mind: Some Amazon reviews say the app isn't the most easy to use and could be improved upon.

Best Budget: Smile Direct Club Electric Toothbrush

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Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: Using sonic vibrations, this affordable electric toothbrush has a unique three-bristle blend to gently clean teeth and massage gums, a 30-second timer that guides brushing for two minutes, and a tongue scraper on the backside of the angled brush head to help keep bad breath at bay. And with its under-$20 price point, it's a great value and one of the cheapest options on the market (without skimping on quality).

What experts say: "I encourage my patients to use electric toothbrushes because they clean 50% better than a manual toothbrush," says Colorado-based dentist Gary Moore. His pick? A $15 device you can grab at Walmart. "Smile Direct Club's electric toothbrush offers a two-minute timer with quadrant timing to ensure even brushing in the right areas for the right amount of time. And the design is roll-resistant, to ensure the electric toothbrush stays put and cleans effectively," he adds.

Keep in mind: One AAA battery is included, however, you'll have to switch the battery out every three months.

Best for Receding Gums: Rotadent Contour

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What you'll love: With its 360-degree rotation and microfilament brush tips—which are thinner than traditional toothbrush bristles—this option from Rotadent effectively reaches the difficult areas where teeth join and below the gumline, removing up to 92% of plaque in just one minute of brushing, per the brand. The brush automatically shuts off after two and a half minutes of use, and a single charge should last up to three weeks.

What experts say: "My favorite electric toothbrush is from Rotadent," says Kourosh Maddhi, DDS, a cosmetic dentist based in Beverly Hills, Calif. "It has very soft bristles, thus minimizing damage to the gum." While it may not have the pressure sensor Dr. Seibert recommends for those with receding gums, many Amazon shoppers comment on how gentle this brush is on their gums.

Keep in mind: A few Amazon customers said they had an issue with the one brush that came with the original product, but added that customer service was stellar and the company sent a replacement brush.

Best With Water Flosser: Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0 Profesional Electric Toothbrush and Water Flosser Combo

Waterpik Sonic-Fusion 2.0-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: This device combines a sonic electric toothbrush with a Waterpik Water Flosser, giving you two important oral care gadgets for the price of one. It has three modes (brush, floss, and brush floss), two brush speeds, a quiet operation, a two-minute timer with a 30-second pacer in the brush, and 10 pressure settings in the water flosser. Plus, this two-in-one option claims to be up to twice as effective as traditional brushing and flossing for reducing plaque and improving gum health.

What experts say: "I love the idea of this, not only because Waterpik is traditionally a great product, but also because you get two things for the price of one gadget," says Sheila Samaddar, a member of the American Dental Association and president of the DC Academy of General Dentistry. "Do keep in mind, however, that a water flosser is an adjunct to flossing and does not take the place of traditional flossing. You still need to get that string between your teeth to clean properly and efficiently!" she points out.

Keep in mind: It takes up precious counter space and some Amazon users mention that the brush floss mode doesn't work very well.

Best Subscription: Shyn Sonic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Shyn Sonic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: The Shyn brush uses more than 31,000 brush strokes per minute to give you a deep clean at an affordable price point. With five intensity levels and four cleaning modes, it also features a pressure sensor and a built-in timer for an optimal clean every time. As an added bonus, you can opt into a subscription plan on the brand's site that'll send you a replacement brush every three months with a 14% discount.

What experts say: "It's important to find effective oral care products that are tailored to fit your needs, which is why I recommend Shyn, an oral care subscription service, to my patients," says Joe Willardsen, DDS, Founder of True Dentistry in Las Vegas and a Dental Advisory Board Member for Shyn. "Shyn provides an advanced sonic toothbrush with customizable settings like the ability to change intensity levels and high-quality features such as a pressure sensor that prevents brushing too hard and a two-minute timer that alerts you every 30 seconds when it's to move on to the next part of your mouth. From the choice of brush heads designed for daily oral care challenges like plaque buildup, sensitive gums and stained teeth to the selection of additional oral care products like flossers, toothpaste and whitening strips in your refill kit, Shyn subscriptions are customized to fit your oral care needs at an affordable price."

Keep in mind: It's a basic model and doesn't come with any of the perks of other more advanced models, like real-time feedback and mouth tracking.

Best for Beginners: Gleem Electric Toothbrush

Gleem Battery Electric Toothbrush-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: Equipped with a sonic vibration motor, this no-fuss toothbrush has a single mode, LED power-on indicator, and a two-minute timer that's broken up into four 30-second intervals to keep track of brushing. Basically, it has everything you need to get started with a powered toothbrush at a great price.

What experts say: "This toothbrush by Gleem is getting rave reviews for its bells and whistles at a very inexpensive price," says Dr. Samaddar. "The bristles are soft, which is always my recommendation preference, and it has a timer to help keep track of how long you are brushing. If you are new to electric toothbrushes and want to try one without a huge financial commitment, this might be a good brush to try over others in the same price range."

Keep in mind: It's powered by one AAA battery, so you'll have to replace it every couple of months.

Best for Sensitive Teeth: iO Series 9 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: This toothbrush connects to the Oral-B app via Bluetooth to help you track your brushing habits, complete with high-tech features like 3D teeth tracking maps and real-time brush coaching. It comes with seven modes (including sensitive and super sensitive), a pressure sensor to protect gums and tooth enamel, a built-in two-minute quadrant timer, replacement brush heads, and a charging travel case with cord.

What experts say: "I use the Oral-B iO electric toothbrush and I recommend it to my patients as a great oral care tool, not only for sensitivity, but to help prevent dental diseases such as cavities and gingivitis," says Dr. Seibert, a member of the Crest + Oral-B Smile Council. "The oscillating rotating technology provides a safe and effective clean for your teeth and gums. Sensitivity pain is not something anyone should have to live with. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available that can help relieve the issue. Since 80% of sensitivity starts at the gum line, it's crucial to brush with a toothpaste that's good for your gums and a toothbrush or brush head with softer bristles to avoid damaging the gums. The Oral-B iO comes equipped with a sensitive mode while its micro-vibrating bristles gently, but effectively clean your teeth and gums."

Keep in mind: Amazon shoppers say it's a great brush but definitely a splurge. Plus, the replacements are rather expensive at two brush heads for nearly $30.

Best for Travel: Philips One by Sonicare

Philips One by Sonicare Battery Toothbrush-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: Using micro vibrations and soft nylon bristles, this travel-friendly toothbrush allows you to gently but effectively polish your teeth when you're on the go. It features a two-minute timer with 30-second notifications, a lightweight design that fits neatly into a travel case, and—most importantly—a dependable battery life that lasts up to three months. And while it's normally $25 on Amazon, you can score it for $10 off right now.

What experts say: Dr. Hoss says this Oprah-loved toothbrush "is a good overall electric toothbrush because it has many of the useful features—such as a two-minute timer, long-lasting battery and a travel case—but without all the unnecessary features, such as different cleaning modes, to increase the cost."

Keep in mind: Some reviewers on Amazon say the performance is lackluster in comparison to other Sonicare brushes on the market, making it better for traveling versus everyday use.

Best for Braces: Bruush Electric Toothbrush

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Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: This electric toothbrush was designed with dentists and uses sonic technology to remove plaque, polish away stains, and whiten teeth without being harsh on gums. It has a two-minute timer, six cleaning modes, and extra soft bristles that would likely get Dr. Hoss' approval. Plus, it comes complete with a travel case, three brush heads, and a charger.

What experts say: If you're a braces wearer trying to decide between an oscillating toothbrush and a sonic brush, Dr. Hoss' personal preference is a sonic toothbrush, similar to this one, since the bristles typically last longer when you use them over braces. And reviewers on Bruush's site agree; one person reported that they switched from a bamboo toothbrush to this Bruush one after having braces for a while, and the bristles lasted longer.

Keep in mind: Some users noted the brush is on the bulky side, so it might not be the best option for smaller mouths.

Best for Kids: Firefly Clean N' Protect

Firefly Clean N' Protect, Transformers Electric Toothbrush-Electric-Toothbrushes-Products
Courtesy of Merchants

What you'll love: This toothbrush encourages children to have fun with oral care, which could help them reach the dentist-recommended two minutes of brushing. A rotating head helps blast plaque, while the massaging action of the soft bristles stimulates gums. Plus, the antibacterial cover prevents bacteria growth.

What experts say: "My favorite power toothbrush has to be Firefly's Clean N' Protect!" says Dr. Yum. And she wouldn't be a pediatric dentist spokesperson for the brand if she didn't stand behind it completely. "Not only does [this brush] blast away plaque but it also helps fight cavities when paired with Firefly's Natural Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste. Firefly makes brushing teeth fun with top characters like L.O.L. Surprise, Baby Shark, and more!" However, if your child is under 3 years of age, opt for a manual toothbrush, such as one that lights up—like the Firefly Light Up Timer Toothbrush—which will help your child brush longer, she adds.

Keep in mind: It uses a single battery, which doesn't last very long.

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Updated by Dwyer Frame
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