Upgrading from a manual toothbrush to an electric one is not similar to taking a limo instead of a cab – it’s like taking an air taxi instead! So much is the difference that you accrue in the upgrade. And we are not exaggerating one bit – you get better plaque removal, a string of effective brushing modes, proven whitening and gum care. Above and beyond that, you will need to spend less time on it. Fortunately enough, 2016 has been a jolly year for electric toothbrushes. We spent weeks researching the models that would give you all the right vibes, quite literally. Here are the snippets.
So much fuss, but what’s an electric toothbrush?
Let’s do this simply – an electric toothbrush is the combination of regular brushing and power generated through electricity. There can be various modes of power generation (battery and wall power are the most common). But the basic cleaning action of electric toothbrushes is either oscillation or rotation based. The rotation movements generally toggle between clockwise and anticlockwise rotations to clean teeth better. There is a motor that makes motions at or below sonic speeds. Powerful electric toothbrush motors can make up to 30,000 strokes per minute. Modern electric toothbrushes combine a range of different features and brushing modes to provide thorough oral hygiene.
What varieties are available?
Battery powered: Battery powered electric toothbrushes are the most basic powered toothbrushes available in the market. These are considered perfect for upgrading from manual to electric toothbrushes. These have less power and pressure than rechargeable toothbrushes and often cost lesser. Some high-end battery-powered models also have different brushing modes.
- Rechargeable ones: Rechargeable electric toothbrushes are the most common among the different available types. Most electric toothbrushes you find online are rechargeable. You can recharge the brushes and use them for the duration the charge lasts. These are more powerful than electric toothbrushes and pack in a longer list of features as well.
- Sonic toothbrushes: Sonic toothbrushes are a type of electric toothbrushes wherein the vibration produced by the toothbrush is in the range of audibility. Brands like Oral-B, Sonicare and FOREO make toothbrushes that produce sonic vibrations. The vibrations made by Sonic toothbrushes usually range between 200 and 400 Hz. The oscillation could be anywhere between 12,000-24,000 strokes every minute.
- Ultrasonic toothbrushes: These are the most modern among electric toothbrushes and use ultrasonic waves for cleaning. These models produce frequencies in between 20,000 Hz and 2,40,000 Hz every minute. These can produce surreally high number of movements every minute. These vibrations are very in frequency and low in amplitude. Such high vibrations destroy any bacterial chain in the mouth.
Our seven-point checklist to picking up the right electric toothbrush
- Identify your type: Your electric toothbrush should be able to complement and improve your oral hygiene routine at the same time. As we have already jotted down for you, there are some distinct types of electric toothbrushes available online. It is best to ask your dentist which type will suit your routine and sensitivity best.
- Finalize on the brushing technology: Every different type of electric toothbrush employs varied technology for brushing. This can also differ with manufacturers. Some brushes use rotary movements, some depend more on oscillations. There are also some that combine movements and pulsations while cleaning. Choose a technology that you can comprehend and not the most complex phraseology out there.
- Vet the battery life & charging system: Different systems for charging range between conventional plugs and conduction glasses. If you are old-school, you should not care much about that. However, the battery life is more important here. The best out there offer up to 15 uses for one full charge. This would translate to more than 40 uses for a single charge.
- The thing about brushing modes: You need to be very careful while choosing brushing modes. Most electric toothbrush models include more than five brushing modes which are really not much different from one another in action. However, additional gum cleaning modes are considered a must for high-end electric toothbrushes. Write to us if you want to verify the verity of brushing modes for any electric toothbrush model.
- Additional features – needed or not? Most models from Oral-B and Philips throw in a boatload of features into the mix. Bluetooth integration, conduction charging glasses and even USB charging travel cases form the cream here. It always feels good if you get that extra feature along. But again, do not just go for the phrases. Read in our reviews how each of these individual features measure up when performing.
- Travel friendliness: Electric toothbrushes are way bulkier and more complex travelling partners compared to manual ones. But manufacturers have been smart enough to identify this and have incorporated some really well-built bodies that are both sturdy and compatible. However, there are still a few models that do not measure up to the challenge. You are best off avoiding these.
- Warranty work: All electric devices (including electric toothbrushes) come with some form of warranty. If you are really serious about making the most of the features, you should look into the warranty as well. Only that will ensure the toothbrush lasts as long as it should. Most reputed companies provide smart warranties that cover almost everything.
Top 5 recommended electric toothbrushes reviews
# Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ electric rechargeable toothbrush, HX8911
If you are looking for an electric toothbrush that is all about customization, go for the HX8911. It has six customization settings that come in two different modes: white and clean. The HX8911 is unique in the sense it treats daily cleaning and teeth whitening as two distinctly different functions. And both get done effectively by the new DiamondClean brush head of the toothbrush. The DiamondClean is effectively the best brushing/whitening head that Philips has come with so far.
Your brushing experience is further simplified with the help of the Quadpacer and Smartimer in the brush. As you might already know, the Quadpacer beeps every thirty seconds so you know you have to change the quadrant of the mouth. The Smartimer records the whole duration of 2 minutes, so you don’t end up overdoing it.The battery of the HX8911 is long enough to last you three weeks at a go.
- Quadpacer and Smartimer.
- Three week long brush time.
- Comes with six custom settings.
- Diamond clean brush heads for whitening.
- Small charger for space saving.
- Standard longevity issues.
- Weak original head.
- Difficult for beginners’ use.
# Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ rechargeable electric toothbrush, HX6921
The Philips HX6921FlexCarehas been launched as a special electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. You get five different modes for brushing – massage, refresh, sensitive, gum care and clean. As you would note there, almost four of the five modes are built for cleaning sensitive teeth. The sensitive and massage modes are meant for cleaning and massaging gums daily. The gum care mode throws in an extra minute of cleaning dedicated to the gumline, giving you extra control over your gum health.
Moreover, the HX6921 comes with an illuminated display that tells you about the mode you have selected. The display camouflages with the white theme when the device is off to give a clean look overall. You get the standard two-minute Smartimer and Quadpacer from Philips. Together, these will help you get through every quadrant of the mouth. Like most models from the Sonicare Seiries, the Flex Care HX6921 also offers you full three weeks of battery life.
- Dedicated gum and mouth cleaner.
- Backlit display with white off-screen.
- Smartimer and Quadpacer combo.
- Three week long battery life.
- Five custom brushing modes.
- Comes with one head only.
- Not the best daily clean experience.
- Has a bulky body.
# Philips Sonicare DiamondClean rechargeable electric toothbrush, White Edition, HX9332
The Philips HX9332 is not just another Sonicare model in the long lineup – it is a lot more. It has features that are meant to attract and inspire confidence at the same time. The five neatly classified cleaning modes – polish, white, clean, sensitive and gum care offer business for each dollar you spent on the HX9332. The illuminated display lights up brightly when you are using the brush. The display simply goes invisible when you are done with it.
The combined convenience of the Quadpacer and Smartimer offer a fairly simplified brushing experience. But the real toast among the features is the charging glass that charges your toothbrush with conduction technology. You simply need to rest the toothbrush inside the glass and the technology does the rest. The travel case you get with the package comes with USB charging option. The brush runs for three weeks with a single charge and the battery indicator tells you when to charge it next.
- Five unique brushing modes.
- Smartimer and Quadpacer combo.
- Three weeks of use on full charge.
- Conduction charging and storage glass.
- USB charging travel case.
- No charging stand with the ‘black’ model.
- Charging may be difficult initially.
# Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Black Electronic Power Rechargeable Battery Electric Toothbrush
The 7000 SmartSeries from Oral-B Pro has features galore. We will highlight the ones that make the brush a good fit for you. To start with, the bristles have been carefully adjusted at a 16° angle with the brush. They work well with the round head to clean each tooth one by one. The crisscross action of the bristles further picks-and-kicks specs of plaque hiding anywhere between teeth bad below the gumline. This makes it far more effective than a manual toothbrush.
The USP of the 7000 SmartSeries Pro Oral-B is its Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app. It is among the few electric toothbrushes with Bluetooth that actually offer additional assistance. Once connected, the app tells you which areas of the mouth need more care. It also gives you general instructions and guidance on every day cleaning. The one complain we have about it is the relevance that it will hold for beginners.
- 16 degree bristle angle.
- Crisscross action with a round head.
- Bluetooth and app connectivity.
- Compatible with every Oral-B head.
- Extra whitening mode.
- Tends to stop midway.
- Ineffective tongue mode.
- Weird white and black color combination.
# Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
The Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries started with rave reviews from experts for providing a floss-like cleaning experience. However, you should not consider it a replacement for traditional flossing as a whole. The MicroPullse bristle arrangement has a reputation for superior inter dental cleaning that replicates flossing action. While this does not replace regular flossing, the action is definitely leagues ahead of manual toothbrushes.There are five modes take care of cleaning, whitening, sensitivity appropriation and gum caring between them.
You will find a visible pressure sensor on the rim of the power button of the Pro 5000 SmartSeries. It is meant to light up whenever you tend to exert more than necessary pressure on the teeth. The Pro 5000 is also compatible with most other Oral-B heads. If you already have a favorite Oral-B head that needs a new, more powerful machine, you can make an educated investment in it. All this is neatly topped by the real-time feedback providing Oral-B app that works with the inbuilt Bluetooth in the Pro 5000.
- Floss like interdental cleaning.
- Compete cleaning with five modes.
- Additional pressure sensor.
- Compatible with other Oral-b heads.
- Real time app-feedback powered by Bluetooth.
- Bluetooth does not hold much for beginners.
- Unnecessary extra features.
I am happy with my manual toothbrush. What’s really the need for upgrading to an electric one?
Electric and manual toothbrushes have the same basic functions – clean teeth and remove plaque. So why upgrade? Here’s why:
Better gum care: Sadly, most manual toothbrushes fail miserable when it comes to cleaning below the gumline and caring for gums. Electric toothbrushes take care of these all right.
Interdental cleaning: Cleaning deep between the teeth is something we all need, but do not realize often. Good electric toothbrushes do it way better than manual brushes.
Improved whitening: Whitening of teeth over a period of use happens way better in electric toothbrushes when compared with the manual ones.
Hi-tech plaque removal: Electric toothbrushes are known to remove way more plaque (starting at 2x) compared to manual toothbrushes.
Hear it from the dental professional
Speaking medically, manual toothbrushes do not suffice for total cleaning of the mouth and teeth. There are many more things that need to be done – gum care, sensitive cleaning, interdental plaque removal, pressure appropriation and gumline cleaning. These do not happen unless the toothbrush in use is technologically equipped to handle these challenges individually.
Ignoring dental hygiene complications like the ones mentioned above could result in long-term complications. These may aggravate further on continued use of manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes are safer options that promise more cleaning and care in lesser time of use. In that context, electric toothbrushes are indispensable oral hygiene aids.
Frequently Asked questions
- Can I use an electric toothbrush while wearing braces?
Yes, you can use electric toothbrushes when wearing braces. There are several electric toothbrush models that have been designed for people who wear braces and orthodontic implants. You should check out some of the better electric toothbrushes for braces before investing in one. Go for something that has a really effective sensitive cleaning mode yet does a fine job of cleaning between the braces and below the gumline. A good brush would take care of the plaque stuck between the brace wires and teeth as well.
- Is it true that an electric toothbrush is good for gum health?
It is mostly true and hugely dependent on the kind of electric toothbrush that you intend to use. Most electric toothbrushes have a dedicated mode for gum cleaning and gumline cleaning. Some take it even further and incorporate a ‘gum massaging’ mode. If you have really sensitive gums, you should go for something that takes away the pain without compromising on the cleaning part. This is what you should be looking for ideally.
- Can kids use electric toothbrush?
Yes, you will find a score of options when looking for electric toothbrushes for kids. These are really a little different from the adult varieties in that they have less pressure and use a lesser number of strokes per minute. If your kids are still using a manual toothbrush, you should have them started with some entry level electric toothbrush for kids. You may combine that with the use of a water flosser for kid use.
- Electric toothbrushes are quite expensive than manual ones; is it worth the price?
Let’s deal with this relatively. You invest in an electric toothbrush and it offers you genuinely thorough cleaning throughout the year and takes care of most oral hygiene essentials – gum care, gumline cleaning, teeth sensitivity and even interdental cleaning with a floss action. This really takes the need for oral flossing to a bare minimum.
On the flip, manual toothbrushes depend a lot on flossing for enhanced performance throughout. This pushes daily oral hygiene to the minimum. You would really want to escape such a situation by investing in an electric toothbrush.
- Electric toothbrush removes more plaque and gingivitis; how trustworthy is the function?
As trustworthy as the brand you are using; electric toothbrushes only hold good if the technology they are advertising has been certified by a competent authority and the features have been reviewed by experts. If you are looking for something that is tough on gingivitis and plaque, invest in an electric toothbrush that sounds and means business. Oral-B, Philips and Waterpik are some brands that can push the scale higher in your fight against plaque and gingivitis.
Deciding the title of the best electric toothbrush 2016 has been tough. But the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean just cleans above all the rest (including others from the Sonicare series). There are five uniquely different modes for brushing that offer all you need. The combination of the Smartimer and Quadpacer never meant more to an electric toothbrush. It runs for three weeks on one charge. We could not decide which is more effective between the conduction glass for charging and storage and the USB charging travel case.
The best electric toothbrush for 2016, should above all that we mentioned, give personalized cleaning and oral care to you. Find your pick after thorough deliberation.